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may 2011

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! ! ! Spivey Construction Company ! ! ! Carolina Urology Partners ! ! ! BLUERIDGE Analytics ! ! ! Cardno TBE ! ! ! Paddock Pool Equipment Company

Charlotte CTS Campus Assists Users Globally

Marlena Werder Vice President for Commercial Technical Support (CTS), Customer Service and Support (CSS) Microsoft Corporation Charlotte Campus

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cover story

Microsoft Corporation Charlotte Campus

Although it flies substantially “under the radar,” tucked away on a sylvan corporate campus in south Charlotte, Microsoft has had operations in the Queen City since 1991. In fact, the Charlotte Campus is one of Microsoft’s largest U.S. facilities with over a 1,000 employees. Heading up Microsoft Commercial Technical Support, Marlena Werder oversees the company’s support engineers, whose role is to provide seamless service to commercial customers across the globe.

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Spivey Construction Company “We are not the cheapest builder, but I feel we are the best value,” says Willis Spivey with the benefit of 36 years’ experience. “There is nothing a competitor does that we can’t do, but there are many, many things we won’t do. We bring the same dedication to every project, large or small. I have always cared more about our customers than about any other aspect of my job.”

#$ Carolina Urology Partners The ambitious merger of seven independent practices extends Carolina Urology Partners’ footprint across seven counties in the Charlotte region and makes it the eighth largest urology group in the country. “We cover a very large swath of the region,” says Michael Cram, co-CEO for the group along with Todd Cohen. “We take care of about a quarter of a million patients.”

28 BLUERIDGE Analytics A revolutionary technology from BLUERIDGE Analytics called SITEOPS brings together the latest capabilities of emerging technology—and lessons learned from chess—to solve a site development problem as old as the industry: How to choose the best plan for a site and accurately predict the cost of development. CEO Michael Detwiler refers to it as “CAD with a Brain.”

departments workforcebiz

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publisher’spost legalbiz

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Work Force Training and Development

Transforming the Business of Law to Meet the Needs of Business

consultingbiz

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Managing and Delivering Change to Optimize Business Value

webbiz

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bizprophet

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New Media Strategies, Secrets and Solutions

Engaging and Inspiring Thought Leadership in the New Millennium

accountingbiz

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Accounting, Tax and Consulting Solutions

employersbiz

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Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

biznetwork

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on the cover: Marlena Werder Vice President for Commercial Technical Support (CTS), Customer Service and Support (CSS) Microsoft Corporation Charlotte Campus Photo by Wayne Morris

workforcebiz | legalbiz

| consultingbiz | webbiz | bizprophet | accountingbiz | employersbiz

may 2011

The

! ! ! Spivey Construction Company ! ! ! Carolina Urology Partners ! ! ! BLUERIDGE Analytics ! ! ! Cardno TBE ! ! ! Paddock Pool Equipment Company

Charlotte CTS Campus Assists Users Globally

Marlena Werder Vice President for Commercial Technical Support (CTS), Customer Service and Support (CSS) Microsoft Corporation Charlotte Campus

Scan to view greatercharlottebiz.com

!"

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“A lot of companies offer either environmental services or civil engineering and landscape architecture,” says Andrew Hill. “We can provide all the services from inception to completion, from a dirty junkyard to a completed fire station.” He speaks of the expansive suite of capabilities offered by Charlotte’s member of the international conglomerate Cardno.

From pool development, to pool part manufacturing and installation, to innovative game changing technologies and products, Paddock is a leader in the commercial swimming pool industry. CEO Don Baker has a knack for finding solutions like the company’s latest invention, the Paddock Evacuator Chloramine Evacuation System.

Cardno TBE

Paddock Pool Equipment Company

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Central Piedmont Community College

[workforcebiz]

Work Force Training and Development

U.S. Employment Picture At A Glance

ADVICE IN.....

TODAY’S MARKET

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. Unemployment Rate fell to 8.9 percent in February 2011. But that doesn’t tell the complete unemployment picture. This illustration breaks down the total civilian noninstitutional population (238.9m) in the U.S. by those who are employed, unemployed, or not looking.

As president of the largest community college in the state, I am often asked what advice I would give to job seekers and employers in today’s market. Regardless of the economic conditions, my advice remains the same…

Advice for Job Seekers Go Back to School Even if you already have a degree, or even an advanced degree, consider going back to school. Community colleges offer a variety of certifications that can enhance your skills set, from Six Sigma to Microsoft Training, Project Management, and Leadership and Management. You can also explore a number of personal enrichment courses that can help you balance your work with your personal life, help you improve your physical fitness, reduce stress and more. Courses are affordable and accessible.

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Network in the Traditional Ways It’s not new advice, but it’s effective, particularly in the Charlotte area. Cultivate relationships. Get involved in your community and stay in touch with business associates. Build your network and participate in business and community activities whenever possible.

Network in New Ways Stay up to speed on the latest social media resources. Utilize LinkedIn to feature your experience, to showcase recommendations of your work, to enhance your professional network and even to start an online portfolio. On Facebook, take full advantage of the security features, including friend lists, to ensure you keep personal information private.

Attend Career Fairs Participate in career fairs, but be wary; some fairs are just marketing opportunities for educational institutions. Look for credible events that feature businesses which are actively hiring. CPCC’s annual career fair this year hosted over 70 companies hiring for hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs. These events can provide great opportunities to meet face-to-face with potential employers. When you go, bring your resume and dress professionally.

Stay Positive Throughout your search, stay positive. Job hunting can be frustrating, but keep your eye on opportunities and remain optimistic. Employers want to hire individuals with good, positive attitudes. If you find yourself feeling jaded or discouraged, take a break between interviews and do something you enjoy. Remember to take care of you during this time, not just your resume.

c o n s t r u c t i ve c a t a ly s t fo r c re a t i ve c o n s c i o u s n e s s

The bottom line for your organization’s success is tied to your ability to attract skilled workers, develop them and retain them.

Advice for Employers Today’s economic environment is challenging not only for job seekers, but also for companies who are hiring. There are plenty of skilled workers hoping to find great companies with meaningful work opportunities. To attract them, develop a reputation for being a great place to work. You can do this by becoming a great place to work. You can develop peak performing employees by providing professional development activities for all employees. And you can retain and motivate your peak performers by publicly recognizing their contributions, by making them part of the team, by providing personal growth opportunities, and by providing fair compensation tied to performance. In the end, building and keeping trusting relationships with people is the key to business success. All people have the same nature and seek security, a sense of belonging and significance. Your success depends upon your ability to meet these fundamental needs of your employees, suppliers and customers. Content contributed by Dr. Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College. Learn more at cpcc.edu. For information about Corporate Learning, visit cpcc.edu/ cce. Small business resources available at cpcc.edu/e-institute.

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[publisher’spost] A Wake-up Call: “China’s Economy Surpasses United States in 2016” The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that the Chinese economy will surpass the U.S. in 2016. While many are debating the validity of that prediction, that shocking statement should be a wake-up call to voters, politicians and policy makers that China’s economic power is increasing while we are struggling John Paul Galles to realize an economic recovery in the United States. To be sure, there are many different calculations to compare the economies of the United States and China. The IMF numbers come from a comparison of “purchasing power parity,” which compares what people earn and spend in real terms in their domestic economies. Using this measurement, the Chinese economy will grow from $11.2 trillion this year to $19 trillion in 2016. During the same period, the U.S. economy will grow from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. As a result, the U.S. share of world output would diminish to 17.7 percent, while the Chinese share would reach 18 percent. Those who challenge this calculation suggest that the IMF is miscounting, and that these numbers are meaningless in real terms. The IMF numbers are figured using current exchange rates. And because China artificially undervalues its currency with its massive intervention in currency markets, they allege the Chinese exchange rates are phony. There are many ways to compare our two economies. Chinese per capita income in 2016 will still be only about 10 percent of what it is in the U. S. At the same time, most Chinese share tiny apartments or dormitories, make minimum wage with no benefits, and work in companies that pollute the skies and dump waste into the water. The value of this comparison comes in recognizing that economic competition is now global. We can no longer simply take for granted that our free market system will keep us on top economically. We are in a world economy with many competitors, and some of those competitors have national governments that develop significant economic plans, manipulate their currencies, control profits and limit economic freedom. Recently announced Chinese objectives are to move 500 million Chinese citizens into the middle class over the next 20 years. That is a considerable undertaking. While free market capitalism will likely win out over the long term as world markets distribute production and income, the U.S. will experience considerable anguish. Freetrade agreements alone will not cause other countries to adopt similar standards for environmental protection and labor standards or currency policies. Our circumstances cannot be taken for granted. Most people are not ready to cave in to these numbers. Many experts from all perspectives suggest that China will not surpass the United States for decades. Only the most bearish conclude that this might happen in the mid-2020s. However, we do need to understand how the world is changing and how Americans can prosper in the midst of that change. Our economic successes have not only come from our creativity and our entrepreneurialism, but also from the infrastructure that we have built since World War II. Our educational systems, our interstate highway system, our transportation systems, our energy production systems, our natural resources, our air and water protection regulations, our legal system, our health care systems, our labor standards and our sense of fairness in markets and within our financial system have enabled our economic growth over the last 60 years. It is important that we promote good citizenship around the world so that others protect quality of life for future generations, but we also need to stay focused on our infrastructure to ensure that Americans have the platform for continuing economic progress for many years to come. We have lots of work ahead of us. Let’s find a way around political debates that postpone or delay our progress for the future of this nation. Wake-up! biz Let me know what you think - jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.com

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704-676-5850

May 2011 Volume 12 • Issue 05 Publisher John Paul Galles x102 jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.com

Associate Publisher/Editor Maryl A. Lane x104 mlane@greatercharlottebiz.com

Creative Director Trevor Adams x107 tadams@greatercharlottebiz.com

Sales Manager Chris Sessions x106 cell: 704.816.0605 csessions@greatercharlottebiz.com

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

Contributing Writers Zenda Douglas Carol Gifford Heather Head Casey Jacobus Amanda Pagliarini

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 www.greatercharlottebiz.com • Press releases and other news-related information: editor@greatercharlottebiz.com. • Editorial: mlane@greatercharlottebiz.com. • Advertising: jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.com. • Subscription inquiries or change of address: subscriptions@greatercharlottebiz.com. • Other inquiries: please call or fax at the numbers above or visit our website www.greatercharlottebiz.com. © Copyright 2011 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, P.A.

