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Sports Media Challenge • Charlotte Arrangements • The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery • Barefoot and Company

august 2010


CHAINS carolina panthers’ danny morrison takes the field

Danny Morrison President NFL Carolina Panthers

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED 7300 Carmel Executive Park Dr., Ste. 115, Charlotte, N.C. 28226-1310

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in this issue











cover story

Carolina Panthers

Danny Morrison’s pattern of career advancement to the Panthers could be likened to “moving the chains” on the football field: a combination of hard work, lots of preparation, teamwork and some luck in steady movement toward the goal. From his first meeting with Jerry Richardson as a freshman in college, through his subsequent positions as the athletics director at Wofford College and most recently Texas Christian University, as one observer has remarked, “It’s almost like Mr. Richardson was grooming him all those years.”


Sports Media Challenge

Whether you are a C-level exec or pro athlete, Kathleen Hessert offers a special kind of thinking needed to clearly articulate your message in the heat of the moment. Her firm helps clients to keep their message on target while their BuzzMgr software tracks social media responses and other communications in real time.


Charlotte Arrangements

Clarke Allen’s destination management company works on ROI—retention of information—by creating an event environment that is memorable. And he doesn’t mind resting on his laurels—for his production of Maya Angelou’s 82nd birthday party, the acclaimed author and poet dubbed him “giver of joy.”






Transforming the Business of Law to Meet the Needs of Business



New Media Strategies, Secrets and Solutions



Accounting, Tax and Consulting Solutions



Managing and Delivering Change to Optimize Business Value



Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers



The Charlotte Region: The View from Another Perspective

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery


John Marrino had to do something different. So he quit his job and set out to produce a world-class beer fresh from the lager tanks, in the German tradition. His flagship brew has garnered a couple of gold medals and is served by over 140 bars and restaurants locally.

august 2010


on the cover:

Sports Media Challenge • Charlotte Arrangements • The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery • Barefoot and Company

august 2010

Danny Morrison President NFL Carolina Panthers




Barefoot and Company

For David Barefoot, longevity is a theme. Three generations operate the turnkey supplier on the same principles as families—values, integrity, accountability and a strong work ethic—and never forgetting your roots. “If we take care of the business we have, we’ll have a business to take care of,” he says.


carolina panthers’ danny morrison takes the field

Photography by Wayne Morris

Danny Morrison President NFL Carolina Panthers

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Striking the Right Balance I just finished reading Hank Paulson’s book, On the Brink. As Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, Paulson and Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, managed the federal government response to the recent banking crisis. Paulson’s recall about his day-by-day experiences was fascinating. Living in Charlotte with Bank of America, Wachovia and Wells Fargo, we watched anxiously as the crisis unfolded. Knowing John Paul Galles people from both institutions, we anguished with them as they neared collapse in front of our eyes. Paulson’s perspective on the crisis was illuminating. The interactive relationship between the banks and investment firms and the mortgage industry and derivatives created a house of cards that were shaken by overleveraged assets in a globally connected marketplace. The total collapse of our international financial system was substantially averted in the United States by the actions of Paulson and Bernanke. The dominoes started falling with HSBC mortgage defaults in February of 2007, followed by the demise of Bear Stearns in June 2007, and huge losses by UBS, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Countrywide into the first half of 2008. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nationalized in early September 2008; Washington Mutual failed and was sold to JP Morgan; Lehman Brothers failed; Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch; and Wachovia experienced a run on deposits and was to be sold to Citigroup but was eventually acquired by Wells Fargo. In early October, Congress passed the $700 billion bailout bill and Barack Obama was elected President in November 2008. Looking back at his experience, Paulson writes, “The history of capitalism in America has been one of striking the right balance between profit-driven forces and the array of regulations and laws necessary to harness these forces for the common good. In recent years, regulation failed to keep pace with rapid innovations in the markets—from the proliferation of increasingly complex and opaque products to the accelerating globalization of finance—with disastrous consequences.” Just last month, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Financial Regulatory Reform bill to help avoid such disastrous consequences in the future. It is an attempt to strike the right balance between free market forces and regulations for the common good. Putting the rules in place for bank practices provides a platform on which banks can do business going forward. It establishes a framework within which they can conduct business and make investments. It was a necessary and important step. But our jobless economic recovery will never be a real recovery unless or until our jobless rate returns to a more normal level of 5 to 6 percent. Behind the official unemployment rate of 9.5 percent in June 2010 are many more who are under-employed. We cannot have a real recovery without the flow of investment, so the reform should be an impetus. Next on the agenda for Congress and the American public will be federal taxes and spending. Nearly 85 different tax cuts implemented over the last 10 years are set to expire at the end of 2010. If the cuts are allowed to simply expire, all the tax rates will return to previous levels. The battle that is about to ensue over these tax rates as well as government spending including entitlements will be extraordinary. If you thought Congress was already dysfunctional, you haven’t seen anything yet. Our federal deficit is unsustainable without seriously damaging our economy and our future. We will see if we can strike the right balance between the free market forces and regulations for the common good with new taxes and new spending cuts that lay the groundwork for our collective economic future. We cannot balance our budget simply by raising taxes or by cutting spending. It will be arduous and exhaustive effort negotiated in our political arena. As was quite obvious from Paulson’s experience, the battle ahead will be an arduous, gut-wrenching, heartfelt, nasty, underhanded-at-times, overwhelming experience and likely to prove even more enormous, complex and important than the struggle to save our financial system. biz Let me know what you think -


august 2010


June 2010 Volume 11 • Issue 08 Publisher John Paul Galles x102

Associate Publisher/Editor Maryl A. Lane x104

Creative Director Trevor Adams x107

Advertising Sales 704-676-5850 x102

partners !CC Communications, Inc. !Central Piedmont Community College !Elliott Davis, PLLC !NouvEON Technology Partners, Inc. !The Employers Association !UNC Belk College !Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman, P.A.

Contributing Writers Ellison Clary Susanne Deitzel Carol Gifford Clay Whittaker

Contributing Photographers Trevor Adams Wayne Morris Galles Communications Group, Inc. 7300 Carmel Executive Park Dr., Ste. 115 Charlotte, NC 28226-1310 704-676-5850 Phone • 704-676-5853 Fax • Press releases and other news-related information: • Editorial: • Advertising: • Subscription inquiries or change of address: • Other inquiries: please call or fax at the numbers above or visit our Web site © Copyright 2010 by Galles Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Galles Communications Group, Inc. makes no warranty to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Products named in these pages are trade names or trademarks of their respective companies. Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Greater Charlotte Biz or Galles Communications Group, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. For reprints call 704-676-5850 x102. Greater Charlotte Biz (ISSN 1554-6551) is published monthly by Galles Communications Group, Inc., 7300 Carmel Executive Park Dr., Ste. 115, Charlotte, NC 28226-1310. Telephone: 704-676-5850. Fax: 704-676-5853. Subscription rate is $24 for one year. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Greater Charlotte Biz, 7300 Carmel Executive Park Dr., Ste. 115, Charlotte, NC 28226-1310.

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Wishart Norris Henninger & Pittman

Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman, P.A.



Transforming the Business of Law to Meet the Needs of Business

!YOU’RE THE BEST Isn’t it great to have your employees be your most enthusiastic supporters? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) doesn’t think that is always true. The FTC is concerned about endorsements where there is some “material connection” between the endorser and the seller of the thing endorsed. A material connection exists, for example, between the seller and its employees. This means that if one of your employees provides some positive review or opinion about your business or its products or services, that person must disclose that he or she is an employee. The employer is liable for violation of the FTC rules whether the employer knows the employee is making or has made any such statements. To protect itself, an employer must have an Internet and “social media” policy that directs employees on actions that are and are not acceptable. Shareholders, officers and directors as well as anyone else with a “material connection” to the company should be made aware of the policy as well.

!"#$%&''()'*+,-./+%0(12$'3 If your business has employees from South Carolina or who work in South Carolina, you should have already been performing your employment eligibility verifications to comply with South Carolina law. This law took effect last year for employers with more than 100 employees. Employers with less than 100 employees came under this law as of July 1, 2010. The “easiest” way to comply is to participate in the federal E-verify program. Otherwise, eligibility is based on the employee having (or being able to obtain) a valid South Carolina driver’s license / identification card or a license / card from a state on an approved and published list. With fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 per employee whose eligibility is not verified, it is crucial that businesses understand the extent to which they must comply with this law.

!SOCIAL MEDIA AND HIRING Did you hear about the nurse who was fired for posting patient information on her Facebook page? How about the employees who were fired for writing a blog about why they hated their employer? Then, there was the lawsuit filed against the employer who didn’t hire a person after looking at his Facebook page. Didn’t hear about the last one? Well, you most likely will soon. Just make sure it is not you being sued. The problem comes from the amount of information you can find about a person through their Internet activities. Whether they blog or participate in any number of online groups, a potential employer can discover many things that a resume or telephone interview will not reveal. Some of these things include race, national origin, religion, disabilities, marital status, family history and age. These topics, as you know, cannot be considered in hiring decisions.

You can’t ask questions about these topics in an interview. If you did, you would have multiple claims of discrimination. When you decide to open your Internet browser to learn more about someone, the same rules apply just as if you were asking questions directly of that person. You will be learning information about family (see GINA restrictions), race, national origin, prior employment, children, pregnancy, health and any number of topics that you cannot consider in hiring decisions. It would be better in most cases to not know that information rather than try to prove why that information did not influence your decision to hire or not hire a person. The Internet can provide a wealth of information about a person. However, any use of the Internet in employment decisions needs to be part of a carefully constructed process that does not subject you to litigation risks by potential employees.

p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

!Be Careful How You Sign As a company in Washington state discovered, how you sign a contract and how the contract refers to you is extremely important. The company in this case had assumed a lease in connection with the purchase of a business.The contract referred to the company as “William and Teresa Grover as individuals, dba Grover International, LLC.” The signature line of the contract read “Grover International, LLC by William Grover member.” The signature line was correct. However, the reference to the Grovers in the contract instead of only referencing “Grover International, LLC” caused the Grovers problems. The Washington state Court of Appeals held that William and Teresa Grover were individually liable on the contract as well as their company, Grover International, LLC. The lesson here is to be certain that your contracts are consistent and that you only do business with your entity’s name, not your own. Otherwise, you could be putting all of your (and maybe your spouse’s) assets at risk. ~Robert Norris

Don’t Ask Me How I’m Doing You may have heard about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). In short, GINA prohibits employers from obtaining or using genetic information of their employees. When you first think about it, you may decide that your company has not and will not ask for or act on this information. However, how many times have you asked how an employee is doing? In the day-to-day workplace, there are many times that owners and supervisors in a company find out genetic information about employees. From heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease to any number of illnesses and conditions that have genetic components, it is nearly impossible to spend time around another person without knowing something about their family genetics. What do you do? First, relax. The law recognizes that there will be a certain amount of “inadvertent” disclosures. This would be the atypical situation where someone actually tells you how they feel instead of responding “fine” when you ask how they are doing. The key to remember is that you cannot ask any follow up questions. You need to educate your managers and employees overall about the requirements and restrictions of GINA. Supervisors need to know what they can and cannot ask in everyday conversation. Also, your other employees need to know that your supervisors aren’t being uncaring or rude when they run away from the water cooler. Content provided by Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman, P.A., which partners with owners of closely-held businesses to provide comprehensive legal services in all areas of business, tax, estate planning, succession planning, purchases and sales of businesses, real estate, family law, and litigation. For more information, please call Robert Norris at 704-364-0010 or visit

august 2010




No Matter Where You Are or What Device You Use, It's Just Like Being There!



Voice • Video • Data

Making IT Work!

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CC Communications


New Media Strategies, Secrets and Solutions



Today’s customers interact with online content in increasingly diverse ways. The speed, convenience, and relevance of your content will make or break your business’ online sales and marketing success. To maintain your competitive edge in this fast-changing and demanding new consumer environment, it’s crucial to update your Web site design. Starting with your home page, it’s time to retool your Web site. Think “Home Improvement.” Brief, but expandable… Modern home pages contain large quantities of expandable on-demand content conveniently nested within small amounts of screen space. With this, more information can be quickly located and viewed “above the fold” (without requiring the visitor to scroll down the page). To conserve space and speed page loading, use smaller-sized images with mouse triggered “alt text” instructions to “Click the image for an expanded view.” Once viewed, the larger-sized image can collapse back to the original smaller size on the page. Additional home page space may be saved by limiting text to brief partial paragraphs (“teasers”) that end with a “Continue…” link for more detailed information. Further, for video content on your home page, only post a small, clickable static thumbnail screen shot that launches the video player manually, instead of forcing the visitor to wait for the segment to open and begin playing automatically. Relate to your audience… Consider your target audience. Generally, it’s better to keep Web content succinct, simplifying navigation, minimizing download times and emphasizing substantive content over superfluous style. However, the unique characteristics, attitudes, interests and habits of your primary consumers should also guide your home page content and design decisions.Visitors who can more easily relate to your home page respond more quickly and return more often. Decide what specific qualities or perceptions about your product are particularly attractive to your primary customers. For instance, if your audience is particularly interested in reading about your product in great detail, include expanded text or list links to supplemental PDF resources right on your home page to capitalize on the natural inclination of your buyers. If your prospects are most likely to access your home page while using a mobile device, replace complex drop-down navigation menus in favor of simpler large, easy-to-click links, or place convenient, “click-to-call” options at the top of the screen. There’s no place like home… Remember to give your customers a compelling reason to revisit your Web site on a frequent basis. For instance, consider incorporating a “blog” entry within your home page design. Blog “followers” will receive an online notice and invitation to link back to your Web site each time you add a new post. Another good idea is to encourage customers to “bookmark” your home page, so that they more quickly and easily recon~Kip Cozart nect to you whenever needed.

p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe



HOME (PAGE) !"#$%"&'()*+',-


Do I need Google Analytics? ~Charlotte, NC


First, let’s define Web Analytics. Web Analytics is simply the term given to the collective data that measures and reports key Web site activities like visits, page views, traffic sources, search engine referrals, Internet marketing campaigns and more. You definitely need some form of Web analytics package to help you track, understand and optimize your Web site activity. Google Analytics is one of the most popular choices today because it is free, extremely user-friendly, and relatively easy to install. Google also provides robust help resources at no cost to support Google Analytics users. You can learn more about Google Analytics by visiting CC Communications also provides helpful resources at cccommunications. com/ga and Have a question about Web design or online marketing? Submit your question to www.greatercharlottebiz/webbiz. Questions & Answers may be reprinted here in upcoming editions of Greater Charlotte Biz!


WORK Biltmore Farms Hotels—Interactive Sustainability Flash Presentation


Only one thing separates good intentions from reality. Action. Biltmore Farms Hotels is all about taking action to support their community and their environment. Sustainability is not a buzz word to this leading Asheville, N.C. hotel group, but a corporate way of life. Each of the company’s five hotels engages in important sustainability projects, ranging from endeavors such as annually planting trees with elementary school students to employing one of the nation’s first solar powered hot water systems. Biltmore Farms Hotels recently teamed with CC Communications to communicate sustainability details through a dedicated section of their corporate Web site. Patrons, guests and visitors can learn more through this interactive Flash presentation located at

Content provided by CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company providing a full array of services to businesses and organizations to enhance and produce effective Web, e-mail, multimedia marketing initiatives and business process improvements. For more information, contact Kip Cozart at 704-543-1171 or visit

august 2010


Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC | Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute

Being well-connected can save your life. The region’s most comprehensive Chest Pain Network connects nine area hospitals and local EMS agencies through our exclusive Yellow Phone system. When the phone rings, a wellorchestrated series of events and protocols are begun for the swift transport of heart attack patients to a waiting catheterization lab. The result is an amazing 33 percent faster response time than the national average. And another example of how our integrated network brings together people and technology to save thousands of lives every year. Only at the Chest Pain Network of Carolinas Medical Center.

If you experience chest pains, call 911 immediately.

THE CHEST PAIN NETWORK of CAROLINAS MEDICAL CENTER | Carolinas Medical Center | CMC-Lincoln | CMC-Mercy | CMC-NorthEast | CMC-Pineville | CMC-Union | CMC-University | Cleveland Regional Medical Center | Kings Mountain Hospital

Elliott Davis


Accounting, Tax and Consulting Solutions



he Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) recently released its annual study of global fraud. For 14 years ACFE has been surveying the world of fraud and not a lot has changed. Fraud remains an unnecessary part of and a significant cost to small business.

items that are diverted to personal use or for resale by the fraudster. Often overlooked is the most simple of frauds—the stealing of inventory or other assets of the company. If done in small doses, this scheme could last for years. These methods are very difficult to prove in court and are generally not simple to explain to a jury. What can a small business owner do to minimize business fraud? Short of reviewing every transaction involved with your business, there are several polices you need to implement. First, remember to maintain a high level of healthy skepticism when dealing with employees. Stay involved in your business daily. Make it a habit to review bank reconciliations and payroll disbursements. Review invoices and disbursements regularly. Lastly, set an anti-fraud tone at the top. More than 40 percent of all frauds are uncovered by tips from employees. Make sure your employees understand that fraud will not be tolerated in your company and that fraud can put a company out of business and people out of jobs. Unfortunately, there is no chance of eliminating 100 percent of fraud in businesses. However, implementing these policies, your chances of experiencing a fraud in your small business will be greatly reduced.

!"#$%&"'(#)*+&#*&$**','++#"-&.#"/&01&#*%& #&+)2*)3,#*/&,0+/&/0&+(#44&5$+)*'++6 ACFE estimates that a typical business loses about 5 percent of its annual revenue to fraud. However, based on our experience with small to medium size businesses in the Southeast, the number is closer to 2.5 percent, mainly because in our area we tend to have smaller businesses and fewer global organizations included in the survey. What does that mean to most of our Southeast business owners? If you experience a fraud, you can reasonably expect to lose more money than you pay yourself. In the last two years, our firm has witnessed a number of frauds where employees took more than twice what the owners made and in several cases put the companies out of business. Are there any red flags for which an owner needs to look? Perpetrators display two very common traits according to the ACFE. Living beyond one’s means and personal financial difficulties both account for the most red flags. We have seen examples of both; in one case, the owner was tipped off by his wife’s comments that his CFO had a newer and bigger house than they did along with several new cars! How do employees get away with this? Owners often put too much trust in employees. There is no question that you have to trust your employees, but we highly recommend that owners maintain a healthy degree of skepticism at the same time. Let them know that you are looking at their work by questioning transactions and reviewing their work product even if you know it is correct. How long does a small business fraud last? The typical small business fraud is going to last between one and two years. It is not unusual for it to start and then stop for a short period. This hiatus gives the dishonest employee time to see if their scheme is working without detection. What do they steal? In a small business there are two very vulnerable areas. First are fraudulent cash disbursements. While there are a number of methods employed, there are three most common. The first involves billing schemes where employees set up outside shell companies to send fraudulent payments. Next are payroll schemes where an employee overpays themselves or even gets extra checks. And the third, often overlooked scheme is the expense reimbursement involving completely fraudulent supporting invoices or personal expenses being presented as business expenses. The second vulnerable area involves non-cash schemes, which tend to be more difficult to detect. Among these is the ordering of supplies and related





1. 2.

Devise a written corporate policy on fraud. Formally review the policy at a staff meeting.

Conduct background checks, check references and contact prior employers when hiring new employees. If you want to perform a criminal history and credit check, be sure to obtain the person’s written consent.


Cross-train staff and segregate office duties. Require that employees take at least five consecutive days of vacation annually.


Be involved. Personally sign all checks. Review deposits daily. Review credit card statements. Send bank statements sent to your home address. Know how your accounting software works. Compare your financial statements to the prior period.


Conduct surprise audits. Make sure your employees know their actions are closely monitored. ~Theresa Kaake, CB, Accounting Resources Specialist

Content contributed by the Charlotte office of Elliott Davis, PLLC, an accounting, tax and consulting services firm providing clients the solutions needed to achieve their objectives in 10 offices throughout the Southeast. For more information, contact Dan Warren at 704-808-5210 or visit

~Charles W. Schulze, CPA, CFF, CFE, Shareholder

p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

august 2010




Managing and Delivering Change to Optimize Business Value


Deserving of a Place in your Project Management Toolkit

» It is a hierarchical decomposition of the work, which subdivides the project scope and project deliverables into smaller components that make up the primary deliverables. This decomposition (or subdivision) clearly and comprehensively defines the scope of the project in terms of individual sub-deliverables that the project members (and project managers especially) can easily understand and work with.Think of the ‘How do I eat an elephant’ joke….yes, the goal is to make the effort bite-sized.


p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

» It is deliverable-oriented, focused on the products, results, or services that must be produced to complete a process, phase or project. In a nutshell—the focus is on deliverables, not task or process.


Mark Lucas, Senior Manager, Project Management and Delivery Professional

The development and implementation of the WBS, however, remains a difficult undertaking for many in project management. The upper levels of the WBS should reflect the major deliverable work areas of the project, decomposed into logical groupings of work. The lower WBS elements provide appropriate detail and focus for support of project management processes such as schedule development, cost estimating, resource allocation, and risk assessment. The lowest-level WBS components are called work packages and contain the definitions of work to be performed and tracked. These can be later used as input to the scheduling process to support the elaboration of tasks, activities, resources and milestones which can be cost-estimated, monitored, and controlled. Some of the key characteristics of a high-quality WBS (as referenced in Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures–Second Edition) are outlined below:


The work breakdown structure (or WBS) is lightly understood, intermittently used, and not widely viewed as an essential step in the project planning process…not even by many in the project management field. In many corporate adopted methodologies, it does not find a place in the list of required project artifacts. How could this be? Experience in many workplace environments tells us that in the rush to get a project kicked off and moving (“This should have started in Q1!”), when the go-ahead is given for startup, the race is on to finalize the scope, charter, budget, etc. and dive into Microsoft Project! The time required to incorporate WBS Gantt Chart development and application to the overall planning process doesn’t seem available or necessary to a majority of project managers. Let’s step back and consider the facts and research. Best practice, as defined in the PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition, is cre- PERT/CPM Chart ation of a WBS to define in detail the scope components and sub-components of the project. Many things can go wrong in projects regardless of how successfully they are planned and executed. Project failures, when they do occur, can often be traced to a poorly develPRINCE2 Chart oped or nonexistent WBS. Lack of a quality WBS, a critical input to downstream planning processes, can result in a range of poor outcomes involving project re-planning and extensions, unclear work assignments, scope creep or frequent scope change requests, budget overruns, missed deadlines and, Work Breakdown Structure Chart worst of all, unusable new products or delivered features. Properly constructed, the WBS should provide a clear statement of the objectives and deliverables of the work to be performed. It represents a detailed description of the proj- NASA Chart ect’s scope, deliverables and outcomes—the what of the project. The WBS is not intended to be the how—it should not describe process or tasks to get to outcomes. In PMBOK, the WBS is presented as a foundational project management component, and is a critical input to other project management processes and deliverables such as activity definitions, project and program schedules, performance reports, risk analysis and response, control tools or project organization.