[legalbiz]

Transforming the Business of Law to Meet the Needs of Business

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[consultingbiz]

NouvEON Technology Partners, Inc. Managing and Delivering Change to Optimize Business Value

Business Process Ownership:

Why Business Process Owners Are Critical to Your Organization

!

n today’s current economic environment, finding new ways to conduct business is paramount to success. Now more than ever, executives need to be more agile and more competitive to continue winning business with their customers. With emerging trends such as green technology, cloud computing and social branding, leaders of pioneering enterprises will feel an increased pressure to stay competitive and find new ways of doing business. If they are unable to do so, they will find their organizations fading away just as many others did when new technologies emerged in the last decade (mobile applications, digital imaging) or throughout history (internal combustion engine, cotton gin). These enterprising leaders will need to be intimately familiar with business excellence models, possess knowledge on improvement and trends, and finally, be persuasively competent in gaining the momentum necessary to lead change. Speaking across multiple industries, we are at an inflection point in how we do business, and, unless leaders of organizations take ownership over the processcentric way of doing business, they will find that their organizations are left behind in today’s increasingly competitive economic race. Given this evolution, what steps are necessary to successfully undertake a process transformation? Many companies have undergone efforts to promote process improvement projects, but how many companies truly understand what it means to become process-centric? The key to a successful process-centric strategy is going beyond traditional “fire-fighting” tactical process improvement projects, and empowering leaders in your organization to assume the role of Business Process Owners (BPOs). When this deep-seated commitment is realized, the exact value of your efforts will begin to be unleashed; not because you are using new process improvement tools, but because the decision makers in your organization are empowered from process design through process implementation. A BPO is a senior leader within the organization that has full responsibility and authority over people, processes and enabling technologies within their realm of ownership. The role of the BPO binds functional with cross-functional, bridging the gap between process handovers. What makes this role unconventional is that it separates activity ownership from typical management functions that execute these activities on a day-to-day basis. The BPO transition involves much more than re-designing an organizational structure. After key processes have been identified and BPOs have been assigned, there is still much work left to be done. This transformation effort has to be made sustainable, and the only way to do this is by correctly managing the change throughout the organization. The very basis to realizing this success resides in articulating the roles and responsibilities associated with process ownership. Without this type of framework, it is extremely difficult to assign individual accountability and to function Anup Dashputre, Senior Consultant in a veritable cross-functional, process-centric environment.

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All too often change management components are overlooked at the onset of business transformation initiatives; however, almost any executive who has gone through this type of transformation would agree that it is a critical component for success. One of the most important tool sets to facilitate a process transformation is change management tool sets. The early realism of change is a must in order to make the BPO transition successful. However, as with any effort, not all aspects will have to be realized and planned for up front. The key to realizing change is focusing your efforts after realizing that change is inevitable. It becomes easy for businesses to have far too many initiatives underway and, if left uncoordinated and without oversight, these initiatives can produce disorder and doubt across the organization.

Key to a successful process-centric strategy is empowering leaders in your organization to assume the role of Business Process Owners. When this commitment is realized, the value of your efforts will begin to be unleashed as the decision makers in your organization are empowered from process design through process implementation. A BPO organization provides an opportunity to prune these issues associated with uncoordinated aspects of change. As responsibility and accountability become clear, initiatives become collaborative where outputs are known and the direction of improvement is no longer a distant goal but instead a realized and rationalized strategy. One of the most important things to note about process ownership is that BPO is not a solution that can be bought off the shelf. It should be a tailored solution that fits your organization’s culture, management styles, process maturity and strategy, performed by consultants that have significant management consulting and industry leadership experience, delivered at the highest possible quality-to-cost ratio. Clearly defining process ownership can help your organization with strategic planning and organizational design efforts around business process owners, performance management assessments, project portfolio analysis, and systems integration facilitating collaboration across the enterprise. Content contributed by NouvEON, a management consulting firm. Managing Consultant Chad Brady also contributed to this article. For more information, contact NouvEON’s BPO expert Anup Dashputre at adashputre@nouveon.com or 704-944-3155, or download a free copy of this BPO paper at www.nouveon.com/insights.

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CC Communications, Inc.

[webbiz]

New Media Strategies, Secrets and Solutions

QUESTION

&

ANSWER Google search rankings Q: Can be guaranteed? ~Hickory, NC

A:

No. In Google’s own words, “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.”

Google goes on to say that you should beware of individuals or organizations that claim to have “special relationships” with Google, or those that are secretive about what they intend to do when working on your website. Be especially wary of Web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue. Google and other search engines apply proprietary algorithms that configure rankings for both organic and paid search results. Online marketing professionals can help optimize your website and search ads in the interest of better search engine placement. At this time, however, that placement cannot be guaranteed. Have a question about Web design or online marketing? Submit your question to www.greatercharlottebiz.com/webbiz. Questions & Answers may be reprinted here in upcoming editions of Greater Charlotte Biz!

WORK ! Palisades Logistic–

Website Continuous Improvement

Do you take an active role in managing your website content? Do you know how well that content is performing? Take Palisades Logistics, for example. In recent months, they have improved both performance and accountability for their website. As part of their website continuous improvement strategy, they have pursued targeted consulting, competitive analysis, content upgrades and hands-on training regarding analytics and blogging. They also participate in regular conference calls with key team members to discuss results. How much do you know about your website? Your website should do more than just serve as an online brochure for your company or organization. It should attract, engage and educate visitors, intuitively guiding them to the information they need to become informed customers.

Content contributed 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, email, multimedia marketing initiatives and business process improvements. For more information, contact Kip Cozart at 704-543-1171 or visit www.cccommunications.com/resources_articles.cfm.

c o n s t r u c t i ve c a t a ly s t fo r c re a t i ve c o n s c i o u s n e s s

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With a worldwide audience of over 650 million, and more than 150 million users in the United States alone, businesses cannot afford to minimize their involvement in Facebook. But after you have posted your first “fan page,” now what? How can you truly reach, influence and sell to this growing, active and enthusiastic, potential customer base? Here are a few ideas to help you maximize your Facebook marketing performance. Think “Facebook Facelift.”

Emphasize “referrals” over “friends”… Many businesses devote most of their Facebook effort to acquiring as many “Friends” and “Likes” as possible. While it is certainly desirable to connect with as many customers on your fan page as possible, it is far more important to actively engage those customers on a regular basis. Use your “Question” tool to poll your visitors regarding how they feel about your products or services. Announce a short term special offer or “secret” discount within your “Status” posting and encourage customers to spread the word to their family members and associates. Energize your Facebook referrals by adding an extra incentive, such as “Pass this coupon link to three friends and get an extra [percentage] off on your next purchase.” Actually “talk” with your customers… Instead of simply posting “read-only” content, some of the most successful fan pages pursue an ongoing two-way dialogue with their customers online. Engaging in daily Facebook conversations can seem like a massive challenge to sustain for most marketers, but the process can be manageable as long as you take the initiative and lead the conversation. Start by selecting one or two primary lines of conversation (choose which themes best support your overall marketing strategy) and create discussions that are specifically dedicated to those topics. And, sometimes your visitors need a little prodding. Try ending each of your comments with a question in order to keep the dialogue going. Present a clear “call to action”… Give your Facebook fans something to do. Reorder your tabs. Instead of initially landing visitors on your “Wall,” choose another default first screen that is less cluttered, more focused and encourages a specific customer response. Be clear. If you want customers to take a specific action, ask them directly. Whether you present a tab displaying a printable coupon, an integrated onpage email subscription form, or a link leading to an external e-commerce website, make sure to guide the visitor to your most valued outcome. Give your fans a reason to return… It’s still about providing your customers with timely, relevant content. Add and update your fan page information very frequently. Utilize photos to reveal new products, showcase your skillful employees, display a successfully completed project, and show individual satisfied customers. Make visits to your fan page worthwhile.Treat your Facebook customers as V.I.P.s. Provide advance notice of upcoming sales events, present meaningful customer polls and surveys, and offer exclusive discounts that are available only to fan page visitors. Take advantage of the new Facebook layout… Just recently, Facebook introduced a modified page layout and content structure for its fan pages. New image and profile layout features give businesses a wider range of creative expression when positioning their brand and announcing new service initiatives. Now, you can create and place more dramatic and impactful visual “Headers” that are designed to better reflect your unique personality. Other new features include the ability to post an interactive QR code and to add greater emphasis to the page’s “Like” registration button.

~Kip Cozart

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[bizprophet]

The Performance Group, Ltd. Engaging and Inspiring Thought Leadership in the New Millennium

Manufacturing a

!"#$%&'%"!$(&)" ECONOMIC RECOVERY

"

eople all over America want to know what it’s going to take for the economy to turn the next corner into full-blown recovery. Here’s one simple answer: We need a Made in America economic recovery. In other words, strong U.S.-based manufacturing is critical to a strong economy. We must fuel its resurgence by investing in a 21st century business model through innovation, adaptation and reinvention. The financial crisis that began in 2008 has forced the U.S. to look squarely at the radical changes of the last decade. Technology has shoved aside the Industrial Age. Information has become the currency du jour. The dollar is weak. U.S. consumers have tightened their belts and the growing Asian middle class cannot yet replace them as world-class consumers. Jobs have disappeared by the hundreds of thousands—many of them shipped offshore. More than 50 percent of the products Americans use or consume today are made outside the U.S. To reverse these trends and emerge into a global marketplace where the Made in America brand once again has value, leaders in manufacturing must commit to rethinking business models that worked in the previous century’s economy and reinvent for the challenges of today’s marketplace.