» The 100% Rule is a key principle guiding the development, decomposition and evaluation of the WBS. This rule states that the WBS includes 100 percent of the work defined by the project scope and, by doing so, captures ALL deliverables—internal, external and interim—in terms of work to be completed, including project management.

!The constructed WBS can be represented in a variety of ways including graphical, textual or tabular views. The form of representation should be chosen based on the needs of the specific project and ease of use for the project manager. The time expended developing a quality WBS will benefit the project manager and team by providing a better grasp of what the work will entail due to their role in defining it and it will provide other paybacks such as providing a template for bottom-up project estimates, a reference point for evaluating impacts of change requests, and a more defined vision of the scope of work to be communicated to stakeholders. Content contributed by NouvEON, a management consulting firm. For further insights and success stories, visit For a complete white paper on WBS, visit To contact NouvEON’s project management expert, e-mail him at

august 2010


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THE EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION Trusted HR Advice, Tools & Training

Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

When Employees’

" COME CALLING Record numbers of bankruptcies and foreclosures are making a big splash in the news. But a quieter phenomenon—one fraught with traps for unwary employers—is the growing trend of court-ordered or government-issued wage garnishments. A wage garnishment is a court order requiring an employer to deduct or withhold a specified sum or percentage of an employee’s wages. The withheld amount is paid to a third party to satisfy the worker’s debt (usually in the form of a judgment). The debts often relate to child or spousal support payments, unpaid loans, bankruptcies and back taxes.

Here’s how to legally handle such requests:


Always answer the garnishment! Even if you determine that you don’t have to make the specified deductions or withholdings—because the person is no longer your employee, is in bankruptcy or is subject to other garnishments that take precedence—you still must answer and explain the reason. Ignoring the garnishment means the employee’s debt becomes the employer’s debt by default judgment.


Learn the kind of garnishment. Determine whether the garnishment is for a continuing garnishment. An order for a non-continuing garnishment requires a single payment. In contrast, an order for continuing garnishment remains in effect for 180 days and requires a series of payments until the garnishment is satisfied.



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After 30-plus years of beige “green cards,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has re-designed the Permanent Resident Card to actually be green. The name “green card” came from the fact that the predecessor form, I-151, introduced at the end of World War II, was printed on green paper The new cards will have new security features to deter fraud. They will also have the ability to store biometric data about the card holder. This effort is being viewed as a major achievement for USCIS as they continue to work toward the prevention of immigration fraud. These new cards will make it easier for law enforcement and employers to readily authenticate and identify the card holder. Personalized elements of the card will make it difficult to alter the card if stolen. With the help of a built-in Radio Frequency Identifier (RFI), Customs and Border Protection agents will be able to read these cards from a distance for faster identification and detection. The newly designed cards will also be easier to identify since they will now actually be green in color. Card holders with existing cards in the old format that have expiration dates will be issued new cards when their current cards expire. Those who have cards with no expiration date will still have a valid card, but are encouraged to apply for a card in the new format. (; CAI)


Don’t fire the employee. Do not discharge an employee because of a first garnishment. The federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) and the laws of many states prohibit terminating an employee based on a single garnishment (or multiple garnishments for a single indebtedness). An employee’s CCPA protection is less certain when he or she faces garnishments for multiple debts.


Learn the kind of indebtedness. Determine the type of indebtedness underlying the garnishment because the amount of disposable earnings (wages minus legally required withholdings) subject to garnishment varies. The CCPA limits the amount of earnings that may be garnished in any workweek of pay period and garnishments can be higher in cases of child support or alimony. Bottom Line: Set up a system to respond immediately to any wage garnishments or levies. Train supervisors to immediately forward the paperwork to payroll or HR. Handling IRS wage levies… IRS wage levies warrant special attention. Such levies are issued to seize a portion of an employee’s wages to pay unpaid taxes. Employers that fail to deliver on IRS wage levies will become personally liable for the taxes, plus interest, collection costs and an additional penalty to half of the tax due. Continue to comply with a wage levy until you are notified by the IRS that it’s been satisfied. Do not let notification from the employee—or even actual litigation—deter your compliance. Employers that properly comply with such levies are immune from liability. (Read Gignilliat, Elarbee Thompson, Atlanta,Ga., for The HR Specialist)

Interesting: The “green card” has come in a variety of different colors at different times throughout history. It is still referred to as a “green card” for the same reason dismissal notices are called “pink slips,” sensationalized news is called “yellow journalism,” and false clues are called “red herrings.” In each case, an idea was originally associated with an actual item of the respective color. The green card is a product of the Alien Registration Act of 1940. The first issued immigration status receipt cards were actually printed on white paper. At the close of World War II, alien registration ceased to take place at Post Offices and became part of regular immigration procedure with different documents issued for differing statuses. Permanent residents received a smaller green I-151, which, by 1951, represented the official status desired by so many legal nonimmigrants. Over time, to combat fraud (counterfeiting) and as a result of administrative reform, the “green” card has taken on various colors including pale blue, dark blue, pink (“rose”), pink-and-blue, and various shades of cream/beige/tan. The new 2010 redesigned card restores the “green card” true to its name.


Cont. page 19

p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

august 2010


Kathleen Hessert Founder and CEO Sports Media Challenge


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by susanne deitzel




SPORTS MEDIA CHALLENGE: Media Miner, Analyzer, Manager


athleen Hessert’s trackball on her Blackberry isn’t working. Her expression says it all. As the CEO of Sports Media Challenge, Hessert is known by many as “the woman who launched Shaq on Twitter,” so the device is attended to immediately. After all, a technology glitch like this is akin to Michael Jordan going on court with a broken shoelace. While Twitter is relatively new on the sports media scene—Hessert isn’t. She and her company, Sports Media Challenge have a long and distinguished history in communications consulting for some of the biggest names in sports and corporate America. Her developing status as one of the most sought-after names in the social media arena just happens to be her most recent passion and claim to fame. In mid-July, while the sports pages were hyperventilating over whether Lebron James would sign with the Knicks or the Miami Heat, Hessert and her team were flitting around the office, nimble as grasshoppers. By 10:30 a.m. on the day of his announcement, her team had researched and analyzed the media buzz, strategized several applications of social media engagement, pitched the ideas to ESPN, written a blog post, set up hash tags and planned data aggregation for editorial fodder the following day. As evidenced by the organized tornado of information and activity— Hessert is THE go-to-gal for all things media and sports. So how does one become the personal advisor to champions like Peyton and Eli Manning, Dan Jansen, Shaquille O’Neal, Irish new Head Coach Brian Kelly and Derek Jeter? If Hessert is any indication, the formula is a deft combination of talent, smarts and chutzpah. A Champion in Training Hessert’s early career included living in New York as an awardwinning journalist, television anchor and talk show host before she and her husband Tim decided to start a family and a new business in

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Lancaster, S.C. After three years being a full-time mom, she got the itch to get back into the media game. “I was a great mom and a lousy housewife—I needed another outlet,” laughs Hessert. So in 1985, Hessert launched Hessert Concepts in Communication, a business model that she figured would keep her occupied a few hours a week.

“There are a lot of large organizations that know they need to get into social media— but don’t have any idea how to do it. We help them get the right information to clarify their purpose and determine a game plan.” ~Kathleen Hessert

Founder and CEO

“I used everything I knew under the umbrella of communications, image and brand issues to help executives with presentation, crisis communications and overall communications strategies. I had no idea how quickly it would take off,” she admits. The first year Hessert’s new company boasted 34 clients. The second year vaulted to 102. By 1988, Hessert was swamped with 134 clients—an accomplishment she attributes largely to one name: billionaire textile magnate and education advocate, Roger Milliken. “Mr. Milliken allowed me to use all my new ideas with his team— crisis management, full scale emergency drills, crafting his acceptance speech for the Malcolm Baldrige award, and developing a clear message around quality and education. Roger told his partners and clients about our work together—and since then, most everything I have done has been repeat and referral,” explains Hessert. $

august 2010



(top left) Mack Brown and Kathleen Hessert (right) Peyton Manning (bottom left) Venus Williams, Kathleen Hessert and Serena Williams

After focusing largely on major corporate initiatives, including the communications strategy for what was almost a $4 billion merger between KPMG and Ernst and Young—Hessert hit another milestone in her career. Her brother, championship racecar driver Tom Hessert, won the Daytona 24-Hour Championship and seriously flubbed his post race interview. “It was horrible. But it’s just not natural to climb out of a race car and articulate what’s happening in a way that will draw fans to you. That’s when I realized that everything I was doing in the corporate sphere had even more immediacy and value for people in sports organizations,” says Hessert. Hessert accelerated her plans in 1991, when her son, in middle school at the time, called her with the news that Magic Johnson was HIV positive. “He was so shaken by it—I knew it was time to introduce crisis management in the sports marketplace.” Her first sports client was none other than Notre Dame University, and the first week of her engagement included coaching the team on how to talk to the media about the college’s history-making contract with NBC to televise its games. From there, she landed a contract with the National Football League (NFL) to author a series called “Winning the Media Game—a Guide for NFL Players” and recorded a version of it with announcer Pat Summerall. A Milliken connection precipitated her work with Olympic champion Dan Jansen. “Dan needed to redirect his image from the heartbreak kid back to the best-in-the-world performances he was giving on the ice. We


august 2010

“Whether you are a C-level executive or a professional athlete, there is a special kind of thinking needed to clearly articulate your message in the heat of the moment. We help our clients to give unique, insightful answers with the potential to captivate the hearts and minds of the public.” ~Kathleen Hessert Founder and CEO

worked together on his media strategy, his story and his public speaking and I was there to see him win his gold medal in Norway.” Hessert describes the essence of her work as “building communications champions,” and says her skills and experience as a reporter lie at the core of her success. “Whether you are a C-level executive or a professional athlete, there is a special kind of thinking needed to clearly articulate your message in the heat of the moment. We help our clients to give unique, insightful answers with the potential to captivate the hearts and minds of the public.” A Pro’s Playbook But the success of Sports Media Challenge isn’t just skill and serendipity. It has also taken considerable vision, execution and guts. To win the NFL contract, Hessert penned a letter to the NFL Commissioner during a controversy regarding a female reporter in the Patriots locker room, telling him bluntly, “You guys need me.” NFL PR executive Greg Aiello called her the following week. When she had an idea about live video streaming for troops in the Gulf, she looked up

the number for White House information, told the switchboard operator what she wanted, and ended up talking to Karl Rove about scheduling the President to participate. The event was green-lighted—although derailed by last minute security concerns. Comments Hessert, “A lot of people think too small. They are afraid to ask for things or fear how it might make them look. I don’t think twice about it—life’s too short.” Her ability to see connections, anticipate the future, and fearlessly act into it is also what makes Hessert a social media phenom. While launching celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal and golf star Natalie Gulbis on Twitter has won her a cult following, Sports Media Challenge has also pioneered an intelligence gathering and analytical tool that gives the firm’s clients a distinct advantage. In 2004, Hessert and Chief Technology Consultant Joshua Baer developed a proprietary software called BuzzManager. The tool aggregates data from various online conversations including Facebook, Twitter, blog posts and comments, YouTube—and countless other discussion pockets in the ethersphere. $

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`" 2010

The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

is a ‘category exclusive’ business development organization that develops and hosts some 36 events throughout the year for its members and guests. The goal of these events: to provide success-minded business owners with first-class venues to entertain clients and prospects.

3R s

HHBC can provide your company with the 3Rs of business networking success:


RENOWNED SPEAKERS We pride ourselves on bringing world-renowned speakers from all walks of life to these events on an on-going basis.

!"#$%&'()** Chairman of The McColl Group, LLC

Sept. 10, 2010

($+,%-.** Founder of The Chip Bell Group, Customer Loyalty Expert and Best-Selling Author

Oct. 8, 2010


RELEVANT SUBJECTS The highlight of the breakfast is an ‘educate and inform’ message from our keynote speakers addressing issues that members and guests can use to improve their companies’ performance. Our members invite clients, key employees and prospects to attend and participate with them.


REMARKABLE MEMBERS The key to any organization’s success is the quality of its members. We’re proud to represent the best and brightest of the local business community: men and women who have built their own companies to become leaders within their respective industries.

!"#$%&"'("! &"&)"*+ AAA Carolinas Charles Luck Stone Charlotte Regional Partnership Fifth Third Bank Jerald Melberg Gallery Larner’s Office Furniture Outlet Morgan Chair Piedmont Natural Gas The Charlotte Observer Time Warner Cable Yodle

/0123%451#21*. World’s Foremost Authority on Fraud and Identity Theft, Author of Best-Selling Book “Catch Me If You Can”

Nov. 12, 2010

“Every year since we’ve been a member of the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club, we’ve been able to recoup our investment—not only through new business that we’ve developed, but also existing business that continues to renew. What Hood Hargett Breakfast Club brings to the table are decision-makers, and those are the individuals that we are trying to get in touch with.” ~Lee Summey Business Wise, Inc.

“We’ve been a member of Hood Hargett Breakfast Club for nearly 10 years now and we especially appreciate the great speakers and the opportunity to entertain business decision-makers at quality events.”

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~John P. Galles Greater Charlotte Biz

Accepting New Members Call Jenn Snyder at 704-602-9529 • august 2010 !


The tool has become an integral part of the firm’s brand management process, allowing them to do large scale social media audits to help organizations discover the best ways to launch and/or manage their brand presence on the Internet. “There are a lot of large organizations that know they need to get into social media— but don’t have any idea how to do it. We help them get the right information to clarify their purpose and determine a game plan,” says Hessert. Initially BuzzMgr was used only by Sports Media Challenge consultants to provide comprehensive analysis and information management. A recent upgrade in the platform provides clients a tiered selection of services: full-service which includes aggregation, analysis and consultation; a mid-range package that includes aggregation and analysis; or a fully-automated service where a company can purchase the software license programmed for its concern and manage it in-house. Hessert says that BuzzMgr has created an ability to collect incredible amounts of business intelligence in real time. What is also clear is that this information has given Hessert more ideas than ever to connect people. This past April, she worked with Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly to raise the exposure of the university’s engineering program by engaging online fans of the legendary football team. They launched a blog for the Notre Dame Robotics Football Competition, created a huge global online fan base and doubled the physical attendance to the competition from its prior year. When Coach Kelly moved from Cleveland to Notre Dame, Hessert’s BuzzMgr program discovered disgruntled fans were making online threats to Kelly’s family. After Hessert passed the information along to Kelly, he reported the threats to police. As a result, Hessert has also been approached regarding the use of BuzzMgr as a preventative approach to policing, a virtual patrolman of sorts. Hessert is also preparing to launch a DirectTV endeavor called” The Back Nine Network” in the first Quarter of 2011. Says Hessert, “It will be the first network of its kind—designed to include fan engagement using social media from beginning to end.” The Winning Goal Regardless of the project, Hessert educates her clients using real-time current events, and she practices what she preaches. Her Twitter handle, @kathleenhessert, offers a virtual experience of who she is, what she thinks, and the


august 2010

“In addition to sharing the power and influence of social media in sports, entertainment and brand-building, philanthropy is a huge focus of mine. It is important to me to leverage the power of social media to connect and empower people.” ~Kathleen Hessert

engagement other than 1 fan” and give shout-outs to her big league clients: “@natalie_gulbis Hey Nat keep it going this wknd! Glad to see you’re making the Open work for you. #NG.” This summer Hessert’s online voice is also championing The Foundation for Tomorrow (@TFFTAfrica), a Charlotte and Tanzania-based non-profit founded by her daughter Meghann for the support and education of African orphans. The culmination of two years worth of strategizing and planning was unfurled in a July fundraiser that featured a 400-mile bike ride from Mount Kilimanjaro to the Indian Ocean. Hessert, Meghann and their ‘street team’ gave real-time accounts covering the team’s adventure, posting blogs, and of course, tweeting live coverage of the journey. A sponsor also provided an unmanned drone to capture video coverage via satellite. Says Hessert, “In addition to sharing the power and influence of social media in sports, entertainment and brand-building, philanthropy is a huge focus of mine. It is important to me to leverage the power of social media to connect and empower people.” Once the Tanzania ride is completed and capsulated in her blogs and tweets, Hessert will return to a limitless array of possibilities. So the inevitable question is—what is her ‘Next Big Thing’? The self-professed Notre Dame fanatic doesn’t hesitate to answer, “Football—of course!” biz Susanne Deitzel is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Founder and CEO Hessert Concepts in Communication, Inc. dba

value her firm has to offer. “I tell my clients that their tweets should be 1/3 about their specific business, 1/3 delivering valuable information about their industry as a whole, and 1/3 personal commentary. People connect with other people—they want to know there is a personality behind the brand,” coaches Hessert. While Hessert has played many seasons in what has traditionally been a man’s game, she manages to squeeze strength, expertise and a feminine voice into her 140-character posts. In 24 hours, she will post about the latest breaking sports story: “Want to see what the @kingjames factor will be in social media 2night? BuzzMgr will have results tomorrow”… will fearlessly share her expert opinion: “Wish kids of the B&G Club benefiting from #The Decision #sponsorship were part of the show. Where was fan

Sports Media Challenge BuzzManager, Inc. 7300 Carmel Executive Park Dr., Ste. 120 Charlotte, N.C. 28226 Phone: 704-541-5942 Principal: Kathleen Hessert, Founder and CEO Founded: 1985 Employees: 8 Business: Consulting and training for executives, athletes, coaches and other sports organizations to provide Reputation Management services including media strategy, presentation and social media skills to build fan engagement and positive brands. Creator of BuzzMgr, a proprietary social media monitoring and analytics tool.

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Cont. from page 13



FOUR GENERATIONS: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

There are four generations working together in the workplace. The key to having them work well together is not only having a better understanding of each generation, but also getting the generations to better understand each other. Because each generation grew up in a different time, what one generation’s values may not be the same as another. Maximize each generation’s strengths by understanding their motivations and mindsets.

VETERANS (Traditionalists) (born before 1946) These people tend to be very disciplined and respectful of rules and regulations. They require little feedback and are typically loyal employees who work hard. They like face-toface communication and recognition for their work. Recognize the knowledge and insights they have gained over the years and ask them to serve as a mentor. BABY BOOMERS (born between 1946 and 1964) Boomers are typically loyal and are often competitive. They like to be viewed as equals by their managers. Boomers often have a love/hate relationship with technology. They may prefer face-to-face communication over e-mail. Give them public acknowledgement for their accomplishments.


GENERATION X (born between 1965 and 1977) Gen Xers are self-reliant. Finding a work/life balance and a job that provides challenge is very important to them. They dislike formality and rules. When communicating with this generation, get to the point. Use e-mail, and save meetings for issues that require face-to-face interaction. Give direction and then allow them freedom. GENERATION Y (Millennials) (born after 1978) Members of Generation Y are used to getting what they want at the click of a button, so they expect immediate feedback. Balance between work and family life is also important to this generation. Generation Yers are very technologically savvy. They seek learning opportunities and challenge. Ask for their opinion and treat their ideas with respect. By understanding the differences between the generations and what motivates each one, you may be in a better position to bring harmony to your work force. (The Super Advisor)


Content contributed by The Employers Association, providing comprehensive human resources and training services to a membership of over 865 companies in the greater Charlotte region. For more information, please call Laura Hampton at 704-522-8011 or visit

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We surf the Internet … We dive into magazines… 123)&9C3B93C)8:)3d28Q5B5C896e.5657893:)5B3)39U3Q<@896O ) )))))123)&9C3B93C)6B5E:)F<Ke.5657893:)3?EB5>3)F<KO ) ))))))))))123)&9C3B93C)8:)8?@KQ:8U3OOO.5657893:)5B3)8??3B:8U3O ) ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))42B%5)C$%D.B+1%10.%#0)E+2#F Barely noticed amidst the thunderous Internet clamor is the simple fact that magazine readership has risen over the past five years. Even in the age of the Internet, even among the groups one would assume are most singularly hooked on digital media, the appeal of magazines is growing. Think of it this way: during the 12-year life of Google, magazine readership actually increased 11 percent. What it proves, once again, is that a new medium doesn’t necessarily displace an existing one. Just as movies didn’t kill radio. Just as TV didn’t kill movies. An established medium can continue to flourish so long as it continues to offer a unique experience. And, as reader loyalty and growth demonstrate, magazines do. Which is why people aren’t giving up swimming, just because they also enjoy surfing.