Mass Exodus

The challenge to manufacturing is best understood by first looking back more than a decade. Consumers demanded lower prices. Shareholders expected higher returns. Global trade practices made it hard to compete. Skyrocketing health care costs, environmental regulations, vanishing tax incentives and the high cost of homegrown labor all made it increasingly difficult for U.S.-based manufacturers to compete on both the global stage and here in America. In response to these factors, manufacturers discovered what seemed to be the solution to their dilemma: Off-shoring. By taking manufacturing offshore, where labor was cheaper, profit margins could go up without increasing the price to consumers. American manufacturers made what came to be a mass exodus in pursuit of a more profitable business model. Ultimately, of course, we’ve seen the negative outcomes that come

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from fewer jobs, shrinking disposable income and lower levels of U.S. consumption. Offshore manufacturing, we have discovered, is not the magic pill.

Renewed Opportunity

When you look under the hood of this business model, as manufacturing executives have been doing at an accelerated pace, serious challenges exist. The total cost of managing extensive supply chain networks has risen dramatically. Labor inflation in countries like China and India is severe; in China alone, labor costs have increased 17-plus percent a year and are projected to continue escalating. Logistics costs, due in large degree to the price of oil, are high. Delivery cycles are long and inflexible, yet the cost of capital is such that companies can no longer maintain high levels of finished goods here in the U.S. At the same time, customers expect delivery on demand; they are no longer satisfied to wait for their goods to be manufactured, shipped and delivered. These challenges create a renewed opportunity for U.S.-based manufacturing. To capture this opportunity, we must solve the fundamental challenges that drove manufacturing offshore in the first place. Innovative business models, responding to cost, quality and delivery expectations, need to be established. The hurdles cannot be overcome with a single narrow focus, but require solutions that encompass all aspects of the business model.

Radical Reinvention

Some years back, a major manufacturer determined that the costs of one of its U.S. factories had become 40 percent higher than a comparable offshore operation. The alternative to shutting down the U.S. facility and moving offshore would require more aggressive remedial action than a series of incremental cost improvements. While other manufacturers in the U.S. were trying to make headway with annual 5 percent cost productivity challenges, this manufacturer decided to shoot for cost parity with the offshore operation. It would require a radical, step function change. The solution was to sell the factory to a third party, providing the new

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the performance group

owner the freedom, flexibility and unburdened thinking to reinvent the factory’s business model from the ground up. The reinvention process was a success, and the original manufacturer continues to buy from the third party and remains globally competitive. In today’s marketplace, the need to regain competitive edge is more urgent and many organizations’ financial positions have been weakened by the economic drought. For many, the way out of current circumstances lies in the deployment of capital. But healthy capital partners are looking for a healthy enterprise, one that is investor-ready. One of the most significant markers that a business is investor-ready is leadership’s ability and willingness to implement business model innovation with clear and measurable potential to yield profitable growth.

The Comeback

A 2010 study prepared for the National Association of Manufacturers and the NAM Council of Manufacturing Associations pointed to beliefs in the industry that solutions rest with policy changes in areas such as corporate tax reduction, permanent R&D tax credits and governmental investment in infrastructure. These measures could be a boon for manufacturers. However, the greater boon lies in recognizing that manufacturers can affect their own resurgence. They need not wait for the uncertainty of government policy decisions. Manufacturers can be in charge of their own comeback. For U.S. manufacturers committed to play to win, business model innovation must address total cost productivity—direct, indirect and overhead. The challenge will not be as simple as coming up with fresh ways to drive productivity. And it certainly won’t be as simple as waiting for the current or any future administration to save the day. Company CEOs, CFOs and supply chain executives must also commit to reinventing their business models for the 21st Century marketplace. The U.S. can compete again in global manufacturing. Doing so begins with manufacturers whose executive leaders can execute boldly in order to meet the critical need for a strong Made in America comeback, not just for manufacturing but for the broader economy as well.

Rick Stolzenberg

Content contributed by Ric Stolzenberg, leader of the Industrial sector for The Performance Group, a consulting firm that specializes in business model innovation and strategic thinking. For more information, contact him at 704-597-5156 or ric@ theperformancegroupusa.com.

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Elliott Davis, PLLC

[accountingbiz]

Accounting, Tax and Consulting Solutions

OBSERVATIONS OF A COO:

TOP FINANCIAL ATTRIBUTES OF SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES

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here are a number of business practices that make a company successful in both good and bad economic times. Included are great leadership and management, high quality employees and, of course, great products and services. There is often even a little good luck. This article is not about these attributes. Instead, it focuses on several key financial management and accounting practices that we have observed in sucJames E. Hazel Jr., cessful companies during the past 30 years that have CPA, Chief Operating proven effective in any industry or economic cycle. Officer Cash flow management Successful companies treat cash as king. They maintain sufficient cash reserves to cover normal forecasted working capital needs through the year, to manage unexpected expenses, and to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. They are extremely proficient at collecting receivables and they pay timely, take advantage of key discounts, and manage planned daily investments. They effectively use bank credit lines, not from a position of dependence, but as a key management tool. Their entire cash management system is fully integrated to all aspects of the business. Break-even point management Successful companies are able to properly manage through economic cycles by fully understanding the drivers of their break even point. When sales decline, it is critical to understand what costs are fixed, variable or semi-variable and what combination of each is needed to maintain a profitable position. A financial model that allows for instant decision-making about cost cutting measures or product pricing can give management the confidence and opportunity to substantially impact both short and long-term financial results. Internal accounting controls Not usually the most exciting aspect of business operations, successful companies value internal accounting controls. They demand that reconciliations to bank accounts and subsidiary ledgers be performed accurately on a timely basis. They understand the importance of segregation of duties and proper oversight and review in preventing problems and they know that management decisions are much better when based on accurate, reliable financial information. It starts with the “tone at the top” and permeates through the entire organization that accuracy is critical and adherence to prescribed record-keeping systems are as important as quality control on the production lines to ensuring company profitability. Proper use of leverage and financing Successful companies understand how to use debt as a tool to grow and generate higher returns on equity. They keep debt well within their ability to manage it, and they avoid allowing debt or debt terms to manage their operations. This requires using debt pursuant to a welldesigned plan, rather than resorting to debt to fix problems. Timely and accurate financial reporting Successful companies typically generate accurate financial statements on a monthly basis no later than five days after the end of the month and, with the advanced electronic software systems in use today, often

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produce accurate financial statements on the first day following the end of a reporting period. The financial reports are typically augmented with a clear, concise dashboard-type report that summarizes the key business financial drivers. Nimble management decision-making requires timely data in a format understandable to management. Budgeting and business plans Written plans complete with well thought out financial projections and detailed budgets provide a mechanism to keep management focused on the end results when encountering the normal twists and turns that every year typically brings. The budget development process requires management to focus on all of the necessary processes essential to success. And, budgets provide an excellent barometer each accounting period from which to benchmark progress toward the desired goals. Successful companies put a lot of thought into these plans and not surprisingly end up achieving their goals much more consistently. Expense management Too many times, increasing sales and profits lead to increasing extravagance and waste. A disciplined, thrifty approach to controlling expenses can provide significant downside protection in declining economies and allow maximization of profits under any conditions. For example, a company with a 20 percent variable gross margin on its products would need to generate five dollars in sales for every dollar of unnecessary or wasted cost to just break even. Little things can count a lot. Some of the areas with the most impact include health insurance plan structure, information technology management, telecommunications, auto and truck fleet costs, and overall fringe benefit programs. Effective tax planning Successful companies optimize tax savings opportunities to fit their business plans, rather than focusing their business plans around potential tax savings strategies. In today’s environment, income taxes can drain up to 45 percent of a company’s annual profits. Taking prudent advantage of all available tax benefits can substantially improve the return on investments within the company and accordingly, create free cash flow. Bonus depreciation is a perfect example in 2011. Effective use of this opportunity can reduce the cost of capital substantially, but fixed asset additions solely to save taxes can create excess capacity and greatly expand the break-even point. Managing value drivers A business’ value is often determined by its productive use of capital, liquidity, cash flow, and quality of its assets. Successful companies understand the drivers of total value in their company. Commissioning a business valuation by a Certified Valuation Analyst can provide a roadmap of the critical valuation drivers for your business, which can serve as the basis for long-term business plans. Mastering the practices above will not guarantee the success of your company, nor will ignoring them automatically lead to failure. However, based on our observations of clients that seem to weather recessions and experience consistent profitability, these attributes are common to all. Your CPA can assist with implementing these practices. Content contributed by James E. Hazel Jr., CPA, shareholder and chief operating officer of Elliott Davis, PLLC, an accounting, tax and consulting services firm. Jim serves clients in a variety of areas including manufacturing and distribution, construction, and not-for-profit, and provides management oversight of the firm’s 10 offices throughout the Southeast. For more information, contact him at jhazel@elliottdavis.com or visit www.elliottdavis.com.

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[bizprofile]

by casey jacobus

SH

!"#$%#&'()*$+,#-&./#0. Spivey Construction is More Than an Exceptional Builder

urviving recessions is nothing new for Willis Spivey. He started his business, Spivey Construction, in 1975 during the recession forced by the Arab oil embargo and has withstood four additional recessions, including the current one. Over time, he has acquired valuable experience navigating through rough economic times. “I’ve learned there is always another recession coming,” says Spivey, “so you can’t get so extended during the good times that you forget there is another one on the horizon. It seems recessions rear their ugly heads about every 10 years, but that really means only five or six productive years in between. I’ve found it an important lesson.” And Spivey has walked the walk. During the absolute boom of the mid-2000s, he continued to manage his business conservatively. Unlike many other builders, he resisted the temptation to invest in speculative housing. He kept an even balance of residential and commercial

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projects in his portfolio. He built under contracts, so when the project was completed, he had the money. “This recession has taken out a lot of good builders,” says Spivey. “It’s not their fault. The good times were just too good. They waited too long to stop building spec homes. We are true custom builders, always have been. I just don’t build many spec homes.” Although the current recession is longer and deeper than any since the Great Depression of the ’30s, Spivey is confident that construction will rebound. And, when it does, Spivey Construction will still be building— the conservative way. Building a Foundation Spivey began building homes in Vero Beach, Florida, in the turbulent ’70s. Spivey’s employer, a general contractor, was down to his last project and forced to reduce his crew one by one. Spivey was the last to go and at age 24, he found himself waiting in an unemployment line with hundreds of others.