The Power of Print®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


august 2010

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The Power of Print®

11 Facts About Magazines 1. Magazine readership has grown over the past five years. (MRI) 2. Average paid subscriptions reached nearly 300 million in 2009. (MPA)




3. 4 out of 5 adults read magazines. (MRI)


4. Magazines deliver more ad impressions than TV or Web in half-hour period. (McPheters & Company)


5. Magazine readership in the 18 to 34 segment is growing. (MRI)


6. Since Facebook was founded, magazines gained more than one million young adult readers. (MRI)

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7. The average reader spends 43 minutes reading each issue. (MRI) 8. Magazines are the No. 1 medium of engagement—across all dimensions measured. Simmons’ Multi-Media Engagement Study find magazines continue to score significantly higher than TV or the Internet in ad receptivity and all of the other engagement dimensions, including “trustworthy” and “inspirational.” (Simmons Multi-Media Engagement Study) 9. Magazines and magazine ads garner the most attention: studies show that when consumers read magazines they are much less likely to engage with other media or to take part in non-media activities compared to the users of TV, radio or the Internet. (BIGresearch Simultaneous Media Usage Study) 10. Magazines outperform other media in driving positive shifts in purchase consideration/intent. (Dynamic Logic) 11. Magazines rank No. 1 at influencing consumers to start a search online – higher than newer media options. (BIGresearch Simultaneous Media Usage Study)

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“Hard Work, Harmony, Teamwork, Listen, Respect. They’re the Panthers’ core values, imparted by Richardson.”

The Chains… Since 1906, football teams have needed to gain 10 yards for a first down. For this purpose, two sticks connected by a chain are used to measure the required distance, their placement estimated by eyesight. Compared to the technological innovations to the game—from helmets to video replays—the chains are antiques, yet stand the test of time, if not distance.

Danny Morrison President NFL Carolina Panthers


august 2010

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by ellison clary

sportsman at heart, Danny Morrison has always enjoyed rock-solid coaches and bosses, and credits himself with being smart enough to learn from each one. He’s blended lessons from mentors with hearty portions of planning and hard work, plus a pinch of good luck, to concoct a career of sequential successes. The most recent is unfolding in Charlotte. Long a respected leader in collegiate sports, the president of the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers admits he faced a learning curve when he took the position in October 2009. “There’s a difference in scale, in media attention and in terminology,” admits the former athletics director from Texas Christian University. Then he focuses on similarities. “The NCAA rule book and its NFL counterpart are about the same thickness,” he chuckles. “They both have a lot of nuances, and I’m working to learn all the NFL nuances,” he says. “The fundamentals are a lot the same,” he adds. “For example, the way you work with a coach. You just want to be there in a supportive role.” “And like a college AD [athletic director], the president works with facilities, sponsorships, the business and marketing areas and communications.” When Morrison took the presidency, it was a new position combining the responsibilities that owner Jerry Richardson’s sons Mark and Jon had performed until their simultaneous resignations as team and stadium presidents, respectively. Morrison offers high praise for the Richardson brothers and the opportunity they left him, at the same time realizing that he faces definite challenges. “Mr. Richardson has high, high expectations,” Morrison says. “He expects things to be done well, done right. But he’s also willing to take some risk. He realizes risk and progress are complementary variables.” That’s one of many lessons Morrison has gleaned from his superiors through the years. “Every boss I’ve ever had has been fantastic and yet they’ve led with $ different styles,” he says.

p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe



CHAINS carolina panthers’ danny morrison takes the field

august 2010


that was the first year of practice,” Morrison says. “That’s when my hair started turning gray,” jokes the snowy-pated Morrison. “But it was a great project. It showed the value of people working together, public and private, everybody on the same page to make it happen.”

(left) Former Panther Mike Rucker, Jerry Richardson and Danny Morrison (right) Spartanburg (SC) Mayor Junie White and Danny Morrison (below) Danny Morrison and Panther Captain Munnerlyn

!"#$%&'()*#+,-.%)*,% )'/)0%)'/)%1231(4*4'-.,$% 51%1231(4,%4)'./,%4-%61% +-.1%71880%+-.1%#'/)4$%9:4% )1;,%*8,-%7'88'./%4-%4*<1% ,-=1%#',<$%51%#1*8'>1,% #',<%*.+%3#-/#1,,%*#1% (-=381=1.4*#?%@*#'*681,$A) ~Danny Morrison


Suiting Up While it surprised some that Richardson picked a career college sports executive to run his front office, those familiar with Morrison feel he’s well-suited. “It wasn’t surprising to those of us who really knew Danny and the relationship he had with Mr. Richardson,” says Judy Rose, athletics director at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She mentions long-time associations between Richardson and Morrison, many connected to their shared alma mater of Wofford College. “It’s almost like Mr. Richardson was grooming him all those years,” Rose observes. “Danny is very qualified and he’s a great people person, a great person to have out in this community.” Rose feels Morrison is fast becoming the face of the Panthers, “and that’s very positive,” she adds. Morrison, 56, has known Richardson since he was a freshman on what in 1971 was the Wofford College Terriers’ basketball team in the NAIA, a small-college sports governing body. Richardson invited the basketball players to his home for Thanksgiving dinner. Richardson was well-known in Spartanburg, S.C., for his success as a player at Wofford and in the NFL. Further, he was already a successful


august 2010

fast-food entrepreneur. The Richardson-Morrison relationship that was born that Thanksgiving evening endured through the years. It strengthened after Morrison took over as athletics director at Wofford in 1985. He moved the Terriers first into NCAA Division II and then to NCAA Division I-AA. In 1987, Richardson sent Morrison a handwritten note: “Confidential. We’re going after an NFL team for the Carolinas.” It sparked a Morrison-led drive to turn Wofford College into the Panthers’ annual pre-season home. Morrison remembers: “We wrote him back and said, ‘When you get your team, we want to be in a position to host the training camp.’” Morrison started a study of every NFL team’s training facilities. Good fortune was evident, because Wofford already had instituted a year-long scrutiny of campus needs. “The incredible part was that the things we had identified in the long-range strategic plan mirrored with things we needed for a training camp,” he says. That helped with the necessary, and impressive, fund-raising for additions and improvements that had to be accomplished in a tight time frame. The NFL announced that it would award a franchise to the Carolinas in October 1993. “We had to raise the money, acquire the land and have everything in place by July 1, 1995, because

Getting an Education on Sports Helping Morrison achieve that success were lessons from his steady academic and professional progression. After graduation from Williams High School in Burlington, N.C., Wofford coach Gene Alexander convinced Morrison to come to Spartanburg and try out for the Terrier basketball team. Though he didn’t stand out, Morrison did earn a scholarship. As a freshman, he met a young professor named Joe Lesesne who taught him two semesters of Western Civilization. They became friends and, the next fall, Lesesne took the Wofford presidency, a position he held for 28 years. Coupled with the Thanksgiving encounter with Richardson, it was an eventful year for Morrison. “The first semester at a college campus and you meet two people who are going to have a profound influence on your life,” Morrison marvels. The son of Concord natives, Morrison moved around as a youngster as his father climbed the ranks at JC Penney. But his stops were always in the Carolinas, because his father wouldn’t accept a transfer anywhere else. Morrison graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wofford in 1975 with a bachelor’s in mathematics. He got a master’s of education from the University of North Carolina in 1981 and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of South Carolina in 2000. What he wanted to do in 1975 was coach on the secondary school level, so he returned to Williams High in Burlington. He taught geometry and moved up from junior varsity basketball coach to head coach in his second year. Early on, referees mistook the 22-year-old for the student manager. After five years, he hooked on at what then was Elon College, also in Burlington, to be assistant basketball coach, tennis coach and a math teacher. After two years, he continued coaching but swapped the math duties for an assistant athletics director position. Along the way, he learned the value of hard work and a gritty “stick-to-itiveness” from the likes of athletics director Barry Hodge at Williams High and Alan White and Bill Morningstar, athletics director and head basketball coach, respectively, at Elon. Moving the Chains But Lesesne beckoned in 1985 and Morrison returned to Wofford

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as athletics director. Lesesne helped Morrison lead Wofford on a bold ascent up the college sports ladder. “Joe Lesesne was an amazing encourager,” Morrison recalls. “He instilled confidence. You didn’t worry about taking a risk with him because you knew if it didn’t work out, you’d just admit it and go try to do something else.” Wofford initiated a study whose results showed the college should move to Division I-AA. It so happened that the Southern Conference was looking to replace Marshall University as a football-playing member and Wofford filled that slot. “It’s always nice to do your homework, but it’s even better to get some good luck,” Morrison smiles. By 1997, Morrison had become a senior vice president at Wofford. In his next transition, from 2000 to 2005, Morrison was commissioner of the Southern Conference. For the first time, he couldn’t cheer for a team. In his new-found impartiality, he made a discovery. “The officiating is a lot better than you think it is when you take emotions out of the game,” he laughs. In 2005, a search firm contacted Morrison about filling the athletics director position at Texas Christian University. He and TCU officials decided it was a perfect fit. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of the athletics program into one of the most successful in the nation and helped usher the Horned Frogs into the Mountain West Conference. In the 2008-09 athletics season, Texas Christian had 16 of its 20 sports represented in postseason play, and 12 were nationally ranked— highlighted by the football team’s ranking of seventh in season-ending polls. Additionally, the Horned Frogs won conference titles in four sports, and three coaches earned Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year honors. Morrison worked to bring a number of NCAA and conference events to the University. Texas Christian hosted the NCAA Rifle Championships, NCAA Baseball Regional and Mountain West Conference Baseball Championship in 2009 and was awarded the 2010 NCAA Rifle Championships. Under Morrison’s direction, the athletics department posted its top four years for revenue, and football season-ticket sales set records in two of his last three years. Non-revenue sports, including baseball, soccer and volleyball, established attendance marks in 2008-09. The increased interest in Texas Christian athletics resulted in the construction of new facilities and upgrades and improvements to others. Morrison praises his boss, Chancellor Victor $ Boschini, for encouraging excellence in all

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phases of the university. “He was always looking for ways to help and pushed for improvement.” The solid footing established under Morrison was evident even after his departure when the football team recorded an undefeated regular season and the baseball team advanced to the College World Series. Indeed, Morrison’s pattern of career advancement to the Panthers could be likened to “moving the chains” on the football field: combining hard work, lots of preparation, teamwork and some luck in steady movement toward the goal. Applying the Lessons Morrison credits Boschini for his attitude toward pressure. “I believe that highly motivated people already put enough pressure on themselves,” he says. “Why would you put more pressure on somebody like that?” It’s part of his management style with the Panthers. “The cumulative effect of just grinding it every day creates success if you have the right people with the right values, who get along, who are smart enough to connect the dots,” he says. “And of course, they have to have integrity.” As team president, Morrison is responsible for the Panthers business operations and Bank of America Stadium business interests, in addition to representing the organization in many league

matters. He also provides support and counsel to general manager Marty Hurney and head coach John Fox in putting a terrific team on the field. That’s not easy; he’s quick to point out, because of the heralded parity among NFL squads. “I think that balance energizes you,” he says. “We all love competition. We all want to do well.”

!B%<.17%4)',%7*,%*%@1#?% 7188C#:.%-#/*.'>*4'-.0%7'4)% /#1*4%@*8:1,$%D-%/14%)1#1% *.+%*(4:*88?%61%7-#<'./% '.%'40%'4;,%1@1.%61441#%4)*.%B% 4)-:/)4%'4%7-:8+%61$A%) ~Danny Morrison


For goals this season, besides seeing the Panthers succeed on the field, Morrison hopes to enhance the fan experience. There will be even more replays on the scoreboard’s giant video screen and those will be coupled with additional highlights from other games. And there will be other opportunities for positive fan involvement, he promises. A Spanish-language radio network will debut,


a product of Panthers brass admiring the 63,000 turnout earlier this year to watch the Mexican national soccer team. Morrison likes it when people tell him Panthers games are among the few times their families can get together as one. And he enjoys hearing how the Panthers’ Super Bowl appearance of 2004 brought Charlotte together like nothing else. He and wife Peggy live near Queens University of Charlotte. They like Charlotte’s small-town feel coupled with its impressive growth. He professes to enjoy gazing at the center city skyline from the Panther practice field on South Cedar Street. Morrison points to a conference room table with a framed, small sheet of paper. On it are five lines, hand-written: “Hard Work, Harmony, Teamwork, Listen, Respect.” They’re the Panthers’ core values, he says, imparted by Richardson. “Mr. Richardson’s presence and value system permeates throughout the organization,” he says. He calls Richardson “the consummate leader,” praising his knack for planning ahead, as far out as five or 10 years. “I knew this was a very well-run organization, with great values,” Morrison says. “To get here and actually be working in it, it’s even better than I thought it would be.” biz Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer. Photos: NFL Carolina Panthers. Cityscape: Carolina Digital Photo Group.

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NFL Carolina Panthers 800 South Mint Street Charlotte, N.C. 28202-1502 Phone: 704-358-7412 Principals: Jerry Richardson, Owner/Founder; Danny Morrison, President; Marty Hurney, General Manager; John Fox, Head Coach Franchise: Accepted in the National Football League on October 26, 1993 as the 29th NFL franchise Firsts: First season, 1995; first year in Bank of America Stadium, 1996; first Super Bowl appearance, 2004 Stadium: 73,778-seat, privately-financed, open-air, natural grass stadium designed as a self-contained headquarters; includes training facilities, practice fields and administrative offices located on 33 acres of land in uptown Charlotte Business: Professional football team representing North Carolina and South Carolina in the NFL; in their 15 years of existence, the Panthers have compiled a record of 115–121, and appeared in one Super Bowl.

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by ellison clary

Charlotte Arrangements’ A l l e n C a p t u r e s C r e at i v i t y


or his production of Maya Angelou’s 82nd birthday party, hosted by Lowe’s, the acclaimed author and poet dubbed Clarke Allen “giver of joy.” It’s among the Charlotte entrepreneur’s proudest moments as an event planner, designer, celebration host, promoter and motivational speaker. The commemoration did what its recipient requested. During eight in-person visits to her Winston-Salem home, Allen got to know Angelou. So he asked her what emotion she most wanted her birthday guests to experience. “Joy,” she replied. “At the end of my event, she wrote in my book, ‘Clarke Allen, giver of joy,’” he smiles. Allen has owned and operated Charlotte Arrangements, a destination management company, for 16 years, assisting groups of various sizes visiting Charlotte by coordinating and packaging their Charlotte experience, arranging ground transportation, historic tours and special events. A native Charlottean, Allen was managing sales at a Hyatt Hotel in Dallas when he realized his calling. Many of those coming to the hotel needed much more than space for a certain date. “I’d find out about their ground transportation needs, their tour or spousal activities, and off-premises event needs,” he says, “and then I would call my various vendor partners and have them send all their information to me. “I would include those details with the hotel packet and mail it to prospective guests. So my visitors not only had a date and space, they ➤ had their entire meeting


a u g u s t 2 0 1 0

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Clarke D. Allen Owner and President Charlotte Arrangements


Heilman wedding at Center Stage facility

Main dining tent design for Maya Angelou event

The main entrance to Center Stage facility

almost planned,” he says. “I was doing what this company does.” He decided to return to Charlotte and perform that work full-time. “I laugh about how passionate I am about Charlotte,” he smiles. Indeed, Charlotte Arrangements often directs tours of Charlotte for visitors and residents alike, lecturing on Charlotte’s history which, Allen insists, is much more eventful than many would guess. The ‘Quintessential Entrepreneur’ Chamber President Bob Morgan appreciates that passion as Allen shares it with fellow Chamber board members. “Clarke Allen is the quintessential entrepreneur,” Morgan says. “He brings an incredible amount of passion to whatever he does including building his business. He is ardent in his love for Charlotte.” Charlotte Arrangements has won enviable industry recognition and in 2006 was named “Inaugural Services Partner of the Year” by Visit Charlotte, an arm of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. These days, Allen, a destination management certified professional (DMCP), is at the helm of the Clarke Allen Group, an umbrella outfit the 46-year-old formed to administer Charlotte Arrangements as well as three other companies he started. It also encompasses his speaking engagements. The whole shebang operates from two connected former warehouse buildings on North Davidson Street in NoDa, a once run-down industrial sector turned arts district. About three years into event planning, for both visitors and area firms alike, Allen decided to form a separate entity to design sets for parties and handle details of carrying out their themes. He bought


august 2010

a local firm and christened it Creatrix Design. Through the years, it has facilitated celebrations with beach atmospheres, or mock up castles, or whatever Allen and his clients can imagine. “I do a lecture for the corporate audience called ‘Theme Is Not a Four-Letter Word,’” Allen says. “We work on ROI, which is not return on investment but retention of information. Retention is facilitated,” Allen maintains, “by an event environment that is memorable.” He started CenterStage@NoDa in 2001 in a 14,000-square-foot building next to his offices. With parking for nearly 500 and a wide open floor space, it’s a natural for seminars, retreats or parties. Then, about 18 months ago, he formed a nonprofit firm for fund-raising, called Legacy Charitable Partners. It helps talent- and treasure-starved organizations create signature events and attract lucrative sponsorships while raising money and their profile. “Each of the companies specializes in a particular aspect they support each other,” Allen says. It plays to his motto of “One company, one staff, zero stress” for his clients. Creative Thinker Dealing with clients, being creative and responsible for managing events and the business, the solo owner soon realized he was overwhelmed. “I finally hired a general manager,” he says, referring to Leslie Palmer. She’s general manager of Charlotte Arrangements and chief operating officer of the other three companies. Palmer is an accountant with a background in operations with Mitsubishi International, as well as over 15 years directing a non-profit in Atlanta and founding her own non-profit teaching emotional intelligence to teens. She is uniquely qualified to run his businesses, Allen feels, leaving him to focus on the businesses of the Clarke Allen Group and building more of a national presence. He’s doing what he has advised other

‘Woodland Library’ created to celebrate Maya Angelou's birthday party

entrepreneurs and shared with lecture audiences for some time. That is, do what you do well—and for Clarke, that would be focusing on his creative gifts, which is designing and teaching. As a South Mecklenburg High School student, Clarke was always drawn to the arts; his mother was also an artist. He was a magician at 13 and was pulled toward acting. However, his father was an exMarine and a partner in an insurance agency and, with that influence, he gravitated toward sports. He finished Appalachian State University in 1987 with a degree in Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management. That led to his association with Hyatt. He didn’t really allow himself to think creatively until he founded Charlotte Arrangements. Even then, as business mushroomed, he found himself being burdened with the managing piece which has lead him to write his upcoming book, entitled The Inevitable Box. The theme is helping entrepreneurs recognize the trap or box that a quickly growing business creates and giving them tools to redirect their energy back into their original passion and what brings them joy. “I’m not profit driven,” Allen declares. “I’m passion driven.” He’s developed a strong base of area clients who appreciate his handiwork. Among them is the Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales University, where he also goes to find interns. He recently hired Kaitlyn Green, a graduate of the school’s Sports, Entertainment and Event Management track. Ann-Marie Weldon, chair of the JWU Hospitality College, praises Allen for hiring students as well as for participating in an “Executive in the Classroom” program. “Students love him because he brings in great experience,” Weldon says. “He shares lots of knowledge and is very upfront.” Other clients include businesses with wellknown names such as Belk, Siemens and American Tire. For Joe Gibbs Racing, he produced “Taylor’s Finish Line Event” to honor grandson Taylor Gibbs, who had just completed chemotherapy for leukemia. The zMax Dragway celebration raised nearly $650,000 for Levine Children’s Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Spreading His Wings Allen credits his continuing association with Lowe’s Home Improvement for the opportunity to

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plan that corporation’s celebration of Angelou’s lifetime contributions. The fete was held in Angelou’s garden, which Lowe’s beautifully restored. The party included handmade chandeliers inscribed with Angelou quotes, a 20-foot floral carpet that cascaded from a vase suspended from the ceiling with a waterfall that slowly trickled down the flowers, and a 16-foot welded steel tree burnished on its bark with empowering quotes. Among the 100 selected guests were singers Martina McBride and Naomi Judd, rapper Common, and Lee Daniels, director of the poignant movie “Precious.”

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'()* “We work on ROI, which is not return on investment but retention of information. Retention is facilitated by an event environment that is memorable.” ~Clarke D. Allen

Owner and President

Allen was humbled when Angelou recognized him by name in her brief remarks. Not only that, she invited him back as a guest at her Fourth of July party. There are other creations he’s proud of, including blowout weddings in Virginia and Texas. And he facilitated two huge events for a New York City designer. But the average Allen affair is about $10,000 and Allen insists on operating frugally. His speaking engagements have taken him throughout America, from Philadelphia to Seattle to Dallas, he says. Meanwhile, for 11 years he’s taught a post-graduate course in Event Planning and Design at the UNC Charlotte. He also serves on the school’s Meeting Certification Advisory Committee. $ Despite his enthusiasm for his business,

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'()* “I strongly believe that meetings are a more intrinsic part of our business and social life than ever before. The more we move into high tech, the more people need high touch. They need the opportunity to engage and celebrate and renew.” ~Clarke D. Allen Owner and President

Allen cautions that the steep recession hurt him as it did most everyone else. “The economy hit us hard,” he says with a head shake. “It hit our industry hard. In addition, there was Congress’ scrutiny of corporate spending, and of travel and events. And it really hurt the hospitality business.” His staff that now numbers 13 full-time and 18 part-time has been pared severely, he says, adding that his experience would have been worse had he not anticipated hard times and taken appropriate action as early as the latter half of 2008. These days, Allen says, he’s partnering more than he ever imagined he would with competitors. “We have changed from competitive capitalism to cooperative capitalism” he says. Even with new economic realities, Allen believes there is a place for what his companies do.