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SH

You can only know the difference we offer if you see the difference. Walk with us through our homes, during construction and years after ... and you will immediately see why a home built by Spivey has impeccable distinction. ~Willis Spivey President

“After about 20 minutes, the line moved three feet,” recalls Spivey. “I thought, ‘I can’t do this.’ But I knew I had a talent for construction and I understood it—plus I was desperate.” Spivey stepped out of line, crossed the street, walked into a bank, and asked for a loan. Much to his surprise, he was approved. He used the money to build a spec house. He was lucky; the spec house sold quickly and paid the grocery bill. He bought the land next door when the bank approved him for a second spec house. By the time he had completed his third spec house, the country was coming out of recession, and Spivey began building contracted houses. Spivey Construction was in full swing.

In 1978, Spivey and his wife relocated to Seneca, South Carolina. They wanted a climate with four seasons to start a family. They built a dream home on 12 beautiful acres. Spivey Construction had become very successful building custom homes in the 1,500 to 3,000-square-foot range. By 1981, Spivey Construction had expanded into the commercial market, targeting the remodeling of local area restaurants, and within two years they were the company of choice for several fast food chains throughout the Southeast. The company’s primary focus shifted to this new market until 1990, by which time they had built or renovated over 200 restaurants all along the east coast, and as far inland as Kentucky.

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They built and renovated over fifty Mrs. Winner’s Chicken and Biscuits, as well as countless Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger Kings up and down the East Coast. “Even now I can tell them apart just by the smell,” says Spivey, who very seldom eats fast food. The fast pace and personal demands of putting crews on the road to meet the 10 to 12-week schedules required by the chains began taking a toll. Spivey and his wife divorced in 1989 and she moved to Greensboro. Spivey crossed Lake Norman numerous times to visit his children, and each time he thought how beautiful it was. So, in 1991, he relocated Spivey Construction to the Lake Norman area and " closed the Seneca office, returning to the

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company’s roots in residential and light commercial construction. Over the ensuing years building in the Lake Norman area, Spivey Construction has become recognized as a leader in the custom home and commercial building industry. It has built a solid reputation for innovative designs, a passion for detail, and excellent customer service. “We offer true value,” Spivey says. “Our prices normally are not the lowest, but very seldom are the highest. I can promise no one cares more about their clients.” Quality Relationships Born and raised in southern Georgia, Spivey grew up in a town where people greeted you on the street, exchanged pleasantries in the local store, and cared about those in need. Treating others with kindness and respect was just as important as working hard. Hard work has always been a part of Spivey’s profession, especially during the early years in restaurant construction. Although the business was good, Spivey missed interacting with clients, missed hearing their stories, and missed the chance to form friendships.

The company’s experience with residential projects translates to its commercial ones, showing up in the finishing touches and small details. As well, their experience in commercial translates to the residential projects allowing them to build the larger homes with commercial engineering required for the massive open areas and tremendous wind loads. Moving Forward Spivey Construction is a small, familyowned business. Spivey’s second wife, Renee, is office manager as well as manager of Stepping Stones Academy, a preschool they

Willis Spivey President Spivey Construction Company, Inc.

When he moved to Mooresville in 1991, trees and farmland still dominated the landscape and he met people who greeted him and took the time to talk. It felt like home. Since then, he’s developed many quality relationships. Whether building homes or commercial buildings, Spivey is committed to making clients’ dreams become reality. Spivey knows the building process is emotional, but it’s the emotions that drive him to do the best job he can. Spivey says his most important goal is for clients to become his friends. If a friendship isn’t formed by the end of the building project, the project was not a success for him. “It has always been service, service, service,” explains Spivey. “I can’t stand it if we have a customer who isn’t happy. It’s their money, their home or investment; we want them to have it their way. If there is a problem, we work it out. There is no one-year warranty with Spivey Construction.” After a recent storm a homeowner called Spivey about damage to her roof and front gates. Although Spivey built the house over 10 years prior and this was not the original owner, he was pleased to be contacted and gladly helped her get the damage repaired. “I have always cared more about our customers than about any other aspect of my job,” says Spivey. “Once you are my client, you are my friend.” Spivey believes building should be a collaborative process. To that purpose, he has assembled a team of professional subcontractors, building and interior designers, engineers, and landscapers who work closely with the customer as a “team” to build their dreams. His construction manager of 15 years, Brad Stuart, has been in the business almost as long as Spivey himself. Together they are approaching 70 years of experience. “We strive to be perfect with every project,” asserts Spivey. “We know perfection is not realistic, but we still try.” Spivey Construction averages four or five custom homes a year and about the same number of commercial jobs, primarily office buildings, medical buildings, and day care centers throughout the Charlotte region.

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“We are not the cheapest builder, but I feel we are the best value. There is nothing a competitor does that we can’t do, but there are many, many things we won’t do.” ~Willis Spivey President

own together in Mooresville. His daughter, Heather, is the company accountant and son Lewis is a project manager. Spivey says that by keeping the business small, he can stay personally involved with every project. “Big is not necessarily better,” says Spivey. “By keeping a tight nucleus, we maintain control and deliver a better product for all of our clients.” Spivey doesn’t build cookie-cutter homes. He builds custom homes to fit each client’s needs and lifestyles. Never building the

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same project twice means solving occasional problems as they arise. It also means pricing a project carefully, so the client is seldom surprised by hidden fees and costs. “Promising a teasingly low price upfront is a tactic too often used by builders to secure a client,” says Spivey. “The end result is a client being surprised by high fees and costs as the construction project progresses. This always ends as a stressful and distrustful relationship between the client and builder.” By using good, professional subcontractors and his “team” approach, plus his 36 years of experience, Spivey provides clients with an accurate and reliable quote. He openly discusses prices, fees and costs throughout the entire construction process. “We are not the cheapest builder, but I feel we are the best value,” asserts Spivey. “There is nothing a competitor does that we can’t do, but there are many, many things we won’t do.” In addition to building homes and commercial projects, Spivey also does smaller renovations and remodeling projects. He calls this division, “Little Spivey.” “We can do just about anything,” Spivey declares. “From enclosing porches, remodeling kitchens, garage additions, a $400,000 project or a $4 million one, we bring the same dedication to every project.” Large or small, Spivey gives all his clients the same respect and attention. Spivey Construction is well-positioned to emerge from the current economic recession healthy and strong. Spivey’s conservative approach resulted in zero spec houses when the market dried up and they have continued building homes and commercial buildings through the downturn. By putting his clients first and addressing their needs before and

“It has always been service, service, service. I can’t stand it if we have a customer who isn’t happy. It’s their money, their home or investment; we want them to have it their way. If there is a problem, we work it out. There is no oneyear warranty with Spivey Construction.” ~Willis Spivey President after construction, Spivey has built a loyal following, resulting in many return customers. Spivey believes the local construction industry will continue to suffer until a majority of the foreclosed and spec homes on the market are purchased. “There are too many homes for sale at reduced costs,” he says. “Although we are all working on smaller margins, construction costs haven’t decreased much. Until the glut of foreclosures and specs has disappeared, construction will remain sluggish.” In addition, Spivey foresees a housing shortage in two to three years because fewer are being built. Foreclosed and spec homes are being purchased, but not replaced. Eventually there will be an increased demand for housing. Although additional regulations in the banking industry will affect the building climate, Spivey still remains optimistic. “You can’t quit for fear of what may happen. I’ll continue to get up every morning and build. I believe there will

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always be something to build.” Spivey knows there is another recession ahead, followed by an upswing. Each one is a little different from the one before, but there is always another wave of good fortune. Although this recession is the longest and deepest one Spivey has seen, he expects it to end just as surely as the four previous ones he has survived. And, when it does, he is sure people will still want to move to North Carolina. “Why wouldn’t you want to live here?” he asks. “It’s beautiful, safe and friendly. We have perfect weather, great recreation, major sports and four distinct seasons. As soon as our nation regains momentum, allowing families to sell their homes in other areas, they’ll be moving here again. I expect we’ll be busier than ever.” biz Casey Jacobus is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Spivey Construction Company, Inc. 167 River Park Road Mooresville, N.C. 28117 Phone: 704-663-4189 Principal: Willis Spivey, President Established: 1975 Employees: 7 Business: Specializes in commercial design/ build projects and custom homes in the Lake Norman area. Projects include Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center, Bright Start Academy, Tamrick Building for Benchmark Inc., and Denver Crossing Park. www.spivey-homes.com www.spiveyconstruction.com

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[bizprofile]

by zenda douglas

' % & % $ # The Best of !""

BOTH WORLDS Carolina Urology Partners Wraps Its Offices Around the Community

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t all started with a phone call from urologist Todd Cohen to his former colleague, Michael Cram. That, in turn, led them to host a meeting with several other urologists having practices in the Carolinas. Gathered around a platter of sandwiches and a batch of fresh ideas, the group spent three to four hours discussing the feasibility of creating a new, combined practice group. Then, the serious work began. It took a year of research, legal strategy and requirements, vetting background and compliance records, contract negotiations, asset acquisition, real estate assessment, licensure and privilege applications, human resources development and a new Medicare identification number, to combine 31 physicians and 200+ employees under one group name with 13 urology centers—Carolina Urology Partners, PLLC. The newly formed entity was official as of March 1, 2011. The ambitious merger of seven independent practices, now called divisions, extends Carolina Urology Partners’ footprint across seven counties in the Charlotte region and makes it the eighth largest urology group in the country. “We cover a very large swath of the region,” says Cram, co-CEO for the group. “Between the seven divisions, we take care of about a quarter of a million patients.” “One of the things we want to communicate to our patients is that the long-standing relationships they’ve had with their physicians and their community won’t be changing,” says Cohen, sharing CEO responsibilities with Cram. “We have different scrubs on and a different sign on the door, but none of the doctors from the practices are changing as a result of this merger.” Combined Benefits The compelling reason for a merger of this kind is the rapidly changing medical environment towards protocol care; that is, standardization. Protocol care requires a certain level of sophistication that is difficult to provide in a smaller environment. “Protocol care provides the best quality and makes sure nothing falls through the cracks,” says Cohen. Most of the established protocols for urol" ogy are designed by the American Urological Association.

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“We cover a very large swath of the region. Between the seven divisions, we take care of about a quarter of a million patients.” ~Michael R. Cram M.D.

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Carolina Urology Partners (CUP) offers the full gamut of services and treatment within urology. “People don’t realize how many different things we do,” says Cram. “All of the group’s doctors are both urologists and surgeons.” Then he ticks off a broad array of issues they regularly address: incontinence, vasectomy, infertility, prostate disorders, kidney stones, urinary tract infection, sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, cancer (kidney, bladder, testicular, adrenal, prostate), testicular disorders, voiding dysfunction, pelvic prolapse and urinary frequency. Many of the CUP doctors have undertaken fellowship training in sub-specialties such as stone disease, cancer, infertility, robotics and urogynecology. “Patients can be guided towards the most expert care possible,” says Cram. Several of the CUP doctors have been involved in research, mostly concentrating on clinical, drug and device studies. Now, because of their larger size post merger, there is an additional opportunity to pursue research into detection, diagnosis and prognosis of cancers treated within urology; specifically to study new biomarkers. Cram describes the opportunity as “an enormous benefit.” The merged practices will provide a huge patient population with a diverse demographic whose conditions and disease can be studied over a long period of time using protocol-coordinated efforts. Volume and protocol are key to valid information. To meet these goals, CUP has established a research quality, anatomic and clinical pathology laboratory. “We are involved in state-of-the-art research which will allow our doctors to get cancer patients to diagnosis and appropriate treatment earlier—right here in our office building,” says Cram with evident excitement. The laboratory also houses two uropathologists and renders diagnostic and biopsy test results in-house. These are exciting times for urology. “We’re looking for something better than the current PSA tests,” says Cohen. New bio-markers are being tested and introduced; there are exciting new markers in bladder cancer. “We’re definitely getting a lot of interest in our lab from bio-marker companies that see it as a place to put their newest diagnostic tools to the test,” says Cram. The formation of a large group with a research laboratory and a diverse demographic will also allow the doctors at CUP to better determine the extent of treatment in difficult cases. “One hundred percent of men get prostate cancer if they live long enough,” says Cohen. “There’s no way to tell whose cancer may be fatal.”

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(l to r) Michael R. Cram, M.D. Todd D. Cohen, M.D. Carolina Urology Partners, PLLC Most prostate cancers grow so slowly that they may not cause any problems. Cram explains that there are two big questions: how do you find men before they develop prostate cancer, and how do you prevent over-evaluation of men who will never develop a clinically-significant cancer. Prostate cancer can be a dangerous disease because it is asymptomatic until late stage. “My grandfather was diagnosed at age 99; treatment was not an issue,” says Cohen. A Well-Humored Practice “Most people see us as a guy’s doctor, but 40 percent of our patients are women,” says Cram. Carolina Urology Partners consists of several physicians who treat primarily women for such problems as pelvic prolapse, incontinence, and complex voiding dysfunction. The group has several specialists who have extensive experience treating the complexities associated with quality of life for female patients of all ages. “These doctors are not only urologists and surgeons, they are specialists in reconstructive female pelvic health,” adds Cram. Additionally, the group’s only operative female urologist in Charlotte sees many patients, both male and female.

Approximately five percent of the group’s patient care is centered around erectile dysfunction (ED). “Fifteen years ago, nobody talked about ED,” says Cohen. “Men still don’t talk to each other about it.” Cohen credits the intense marketing of the “blue pill” with the fact that men in large numbers are seeking out treatment for this common condition. Over six billion doses of oral agents for erectile dysfunction have been prescribed. Cohen shares an interesting tidbit: The original oral agents were discovered, not developed. They were intended to be substitutes for nitroglycerin for angina. “What became clear is that the chest pains were not better but men still kept coming back for the pills—a solution to another age-old problem,” smiles Cohen. Both Drs. Cram and Cohen are surprisingly fun in person, exhibiting a healthy amount of selfindulgent humor. Cohen jokes about the group’s acronym C-U-P both because of how it is pronounced letter-by-letter and the ubiquitous item it refers to—at least in urology offices. Cram says doctors going into the field of urology “tend to be laid back, fun people.” Both Cram and Cohen stress humor as a way of relieving stress in a medical specialty that is

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scary, if not confusing, for many people. Cohen believes humor to be part of the healing. “I’m very serious when I need to be,” he says in a statement that is fully supported each year on Halloween when he dresses up for his patients. I now have about 40 or 50 people who come on Halloween just to see my costume.” But behind the expertise, healing and humor lies a strong “Patients First” culture. “Our patients are always our top priority,” affirms Cohen. Cohen adds that he continues to be pleasantly surprised with how easy it has been to work with the dynamics of seven different cultures all at once. “When it comes to doctors, it’s really a merger of seven bosses,” says Cohen.

CANON BUSINESS SOLUTIONS TERECK Inc.

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To ease any tensions of assimilating to the changes, all CUP board and finance meetings are open to all members. Currently eight board members represent the seven divisions. “It’s funny when you see your former competition in the same scrubs as yourself.” “There were no layoffs in the merger; everybody was offered a job in the new group,” says Cohen. “We have realized that among the divisions, we share some very talented people that we are able to utilize in leadership positions to benefit the entire group.” Undeniably, the employees are experiencing a turn towards the ‘corporate.’ A chief operating officer, chief financial officer and directors of human resources, billing, and marketing have been hired to fill out the management team. But most would agree that the merger has brought new excitement and energy to both doctors and staff, says Cohen. A Well-Heeled Background Cohen hails from Boston and attended medical school in Rochester, New York. His residency training was completed at the Cleveland Clinic in 1995 and was followed by a kidney stone fellowship at Duke University. He then made his first move to Charlotte and worked with a urology group here. The desire to teach took him to Ohio State in 1997, where he " served as assistant chairman and associate

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“The success of the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge will bring prostate cancer awareness opportunities directly to our community year-round. Through this effort, we can bring in the screening bus—Drive Against Prostate Cancer—to do community health screenings bi-monthly throughout our area.” ~Todd D. Cohen M.D.

professor of urology. Dr. Cram was his chief resident there. Raised in Iowa City, Iowa, Cram is the grandson of a family doctor and the son of a plastic surgeon. He was attracted to urology because of its dual in-office and surgical nature. After graduating from medical school in Iowa, Cram completed his residency training at Ohio State where he met and worked with Dr. Cohen. He remained there after graduation for a year of teaching. Cram’s sister had settled in North Carolina about 20 years earlier. Having occasion to visit several times and enjoying the area, he decided to take advantage of an opportunity to create a practice in Lake Norman. Both Cohen and Cram left Ohio State in 1999—Cohen to Gastonia to set up Piedmont Urology Associates; Cram to Lake Norman. It

would be 10 years before they worked together again, even though for much of that time they lived only three miles apart. Cohen lives in Charlotte with his wife and daughter. He continues to teach within the group and as a consultant. Cram is married with two small children and lives in Mooresville. The group’s physicians demonstrate their commitment to educate the population and provide services to underserved areas by going out into the community in a variety of ways including speaking engagements and community screenings. Currently, they are gearing up for the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge, a 5K Run, Walk and Stroller Jog scheduled for September 2011. “This is the prostate cancer version of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Run. We want

SPECIALISTS IN VOICE NETWORKS FOR 32 YEARS.

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to motivate Charlotte to come together and raise awareness for prostate cancer and its prevalence,” says Cohen. The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge began in Baltimore five years ago, founded by Dr. Sanford Siegel, a urologist and CEO at Baltimore’s Chesapeake Urology Associates. The race began as a single venture in Baltimore and has now expanded to 27 cities across America. Cohen and Cram, colleagues of Dr. Siegel, have committed their time and efforts to bringing this race to the Queen City.

“Most people see us as a guy’s doctor, but 40 percent of our patients are women.” ~Michael R. Cram M.D. “The success of the ‘Challenge’ will bring prostate cancer awareness opportunities directly to our community year-round. Through this effort, we can bring in the screening bus—Drive Against Prostate Cancer—to do community health screenings bi-monthly throughout our area,” says Cohen. By far one of the greatest ways the doctors give back is through the gift of time; seeing patients without insurance in hospital settings. “We don’t ask anything about the patient’s ability to pay or what insurance they have,” says Cohen. “That’s our mantra: take care of the patient.” biz Zenda Douglas is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Carolina Urology Partners, PLLC [Corporate Office] 9735 Kincey Avenue, Suite 201 Huntersville, N.C. 28078 Phone: 704-414-2870 Principals: Michael R. Cram, M.D. and Todd D. Cohen, M.D., Chief Executive Officers Established: 2011 (merger of seven urology practices) Employees: 31 doctors, 200+ staff Offices: 13 urology centers throughout the Carolinas Business: Largest urology group in the Carolinas and the 8th largest group in the country treating a vast range of urologic problems, from common to complex, with compassion and the most advanced technology. www.carolinaurology.com

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THE EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION

The Employers Association

Trusted HR Advice, Tools & Training

[employersbiz]

Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

E

Avoiding Office Email Blunders

mail has become a daily way to communicate with people, especially co-workers and clients. Using email is an appealing way to correspond because of its speed, apparent documentation, and most of all ease of writing quick notes to people. Just because email is an efficient and quick way to communicate does not mean that people should not think carefully about what they type. Sending or receiving ill conceived or improper email via your work account can lead to embarrassment and even disciplinary action. The following are some tips to help people use email to their advantage rather than their detriment.