High Tech; High Touch “I strongly believe that meetings are a more intrinsic part of our business and social life than ever before,” he says. “The more we move into high tech, the more people need high touch. They need the opportunity to engage and celebrate and renew.” He’s placing more emphasis on team-building. Often, participants in an Allen- produced program cooperate to create a commercial as in his “Lights, Camera, Action” activity. Or he also offers a “build a bike” activity where groups build a bike from scratch, test it on a race course and donate it to charity. Allen sees better times ahead. He’s fortunate, he feels, that the Clarke Allen Group doesn’t really have an overall rival. Its diverse companies compete in their sectors, but no area firm offers the

comprehensive services of his Group. Further, his new emphasis on allowing others more influence in the firm portends better experiences for his employees. He is having Palmer install performance measures and envisions a program by which associates can invest in the companies. A profit-sharing plan will come soon. Allen likes his company’s physical location in art-oriented NoDa. That was reinforced a while back when Charlotte icon Hugh McColl Jr., whose center city development hand was supremely influential while he steered Bank of America, paid Allen’s offices a surprise visit. “He talked to me about the opportunity NoDa presents,” says Allen. Allen hopes Charlotte will continue to develop light rail, especially the north line envisioned to pass right behind his location on its way to the UNC Charlotte campus and beyond. “What light rail will mean for this neighborhood and others like it is important,” he says, adding it’s another reason to be proud of the Queen City. “Charlotte is not New Orleans, it’s not New York. It doesn’t slap you in the face when you walk outside,” he says. “But we have so many wonderful treasures, like the Hall of Fame, the new museums downtown and the Billy Graham Library, along with exciting new restaurants and entertainment” So Allen believes Charlotte has much to attract visitors and inspire corporate events that nurture companies such as those he has created. “I’m a student of my industry,” he says, “and I love what I do.” biz Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Destinations By Design, Inc. d/b/a

Charlotte Arrangements 2315 North Davidson Street Charlotte, N.C. 28205 Phone: 704-332-8445 Principals: Clarke D. Allen, DMCP, President; Leslie Palmer, General Manager Established: 1994 Employees: 13 full-time, 18 part-time Related Companies: The Clarke Allen Group, umbrella organization for Charlotte Arrangements, Creatrix Design, CenterStage@NoDa, and Legacy Charitable Partners Business: Destination management company specializing in special events, historic tours and ground transportation.


august 2010

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p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

august 2010



by clay whittaker


for Olde Meck!



ohn Marrino is installing two new lager tanks on this day. We sit down to talk in the rustic taproom, built in the image of his favorite place to drink in Germany. Through a few large windows several large stainless steel tanks, predominant in of the brewing operation at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, are visible, like an open kitchen. The taproom is cool, but when a door into the brewery opens, a hint of the bready, warm malt smell wafts across the room in shallow waves. Marrino says once the new tanks are up and running, it will bring his capacity to 3,900 barrels of beer a year, which will almost quadruple what he started with just a year ago. It’s an impressive amount of growth for just one year. The 43-year-old engineer and brewer says they have almost 150 bar and restaurant customers, and are averaging two new ones a week. He’s currently working on the seasonal offerings for his second winter in the business. Marrino developed an Excel spreadsheet program to help him build his different beer recipes. Using a few criteria, he plugs in what he wants the beer to be, and out comes a recipe. He’ll spend a few weeks tweaking it on paper, and then the beer will go straight into production without so much as a test batch. And it works. “It’s more of a thought process than anything,” he says modestly. Marrino plays with color, sweetness, bitterness, and knows what a good beer looks like on paper. It’s the kind of foresight and cleverness that is now carrying Olde Mecklenburg around town. And it’s the same set of characteristics that got the master brewer to beer from unusual beginnings in the water treatment industry.


august 2010

Business is Brewing Marrino graduated from Tulane University in 1988 with a degree in engineering and business management. He entered the water treatment industry in 1989, working as a sales engineer for a small German company selling ultraviolet disinfection and ozone oxidation technologies for water purification. They had very good technology, says Marrino, and the company began to grow very fast. In 1993, the company moved Marrino to Germany to run the international sales department. Then, they sent him to setup and run a joint venture in the U.K. In 1997, they bought a struggling New Jersey company, and brought him back to the U.S. to run North American operations. After successfully turning the company around, Marrino ended up in Charlotte to build a new factory to accommodate its growth. Marrino says the arrangement was good for a young graduate: “I asked for a lot of opportunities, and I got a lot of opportunities. I was young, I was single, so for me it was a fantastic experience. I traveled around the world, sold water treatment systems everywhere from South Africa to Taiwan, and was exposed to many different management challenges in my 20s and 30s.” In 2004, when the German parent company was sold to a conglomerate, Marrino declined a leadership position with the new company, opting for a management position within their sales operations. But after a couple of years, he became disenchanted. “I’ve always been a man of action, I guess,” Marrino offers, “and it’s important to me to be able $ to get things done—make things happen.”

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John Marrino Founder, CEO and Brewmaster The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery LLC

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august 2010


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It was time for a change. “I had been running like crazy for the last 10 years…and suddenly I felt stagnant. I said to my wife, ‘Look, I have to do something different.” Marrino resigned with two years left on his contract. He and his wife then rented a motor home and drove around the country for three months with their 18-month-old daughter. He was taking a break to reassess things, and looking for an idea. One day, he stopped off at a Barnes and Noble in Montana and picked up a copy of The Wall Street Journal. Sitting next to his campfire later that evening, Marrino read a story about a man who was rebuilding a New England beer brand. That’s when it clicked; Marrino saw an opportunity—he’d build his own beer brand. He pined for the fresh, balanced beer he remembered from his days in Germany, and Charlotte needed a hometown brewery. Immediately, Marrino converted his garage and began experimenting with home brewing, making plans to eventually open a microbrewery here in Charlotte. He traveled the region tasting other beers and touring


august 2010

breweries to see what worked and what didn’t. At each step, Marrino continued to look at his plan, and marveled that no one else was doing it; “I felt like there was a need not being met.” The First Batch The craft-brewing segment of the beer industry has experienced growth over the last few years despite an overall industry downturn. But as more microbreweries open every year, the struggle they face is differentiating themselves from one another. “There’s sort of the theme currently in the craft brewing industry: everybody’s trying to out-different, out-extreme the next guy,” he says. Marrino decided to stay away from extreme brewing, and just stick with what he thought was good. Never mind the crazy styles, high alcohol levels, or exotic flavors that target the most adventurous drinker; Marrino wanted to give the average drinker something perfect. Marrino also saw the hometown market as an untapped opportunity. “This is a tremendous beer market,” says Marrino, who estimates that two million kegs of

beer are consumed in Charlotte every year. He decided to brew a set of balanced German beers, with taste profiles that were simple and refreshing. And unlike many other craft brewers, Marrino decided to produce lagers instead of ales. Lagers have a reputation for being much harder to brew, requiring more exacting standards of quality. But Marrino doesn’t see much of a difference in the long run: “If you want to be sloppy, lagers are going to be pretty tough, but I think that goes for any beer. Beer’s something that requires attention to detail.” In the process of planning the brewery, Marrino also courted some investors. Six partners in total hold a stake in The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, among them Marrino and his father (together holding a majority stake), two neighbors, an old college buddy, and his former boss from his water treatment days. Marrino opened Olde Mecklenburg last spring, and his brewery is fitting the role of Charlotte’s hometown brewery perfectly. Fermenting, Renewal and Reuse But The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery does more than fill a gap in Charlotte’s cultural identity. Marrino is committed to energy efficiency, and eventually making Olde Meck a green operation.

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Marrino was fortunate when he started the brewery; most of startup equipment was purchased from Southend Brewery, which went out of business about eight years before Marrino came on the market. “There’s a very strong secondary market for beer brewing equipment,” he explains, noting that there are breweries opening and closing every year. “The tanks from Southend are stainless steel, which means they don’t really wear out—they are perfect candidates for a second owner.”

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Training Solutions Another of Marrino’s green innovations is the growler program. Growlers are the large two-liter glass bottles that Olde Mecklenburg sells out of its onsite Tap Room and distributes to a number of specialty beverage retailers in the region. In lieu of traditional six-packs, Marrino chose the larger bottles because they can be brought in and exchanged for full ones more easily. “We’re reusing the bottles. It’s not all oneway,” says Marrino. “Less inventory, less waste.” The brewing process requires a lot of energy, and produces waste, but Marrino has found some ways of remedying that as well. “We recover the heat from our boil,” Marrino points out, explaining that it’s a fairly common practice among brewers and distillers to capture and reuse that energy. But he also $ wants to substantially reduce his natural

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august 2010


gas use in the next few years by installing a solar thermal water heating system on his roof. There’s even a way to reuse the spent grain solids that are left over from the brew. Marrino gives the grain to a couple of local farmers, who come each week and pick it up to feed their animals. He says it can’t act as the sole food source, but for animals like pigs and cows it’s a sweet tasting, nutritious addition to their regular feed. One Tap at a Time The brewery has been equity-financed for the most part, though they’ve recently opened a small credit line to finance new equipment needs driven by increased demand. As for profits, Marrino speculates that the brewery is still a couple of years away from making a net profit. He says they’re quickly closing the gap on becoming operating cash flow positive, however. In his first nine months, he brewed 1,045 barrels of beer. Driven by demand and with the help of the new tanks about to come online, he estimates this year’s production will be about 250 percent of the first. And he estimates next year even higher. But Marrino’s aspirations aren’t that much bigger than his tanks. He doesn’t think he can expand indefinitely, nor does he want to.

!"#"$%&'()%*+"%,$-./% 0*/1"02%+'3+%-1,4+41%1"#"102% 4$%"54*',%61-#4$0%*+-*%*-$3"*% *+"%&40*%-)#"(*7$470% )$'(8"$9%:-$$'(4%;-(*")% *4%3'#"%*+"%-#"$-3"%)$'(8"$% 04&"*+'(3%<"$=",*>% Marrino wants his beer to be enjoyed fresh, and for him that means not having to ship it too far or make it sit for too long. He explains that beer is like bread, and that it’s best right out of the tanks. He doesn’t stock more than he thinks will be consumed in two weeks, and his beer doesn’t sit in the

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august 2010

brewery for more than seven days. “We’re not even sure what the total practical limit is here in Charlotte. We currently have only about 0.1 percent of the local market, if my numbers are correct. Getting to 0.2 percent doubles our business. Someday, maybe we’ll get to 1 percent,” he says. Marrino says he’s content to concentrate on the Charlotte region for now. Olde Meck is already number 12 in production for the state of North Carolina (out of 24 microbreweries), and Marrino expects to be firmly in the top ten this year. He wants Olde Meck to reach into South Carolina, and perhaps one day go to Georgia. So what’s next for Olde Meck? Marrino considers one option: “We’re talking about bottling in 2011.” Initially Marrino refrained from traditional bottling because he worried about flooding shelves before there was a demand for his beer. Like with everything else, Marrino was concerned about freshness. “I didn’t want to get the cart before the horse, he says. “I wanted to introduce our beer to people on draft, which is the right way to meet a new beer.” He also couldn’t guarantee that it would move off the shelves quickly enough. But he’s feeling confident about the future. “I think by next year,” he starts, “if we bottle our beer and put it in the grocery stores, there’ll be a demand for it.” It’s been a bit of a battle getting bars and restaurants in the area to accept him, but with good beer and dedication, he’s managed to squeeze in between Budweiser, Miller, and Coors. And he’s starting to win drinkers over too, one pint at a time. biz Clay Whittaker is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery LLC 215 Southside Drive Charlotte, N.C. 28217 Phone: 704-525-5644 Principal: John Marrino, Founder, CEO and Brewmaster Employees: 9 Established: 2009 Recognition: Flagship beer has garnered a gold medal for two consecutive years from the Hickory Hops Festival Business: Local brewery producing worldclass beer fresh from lager tanks, in the German tradition; served by over 140 bars and restaurants in the region.