OOPS!

#$Keep it short and sweet. #$Avoid discussing sensitive information. #$Know when to use email, and when to have a discussion in person or over the phone. #$Send email only to those who will want or need to see it. #$Spell recipients’ names correctly. #$Finally, remember that the email system is the property of the company and is designed to be used for business purposes.

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SPOT PHONY DIPLOMAS

With the nation’s unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, it should come as little surprise that unemployed Americans are clamoring for every open position and looking to gain any edge over fellow applicants. For some, desperate times call for the desperate measure of paying for a degree rather than earning one. And for those individuals, diploma mills are willing and able to help. Diploma mills are companies that often operate online and sell degrees or certificates without requiring buyers to do anything other than forking over some hard-earned cash for a degree based solely on “work or life experience.” So, how can an employer tell if an applicant’s credentials are from an accredited institution or a diploma mill? Here are a few clues for spotting fakes: !Out of Sequence Degrees. Education credentials should be earned in a traditional progression—high school before bachelor’s, bachelor’s before master’s, etc. If an applicant claims to have a master’s degree but no bachelor’s, it’s a big red flag and a likely sign of a diploma mill. !Quickie Degrees. A degree earned in a very short time, or several degrees listed for the same year, are huge warning signs for employers. !Geographic Discrepancies. If the applicant states that he or she worked full-time while attending school, make sure that the locations of the job and school match up. If not, check to see if the degree is from an accredited distance learning institution. If the degree isn’t from a legitimate distance learning institution, it most likely came from a diploma mill. !Sound-Alike Names. Some diploma mills use names similar to those of well-known colleges or universities. If the institution has a name similar to a well-known school, but is located in a different state, check on it. If you come across a degree from a prestigioussounding foreign institution, you may want to look into the legitimacy of the school. Also, an applicant claiming a degree from a country where he or she never lived should be considered a warning sign. (www.infomart-usa.com)

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any employers call with questions about how to properly determine the 12-week period for Family and Medical Leave. Companies with 50 or more employees are covered employers under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees who work at sites with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius who meet certain service requirements are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The leave must be for the birth or adoption of a child, or for the serious health condition of the employee or an immediate family member. The question of determining the 12-week period is easy when an employee takes 12 weeks in a row. They are entitled to 12 weeks of leave, no matter what their normal work schedule would be. The issue is more complicated when dealing with an employee who needs to take leave on an “intermittent” basis, meaning they take portions of leave in separate blocks of time. Employers should compare the leave to the normal work schedule. Thus employees on a normal 40-hour workweek receive up to 480 hours of intermittent leave (40 hours x 12 weeks). However, employees who work more hours on a regular basis should have their leave time enhanced to reflect their work schedule. For example,

a shift employee who regularly works a 4-day, 12-hour schedule would receive 576 hours of intermittent leave (48 hours x 12 weeks). An exempt employee who regularly works 50 hours a week would be entitled to up to 600 hours of intermittent leave. For employees with variable schedules, the employer must calculate the weekly average of the hours worked over the 12-month period preceding the FMLA leave to determine the regular schedule. As a reminder, when leave is taken for the birth or adoption of a child, an employee may take leave intermittently only if the employer agrees. If an employee is taking intermittent leave for any reason, the employer can transfer the employee to an alternative job if the intermittent leave is causing a hardship. The alternative position must have equivalent pay and benefits, but not equivalent duties. Yet it cannot be done in such a way that it would discourage the use of FMLA or create a hardship for the employee.

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Content contributed by The Employers Association, providing comprehensive human resources and training services to a membership of over 860 companies in the greater Charlotte region. For more information, contact Laura Hampton at 704-522-8011 or visit www.employersassoc.com.

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Photo: Wayne Morris

Marlena Werder Vice President for Commercial Technical Support (CTS), Customer Service and Support (CSS) Microsoft Corporation Charlotte Campus

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by amanda pagliarini

[bizprofile]

!The leading companies in any major city are usually those with their names atop the tallest buildings. But in Charlotte, one major player flies substantially “under the radar,” at least for those outside !"#$%&'&()*+#%,$)-.*$&//,$)'*0#)1*$2')&3,%'4*5&)* of the technology industr y, tucked away on a sylvan corporate campus in southwest Charlotte. Indeed, &/-.*+&*0,*1,-6*7/+*'266&%)*$2')&3,%'8*92)*0,*7-'&* with tentacles reaching across the globe, its domi07/)*)&*-,7%/*(%&3*)1,3*)&*37:,*(2)2%,*6%&+2$)'* nance of the digital world dispenses with any need 3&%,* '2$$,''(2-4* "#$%&'&()* 07/)'* )&* 9,* 6%&7$)#;,* to tower in the air. 7/+* )7:,* 7* 6%,;,/)7)#;,* 6&')2%,<0,* 07/)* )&* =,)* Microsoft, provider of eponymous operating sys71,7+*&(*6%&9-,3'*9,(&%,*)1,*$2')&3,%'*,>6,%#,/$,* tems and software since computers were “born,” has had operations in the Queen City since 1991. )1,*'.36)&3'*&(*6%&9-,3'4?** In fact, the Charlotte Campus is one of Microsoft’s ~Marlena Werder largest U.S. facilities with over a 1,000 employees working with Fortune 500 and other enterprise customers and partners to provide sales, consulting and support ser vices for major products including Exchange, Windows, Office, and SQL Ser ver.

The

Charlotte CTS Campus Assists Users Globally A Wide Swath Commercial Technical Support (CTS) in Microsoft’s Customer Service and Support (CSS) organization is the face of Microsoft to many customers and partners around the globe. The organization resolves more than one million assisted support incidents a year. It is made up of more than 4,400 people in 38 countries and has CTS offices in Las Colinas, Texas, Sammamish, Wash., Fargo, N.D., and Bangalore, India, in addition to Charlotte. CTS provides technical support for small, midsize and enterprise businesses, partners and developers through accelerated adoption and use of Microsoft technologies. Nearly 70 percent of the support they deliver is in English, but they have the capacity to support in 42 other languages. In addition, CTS offers proactive services for customers to help them identify early on the technologies and services that can help maximize their business efficiency. Marlena Werder heads Commercial Technical Support for Microsoft, and she has been doing variations of this job for over 17 years with the

c o n s t r u c t i ve c a t a ly s t fo r c re a t i ve c o n s c i o u s n e s s

company. If any enterprise—big or small—around the world runs into a problem with a Microsoft product, it’s Werder’s teams’ responsibility to find a solution. She is charged with driving the global strategy for CTS and managing teams based throughout the United States and in India. She is in a position to see the breadth and depth of the Microsoft organization. With over 90,000 employees worldwide, customer service is critical to the success of the business. “Microsoft directly connects with customers. Not only do we help and support customers, but we also want to learn from them to make future products more successful. Microsoft wants to be proactive and take a preventative posture—we want to get ahead of problems before the customers experience the symptoms of problems,” she explains. A Good Grasp Upon meeting Werder, one is impressed with her thoughtful, engaging nature and her obvious skill in managing broad and complex communications. She exudes determination to get to the root of prob" lems and persistence in her ambitions to succeed.

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She seems to have a great vision for working in a global world; she is very conscious of diversity—language, culture, age—and how it affects communications. Werder is well prepared for her position at Microsoft. She holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Brown University, and an M.B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill. She spent three years at Raytheon in software development and eight years at IBM Corporation in product development and sales. When she became a manager at IBM, she discovered a passion for creating environments—doing more collectively than as individuals. She was recruited by Microsoft and went to work in Redmond, Wash., managing in the services business and working with technical account managers. She has held a number of leadership positions in the services business since, including leading large virtual teams, managing initiatives to drive quality customer experiences, and leading global optimization strategies. With global accountability for business results, Werder recognizes the importance of being a people-manager first. “A lot of my job, and what I love about my job, is building collaboration across geographical, cultural and generational differences,” she acknowledges. Werder credits her broad range of experiences with her passion for enabling people to deliver great service by offering long-term career development and creating an open, respectful and fun work environment. “Technical skills are important, but also interpersonal awareness,” she says. “When customers call, they are usually pretty stressed out—so we need people who like to be ‘in the fire.’” Werder works directly with Reggie Isaac, Charlotte Campus director and key representative to the community, as well as Michelle Thomas who works in community affairs. All in a Day With such a sweeping mandate to solve all problems Microsoft, it is hard to imagine exactly what any given day entails, so Werder provides some examples. “If, say, a banking customer has a problem with an online transaction processing application that Microsoft offers, they might call us or submit their problem online. We assign the right technical expert or a team to resolve the problem. We diagnose it. That can mean changing the way they have configured the application, or the way they architected it. “Or, say, you load a driver that creates a conflict in the way memory is managed in a server. Servers can have a lot of RAM (random access memory).

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To isolate the problem, we download that entire amount of memory to our servers, analyze what led to the problem, and then isolate the problem. We may have to modify the driver. One of the things our engineers have done is build tools to do such analysis,” she points out. “We are also thinking all the time about how we can minimize the problems that customers have, by a stronger product quality agenda. We tell our product teams about customer pain points so that they can improve the products, and by offering proactive solutions to customers, help avoid problems. We also help create self-help tools, so that customers can resolve problems themselves,” she offers. Werder describes CTS teams generally: “Team members must have knowledge and understanding of how our products work at a very detailed level and then how to diagnose and get to the root cause of the problem. We tend to hire those with experience and technical backgrounds, but we also invest

heavily in technical and culture training.” In a recent IDC survey on enterprise software support services, more than a thousand IT professionals worldwide ranked Microsoft No.2 in overall support satisfaction, which attests to Werder’s effort. But with no time to rest on laurels in a rapidly changing technological landscape, she also is attuned to ways support services will have to change over time. “Customer expectations are always changing and evolving, with things like cloud computing and changes in the kind of devices they use. We have to keep up with all this. We are in the process of thinking through how our talent and skill pool will look like in three to five years. “A lot of our technical expertise has been around networking, connectivity, debugging. However, the scenario has changed. Some of our technical expertise still applies, but the support business will change significantly. The mix of work we do and the talent profile will change,” Werder predicts.

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!"##$%&'(%)#*+#,---.---/0.10..---/234-(5

Campus and Community You might be surprised by what you find at the Microsoft 408,000- square-foot Charlotte Campus. A driving range, basketball and volleyball courts, foosball tables, and Xbox portals in the cafeteria are just some of the unexpected perks for the employees who work there. Since their communications with customers are primarily conducted over the phone, you’re apt to see employees in shorts or jeans, taking advantage of the casual dress code.

“People see IT careers as sitting in a cubicle behind a computer screen. We want to show them early on that whether they are interested in marine biology or medicine or architecture, technology is an enabler to those and many other disciplines.” ~Marlena Werder

“We promote an open, fun culture in a casual environment where you can bring your whole self to work,” Werder says. An equal emphasis is placed on ensuring employees have the necessary tools and benefits to promote work-life balance. With a robust benefits package, Microsoft overwhelmingly demonstrates commitment to its employees. Werder herself took advantage of Microsoft’s tuition assistance program in 2002 when she returned to school to obtain her M.B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill. “I had a very technical background,” Werder says. “Moving up in management, I wasn’t feeling as confident in finance, marketing, and human resource discussions. Obtaining my M.B.A. really helped give me that confidence.” Werder says she’s grateful to work for a company that not just financially supported, but encouraged her continuing education. With a founder known as much for his charitable contributions as for his contributions to technology, Microsoft’s Charlotte Campus seems infused with Gate’s spirit. Since 2003, the Charlotte " office has given over $70.2 million in cash,

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curriculum and software to North Carolina organizations. Earlier this year, Microsoft donated $3.3 million in software, servers and support to the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. Microsoft first partnered with the YMCA in 2003, establishing a Mobile Computer Learning Lab for youth, teens, senior citizens and families from low and moderateincome households in northwest Charlotte. In 2005, the company gifted a $2.1 million software grant to the nonprofit. Last year, the Charlotte Campus was given the United Way Million Dollar Spirit Corporate Award for the contributions to the local community. Microsoft’s generosity is not solely a function of corporate giving. In 2009, the employees at the Charlotte Campus were hailed #1 in employee giving among technology companies in the Charlotte-Metro Region for the 8th consecutive year. Microsoft doesn’t just support employees’ financial contributions with their dollar-for-dollar matching program; when employees volunteer their time, Microsoft donates $17 per volunteer hour to the organization they serve. Additionally, Microsoft looks for ways to partner with organizations

“A lot of my job, and what I love about my job, is building collaboration across geographical, cultural and generational differences.” ~Marlena Werder

to aid in work force development. Campus director Isaac has helped initiate Operation Independence, a partnership between Microsoft, Central Piedmont Community College and Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont to provide job placement, career counseling and support services for veterans and their families. Bob Morgan, president and CEO of the Charlotte Chamber, has acknowledged their success: “Microsoft has been a very strong partner to the businesses in the Carolinas.” Commitment to IT Werder is strongly committed to and positions herself as a role model

for women and the possibility for IT leadership and careers. “We need girls to see that there great opportunities for them in the IT world,” Werder says passionately. “People see IT careers as sitting in a cubicle behind a computer screen,” says Werder. “We want to show them early on that whether they are interested in marine biology or medicine or architecture, technology is an enabler to those and many other disciplines.” Isaac affirms that when it comes to recruiting for the IT field, diversity is a top priority. “Minorities only hold about 7 percent of the jobs in the industry,” Isaac points out. “We are very thoughtful about that in our recruiting for the Charlotte Campus.” Although she grew up in upstate New York, and despite her international travels, Werder is pleased to call Charlotte home. She enjoys spending time with her husband and 14-year-old twins. She says she is still learning on the job every day. She loves her job in an industry that she loves, and appreciates being at “the best company in the world.” She is especially positive about Charlotte community: “There is great access to talent in this area and when recruiting nationwide, it’s very easy to sell Charlotte as a place to relocate.” And she sees only more growth for the Charlotte Campus of Microsoft. biz Amanda Pagliarini is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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Microsoft Corporation Charlotte Campus Customer Service and Support (CSS) Commercial Technical Support (CTS) 8055 Microsoft Way Charlotte, N.C. 28273 Phone: 980-776-1000 Principals: Marlena Werder,Vice President for Commercial Technical Support (CTS), Customer Service and Support (CSS); Reginald O. Isaac, Director, Microsoft Charlotte Campus; Jack Braman,Vice President, East Region Small and Mid-Market Solutions & Partners (SMS&P); Michelle F. Thomas, Community Affairs Manager Employees: 1,000 locally; 90,000 globally Established: 1975; presence in Charlotte since 1991 Business: Provides sales, consulting and support services for major products to Fortune 500 and other enterprise customers and partners, and proactively identifies technologies and services to maximize business efficiency. www.microsoft.com

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A revolutionary technology from BLUERIDGE Analytics called SITEOPS brings together the latest capabilities of emerging technologyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and lessons learned from chessâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to solve a site development problem as old as the industry: How to choose the best plan for a site and accurately predict the cost of development.

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by heather head

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hat do cloud computing, optimization software, and chess have in common with moving dirt? Before now, not much. But a revolutionary technology from BLUERIDGE Analytics called SITEOPS brings together the latest capabilities of emerging technology—and lessons learned from chess—to solve a site development problem as old as the industry: How to choose the best plan for a site and accurately predict the cost of development. Any given development project involves three main expenses: the cost of purchasing the land, the cost of preparing the land for construction, and the cost of constructing the building(s). The first and last elements of the project are easy to calculate, but the middle element can be highly unpredictable and represent 25 to 30 percent of the total budget. “You’re potentially dealing with the site itself, rock, contaminated soil, unsuitable soil, water tables, retaining walls, parking lots, loading docks, storm water drainage ponds, turning radiuses, handicapped parking, and much more all tied together,” explains BLUERIDGE Analytics CEO and President Mike Detwiler. “Plus, terrain surprises and human error can cause sudden delays and unexpected leaps in development cost. A $300,000 budget can quickly expand to a million dollars or more literally overnight. SITEOPS changes that. The technology’s history begins with chess. Consider, Detwiler explains, how a computer program can reliably beat almost any human player. The human brain is capable of looking forward at a limited number of potential outcomes from any move, while the computer can analyze every single move, down every potential path, from the first move of the game to the end, constantly adjusting the probabilities and potentialities based on each new move, and choose the absolute optimal solution at every step. That capability, once known as artificial intelligence and now referred to in the industry as “evolutionary computing,” is at the core of SITEOPS. “The technology allows us to look at a hundred thousand different grading plans to see which is best,” says Detwiler. “Then look at a hundred thousand different pipeline plans within that plan. You’d have to lock the top civil engineers in the world in a room for a year to look at all the different solutions that our software can analyze in a matter of minutes.” Of course, all that computing power requires massive amounts of data storage which would have been cost prohibitive even a few short years ago. Fortunately, current cloud computing provides the raw power necessary to support the data and complicated algorithms required by SITEOPS. The result: Cost savings of approximately $15,000 per acre of land developed. In fact, says Detwiler, they have yet to start a project on which they were not able to save money over the cost of a human-generated plan. But perhaps more significantly, SITEOPS solves the central problem of allowing developers to accurately predict their total investment. This, in turn, is changing—and boosting—the construction industry that has been hardest hit by " our current economic downturn.

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[bizprofile]

Making the

GRADE BLUERIDGE Analytics Aces Land Development Process Optimization

Michael W. Detwiler President and CEO BLUERIDGE Analytics, Inc.

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“Our goal is to have our technology on every civil engineer’s desktop. There are 10,000 civil engineering firms in the U.S. and internationally probably another 30,000. That’s where we’d like to go, one step at a time.” ~Michael W. Detwiler President and CEO

An Engineer’s Dream SITEOPS began life as an idea in the head of Jamie Reynolds in 2003. A residential site developer, Reynolds was intimately familiar with the headaches of moving dirt. After many years in the industry, he realized there must be a better way to avoid frustrating surprises during development. He became interested in evolutionary computing

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and using algorithms to solve problems and before long got together with Andy Watts to develop the concept. Together they decided that they needed a CEO. They brought their enthusiasm to a CEO they knew named Russ Bernthal. Bernthal immediately saw the immense potential of their idea. He had a friend he knew would be interested: Mike Detwiler, management consultant with an undergraduate degree in computer science and mathematics, a graduate degree in computer science from Northwestern University, and a keen interest in evolutionary computing. Bernthal called him up and left a voice mail: “I think this is a dream come true.” And it was. “My ultimate dream,” says Detwiler, “is to take this thing from soup to nuts. Not many people get the opportunity to take something from an idea to the actual technology, then to go to market with the technology, build the sales, and build the business. And we have a great team here, an unbelievable team.” BLUERIDGE calls their product “CAD with a Brain,” which is an apt description of the tool. CAD (computer-aided design) has been a standard tool among civil engineers since the late 1980s when it began providing 3D rendering capabilities. But SITEOPS provides benefits CAD never could. Beyond accurate site development estimates and optimized site plans, one of the core benefits is what BLUERIDGE calls, “The power of ‘What if…” Because the software can process innumerable

variables simultaneously and produce site plans and estimates in mere hours, it empowers developers and engineers to experiment with multiple layouts and options. Users can tell the program to add another 30 parking spaces, place two buildings closer together, or make room for an emergency vehicle lane, and it automatically maps out each variable along with how much the changes would save or cost the client. This capability can allow users to choose sites more effectively, to save green spaces, and to make more environmentally friendly as well as cost-effective choices. Detwiler recalls a project in which a South Carolina school was planning to purchase an inexpensive site. The school had asked several engineers to evaluate it and come up with an effective development plan. SITEOPS was able to definitively determine that site development costs would be prohibitive. At the same time, engineers ran “What if” scenarios on other nearby available sites, narrowing it down to one more suitable, saving the school substantial sums of money and a potentially disastrous purchasing decision. A Powerful Future Powerful technologies like SITEOPS don’t happen by accident of course. Reynolds and Watts had nothing written down when they first stepped into Bernthal’s office, and they knew they needed someone like Detwiler to bring it all together. Detwiler organized capital and began building a team, starting with the best evolutionary computing expertise he could find. Detwiler contacted Dr. Thomas Baeck, leading authority and author of the handbook on evolutionary computing, among other related volumes, and eventual board member. Baeck helped him recruit two of the world’s top evolutionary computing scientists, Ron Breukelaar from the Netherlands and Peter Senft from Germany, both students of Baeck. As the technology began to grow, Detwiler sought

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(and acquired) patents in the U.S. and dozens of other countries around the world. Around the technology, Detwiler built a staff of 21 employees including the two scientists, two professional engineers, an executive staff, a sales team, marketing, and support. A palpable rapport among employees is deliberately cultivated. The company “constitution” includes three articles, all of which include the word “respect” and reflect a strong culture of collaboration and commitment to the success of every employee and the company as a whole.