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[bizview] p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

The Charlotte Region: The View from Another Perspective


by carol gifford



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august 2010

ongevity is a theme at Barefoot and Company. The company operates on the same principles as families—values, integrity, accountability and a strong work ethic—and never forgetting your roots. That’s by design, says David Barefoot, president and CEO of Barefoot and Company, the leading supplier of specialty products to the building industry in Charlotte and customers in a 100-mile radius, and one of only a very few suppliers who have successfully completed NHQ Certification in the Charlotte area. Barefoot and Company provides superior specialty products and service at competitive prices. The family-owned company furnishes and installs shower doors, mirrors and glass, wire shelving and custom closets, windows and screens, door hardware, bath accessories, interior blinds, shades and shutters. The company serves three different customer groups: builders, remodelers and homeowners. Founder Bob Barefoot was well-known in the Charlotte market and left a company legacy of hard work, honest prices and standing behind his products for his family and employees, says son David. Bob fostered a spirit of entrepreneurship and encouraged his children and grandchildren to work with the company and try out new business practices. “We’ve been around for 39 years; the third generation of family members are working here now,” says David, who adds there are six family members in the 50-person employee list. “My father was born and raised in Charlotte. I was, too. I started working with my father at age 17 and learned the business from the ground up. I’ve never worked anywhere else.” The family also has a well-established mantra: “If you treat your employees better than your best customer, you don’t have to worry about your best customer.” David carries through with an open door policy to all employees. “This is very important to us,” says David, “because our employees $ make Barefoot what it is.”

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p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

august 2010


!BX%71%4*<1%(*#1%-X%4)1% 6:,'.1,,%71%)*@10%71;88% )*@1%*%6:,'.1,,%4-%4*<1%(*#1% -X$%Z:*8'4?%',%124#1=18?% '=3-#4*.4%4-%:,%*.+%71%+-%'4% #'/)4%4)1%[#,4%4'=1$%B4;,%*%,=*88% 7-#8+%*#-:.+%O)*#8-441Y 1@1#?6-+?%<.-7,%1@1#?-.1Y ,-%'4;,%'=3-#4*.4%4-%:3)-8+% ?-:#%/--+%#13:4*4'-.$A ~David M. Barefoot President and CEO

A Firm Footing In some ways, says David, the company has come “full circle.” During the gas/energy crunch of the mid-70s, storm windows and doors became a big product line for Barefoot. “Now, we’re replacing windows that we installed 30 years ago—the same windows that I installed in my early years of working at Barefoot,” says David. Through it all—some trying times and today’s recession – the company has worked hard to do things right, says David, by continuing its mission of working hard and paying attention to customer needs. “If we take care of the business we have, we’ll have a business to take care of,” says David. “Quality is extremely important to us and we do it right the first time. It’s a small world around Charlotte—everybody knows everyone—so it’s important to uphold your good reputation.” “We’ve been with several of our manufacturers for 25-plus years,” says David. “We stick with people who stick with us because we know that they are going to be there. We’ve worked with Coral Industries shower doors for 20-some years and ClosetMaid for just as long. John Wieland Homes, one of the largest new home builders in the area, chooses Barefoot and Company to provide and install products in its new single family homes and townhouses. “We’ve been working with Barefoot for more than 20 years now, and we consider the company a favorite trade partner, rather than a vendor,” says John Feezor, president of John Wieland’s Charlotte division. “Barefoot supplies us with mirrors and shower doors, closet shelving products, hardware for bathrooms and towel bars and holders, and windows.” Feezor says Barefoot supplied many of the products in thousands of existing Wieland homes in the Charlotte area. At the peak of its new


august 2010

construction in Charlotte in 2005-06, says Feezor, Wieland was building about 400 homes a year. While new construction work has slowed in Charlotte, Wieland continues to build neighborhoods, and Barefoot continues to be Wieland’s supplier of specialty products in new construction neighborhoods including Homestead, Brookhaven, Bridge Mill, The Club at Longview, Waybridge and McCullough. “They help our homeowners get the products they want,” says Feezor. “Our customers make individual choices for their homes at our design center, choosing products from Barefoot. Many times customers choose to upgrade their amenities and work with someone from Barefoot to add things like closets or shelving units.” Feezor says he can’t remember a time that he’s had a complaint or concern about Barefoot. “They make it very easy to work with them—the quality and craftsmanship is there.” Shifting Sands “Taking care of business means keeping a close watch on the pulse of customers to recognize potential issues and new opportunities,” says David. With the recession, Barefoot and Company saw a dip in its work with new home builders. “When you have a downturn like this, you need to reevaluate your business from top to bottom. You need to reconnect with your employees and make sure you’re moving ahead in the same direction to achieve your vision,” explains David. “I’ve been through a number of recessions at Barefoot and each time in the past, the new home construction business has led the economy out of the recession,” says David. “That’s not going to happen now. The two new homebuyer tax credit programs provided a false sense of security. This time, the new home builders are not going to spearhead an economic turnaround as fast as in the past.”

He expects business to grow again in the next few years, but says it is very difficult to predict future growth until there is a realistic economic recovery. Recognizing that a too large percentage of Barefoot’s business was tied to the new homebuilding industry, the company began to look elsewhere for new customers. Barefoot proactively changed its business practices. “You have to think outside the box and diversify your customers and business, and ask, where are our new opportunities?” says David. “We began to shift our focus to the remodeling, contracting and homeowner side.” It was a good move. “Right now people are staying put,” says contractor Brian Macuga, owner of Arbor Construction Group in Charlotte. “It’s more difficult to sell your home and people aren’t interested in moving to a new neighborhood where it’s not 100 percent finished and there are concerns about whether or not the developer can afford to finish the work.” Instead, he sees people investing in their homes to make them more livable by choosing renovations such as room additions, screened porches or patios that “aren’t budget busters and provide immediate enjoyment.” Macuga uses Barefoot as a resource, calling the company “whenever I have a weird question about how to fix something and need some advice.” Macuga says that Barefoot provides him with quality service. “They do a great job upfront,” he says. “Barefoot locates the product you need and presents it, providing all the help to understand the directions and install it.” Barefoot already has established relationships with many contractors. Kevin Holdenrid, the owner of Clear Lake Development Co. in Charlotte, had worked

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with Barefoot for several years before opening his own development and construction company in 2008. “There’s a simple formula that guides the way I do business. I look for five things: service, quality control, time frame, the ability to stand behind your product, and then price. If you can’t do the first four, I’m not interested in the price. “You can always find a better price,” says Holdenrid, who builds new homes and does renovations and commercial upfits. Holdenrid says his relationship with Barefoot was cemented by a situation he witnessed earlier in his career when he was working for a national homebuilder who used Barefoot windows.



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“I was working in a large subdivision and the windows installed in some of the new homes had seal failure as a direct result of a manufacturer issue,” says Holdenrid. “Barefoot immediately took care of the problem. They replaced all the windows right away and then went back to the manufacturer to deal with the problem. “There’s no price value you can put on that,” says Holdenrid. “That was a big deal and could have taken months to resolve. Instead, the head of the company was out there doing the work.” Taking New Steps Another way the company boosted sales was to start a new marketing campaign, spearheaded by Laura Barefoot, David’s daughter, who joined the company in 2007 after completing her MBA. “I’m old school so she had to do some convincing to get me to change how we do business and add in a marketing component,” says David. $ “We’re fortunate to have new blood in our

p u r s u i n g a b a l a n c e o f b u s i n e s s a n d l i fe

704-540-2255 august 2010


!&'/)4%.-7%71;@1%\:,4%/-4%-:#% 4-1,%'.%4)1%7*41#$W1;#1%8--<'./%*4% 1@1#?4)'./%X#-=%)-7%71%*.,71#%4)1% 3)-.1%4-%*++'./%?*#+%,'/.,%7)1#1% 71;#1%7-#<'./$%W1%,4*#41+%*%(:,4-=1#% .17,81441#0%*.+%71%7#*3%-:#%@1)'(81,$A ~Laura Barefoot Quality Assurance Representative

management, someone with the expertise to tackle new challenges. But Laura had to sell me on her new marketing program and how she wanted Barefoot to reach out to new customers.” “I started telling him we needed to do this about three years ago. If we wanted to continue to be successful, we needed to establish our company name so people would recognize it…we needed to get the Barefoot and Company name out to as many media sources as we could,” says Laura. “We refreshed our brand, updated our Web site, adding more information and ways to do business online, including case studies and product catalogues.” The new marketing campaign is just beginning for Barefoot and Company, says Laura. “Right now we’ve just got our toes in the water,” says Laura. “We’re looking at everything from how we answer the phone to adding yard signs where we’re working. We started a customer newsletter, and we wrap our vehicles.” She added door hangers to the marketing outreach efforts, and has them attached to the doors of new homes where Barefoot and Company was a supplier and installer for the new home builder. Another new program is an upcoming builder drop-in show at Barefoot for new home builders and contractors to see the Andersen 100 Series Window and Door line and meet the Barefoot and Andersen company representatives. “We’re doing a lot more grassroots marketing,” says Laura, “and it is increasing our market share.” The other part of the equation is David’s nephew. Michael Najaka, who is focusing on customer relations and ideas for process improvement He is in the field focusing on customer relations to bring the new strategies full circle. Barefoot also expanded its product line. Previously, it stocked many name brand product lines such as Andersen windows and doors, ClosetMaid, Coral Industries, Graber, Kwikset, Moen, Schlage, and Silverline windows and doors. “All of the products we stock are available for our customers to see, but we can also get many other brands should our customers choose them,” says David. “We can pretty much supply the ‘good, better, best’ in our product lines.”


august 2010

In 2007, Barefoot added a line of interior blinds, shades and shutters to its products, available to all its customers. “This is a very successful line for us,” says Laura. “It’s a turnkey service, homeowners can purchase and install the window coverings themselves, or they can use our installers to do it for them. With this addition, we can now market to homeowners that we can supply all the fixtures, hardware, doors, windows and window coverings that they need inside the home.” Despite the challenging economy, Barefoot is poised to continue to compete strongly in the Charlotte market. “It’s all about relationships and services,” says David. “We know that you have a choice of products and people who service them. “Because we are a family-owned business, we have more ability to determine our own destiny. I want the third generation of my family to have the same opportunities that I had—to be able to take something successful and continue on with it, and never forget your roots.” biz

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Carol Gifford is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Barefoot and Company 3980 Matthews-Indian Trail Rd. Indian Trail, N.C. 28079 Phone: 704-821-7688 Principals: David M. Barefoot, President and CEO; Laura Barefoot, Quality Assurance Representative Employees: 50 full-time Established: 1971 Business: Leading supplier and installer of specialty products to the building industry in the greater Charlotte region; single-source turnkey supplier of shower doors, mirrors and specialty glass; closet systems; windows and screens; exterior doors and storm doors; bath accessories; door hardware and locks, and interior blinds, shades and shutters.

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