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Because the software can process innumerable variables simultaneously and produce site plans and estimates in mere hours, it empowers developers and engineers to experiment with multiple layouts and options. Users can tell the program to add another 30 parking spaces, place two buildings closer together, or make room for an emergency vehicle lane, and it automatically maps out each variable along with how much the changes would save or cost the client. That same approach carries through to the way the company interacts with users. The company’s first customer was also its first Beta tester and a current major client, Lowe’s. Detwiler, Breukelaar, Senft and other developers at BLUERIDGE worked closely with Lowe’s to develop functionality appropriate to their needs, while continuing to build additional relationships and gather additional input from users. In 2007, BLUERIDGE officially unveiled their first iteration of SITEOPS, a single-pad tool providing unprecedented functionality for big box retailers like Lowe’s. In 2009, they released their multi-pad tool, and since then they have added additional residential and non-residential functionalities. Most recently, they added a swept path analysis module that allows users to realistically simulate vehicle movement, a task vital to the determination of site design feasibility. BLUERIDGE is committed to continuous improvement and new functionality, which they provide by offering the software as a service (SaaS) so that customers always have the latest " version and the latest modules. Every new

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improvement is based directly on feedback from the users who tell them what is working for them, what needs improvement, and what kinds of functionality they’d like to see in future editions. As a result, the technology fits the market precisely, and has garnered hundreds of professional fans. This year, BLUERIDGE will be releasing a new update to include full multi-pad residential capacity, which will vastly increase the market reach for the product. Detwiler says the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) software industry is a multibillion-dollar market, and they expect to capture a percentage of that. “If things go according to plan,” he says, “BLUERIDGE Analytics could be one of the largest technology companies in Charlotte.” Burying Traditional Competition Already the software has provided numerous benefits to engineers and their clients alike. Detwiler tells a story about an engineering group that was bidding on a project for a North Carolina school board. The lead engineer had prepared thoroughly and carefully in the traditional manner and brought a sketch of what they believed to be the optimal solution. It included no cost estimate because everyone knows you can’t predict site development costs. He walked into a meeting with the school board and one other

competitor, and within minutes excused himself to use the bathroom and never went back. Why? Because his competition was using SITEOPS. They had brought more than 30 detailed, computer-generated layouts, each with an accurate cost estimate, for the board to consider and choose among, plus the promise to take suggestions and bring additional options based on their feedback, all within days. He simply couldn’t compete. According to Detwiler, he left the meeting and called BLUERIDGE saying, “I was just embarrassed in front of a potential client. I need your product.” Many school boards are already insisting that every site be optimized by SITEOPS in order

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to save taxpayer money. Dozens of engineering firms, land developers and retail establishments likewise use SITEOPS on every plan. Clients include Target, Bojangles, Bovis, Georgia Power, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Dunkin Industries, and many more. Detwiler thinks BLUERIDGE Analytics could be a $50 million company in the foreseeable future. “Our goal is to have our technology on every civil engineer’s desktop,” he says. “There are 10,000 civil engineering firms in the U.S. and internationally probably another 30,000. That’s where we’d like to go, one step at a time.” The next step on that route is the release of a new module that allows users to import images from Google Earth, plus terrain and other geographical data amalgamated from the U.S Geological Survey and other government sources, and within minutes be ready to enter development criteria and optimize layouts for any terrain. Furthermore, Detwiler believes his company can be at the center of a thriving technology community in Charlotte. He believes our city has the talent, the resources and both the climate and culture to attract more of the same. BLUERIDGE could easily become one of the city’s largest technology companies, he says, and he hopes its success will lure similar businesses. Whether his predictions for our city prove out or not, one thing is clear: The new technology may be just the infusion the struggling development industry needs. And that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating in and of itself. biz Heather Head is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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BLUERIDGE Analytics, Inc. 101 W. Worthington Ave., Ste. 270 Charlotte, N.C. 28203 Phone: 704-373-1884 Principal: Michael W. Detwiler, President and CEO Employees: 21 In Business: Since 2003 Business: Provides patented optimization software for the land development industry which addresses inaccurate, time consuming and expensive land development processes, giving land planners and civil engineers the ability to qualify several options, under a user-defined set of parameters, within hours instead of months; delivers multiple site designs, providing optimal layout, grading and storm water drainage options with accurate cost estimates. www.blueridgeanalytics.com www.siteops.com

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!The Palisades - Charlotte, NC

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!"#$$%$& for the Andrew Hill Vice President Cardno North Carolina, PLLC

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!Cardno TBE Pulls All the Pieces Together

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n the wall of a small conference room in southwest Charlotte hangs a color photograph of The Palisades community entrance. Beside it, another framed photograph of Sun City Carolina Lakes community. On the floor, decorative stone facing is arranged in a pattern on the carpet, and tacked to the bulletin board are landscape plans, concept drawings and survey maps. The setting could be any landscape architecture or civil engineering firm office, but the range of interests and projects on display hint at something larger. The company is Cardno TBE, and their customers rely on them for big picture land development solutions from conceptual planning to the finished product. Cardno TBE is a member of the Cardno international group of companies, providing services including civil engineering, landscape architecture, master planning, environmental services, brownfield redevelopment, subsurface utility engineering and coordination, transportation, project management and construction management services. Combined with their commitment to customer partnership and understanding of strategic and tactical land development issues, the services represent turnkey solutions for land owners, developers and municipal and state agencies. Early Development The Charlotte branch of Cardno began life as a division of WRG Design, a civil, landscape architecture and land planning

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firm headquartered out of Portland, Oregon. WRG had made a reputation for itself based on extraordinary customer service. Their commitment to the success of their customers meant that large national clients wanted their services in other cities as well. In the late 1990s, WRG opened its first expansion office in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shortly afterward, in 2000, Target offered them a one-millionsquare-foot distribution center project and asked them to move into Phoenix as well, and the next year they were wanted in Sacramento by another significant client. The next year it was Boise, Idaho, and then, in 2006, an office in Charlotte. They sent Vice President Andrew Hill to open the new office, and he’s never looked back. “Charlotte is an exceptional place for us to be,” says Hill. “For us it was a hidden gem. It’s got the base for great infrastructure, great opportunity, and it’s a great business climate. It’s also an international city, with many types of European firms opening branches here. It was, at the time, an untapped territory.” In fact, for WRG, the Charlotte office was pivotal in catching the eye of the international community. Hill recounts how the company could have quickly expanded into a dozen or more cities early on, but they were committed to growing sustainably. The leadership developed an expansion plan that called for three primary criteria before opening a new office: (i) a client who wanted them there, (ii) someone internally who already understood the company’s “genetic code” and was willing to move there, and (iii) a region that would support ongoing growth. "

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!Fred Meyer Corporate - Portland, OR

While other firms were buying up companies in other cities and rapidly filling out the map, WRG followed their own plan and only built offices that could continue to provide the high level of quality and service their company had come to be known for. That reputation caught the attention of a Brisbane, Australia, physical and social engineering giant called Cardno. When WRG opened their Charlotte office, they demonstrated that they could take their reputation sustainably from coast to coast, and shortly thereafter Cardno came for a visit. “Cardno shared the same culture,” says Hill. We achieved our vision through understanding and meeting our client’s expectations and through continually improving our processes and service delivery. One of our primary reasons for the merger with Cardno was to provide our clients with a wider range of services. So in 2008, WRG became Cardno WRG. The engineering, architecture and other key staff remained the same and Cardno encouraged the staff to continue delivering services the way they had been doing successfully. Shortly thereafter, Cardno also acquired a national 450-person firm headquartered in Clearwater, Fla., called TBE Group, that delivers a multitude of land development services for public and private clients. TBE was recognized as an international powerhouse in the subsurface utility field along with a strong reputation in the Southeast for traditional consulting services such as civil engineering, environmental and brownfield redevelopment and construction management. The merger complemented Cardno’s existing services, allowing them to provide partnership for private as well as governmental clients, and to add in-depth environmental and utility services to their lineup, meaning even bigger savings and solutions for customers. Company Landscape Cardno’s business model is relationship driven. Their core business strategy and structure allows the business units the autonomy to build and run their operations while still having the benefit of the support of a large organization. While they are able to take on large and complex projects, they are always ready to serve clients on their smaller projects. Increasingly, the divisions are also working on projects together and cross-selling services to provide a holistic and integrated approach to clients. To understand how significant the combination of services can be, consider the task of developing brownfield sites in urban areas. Bringing a contaminated site back into use can be a challenge, even when it’s located in an otherwise highly desirable area. Often the cost of development may apparently outweigh any perceived benefit. Cardno begins such a project with a big picture vision to create an innovative, sustainable solution for the site. They’ll develop several end-user options, such as a commercial center or healthcare facility. Then they actively bring potential buyers to the table to discuss the options and begin working toward a deal with the owner of the property. By beginning at the sale, Cardno assists their clients

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“Charlotte is an exceptional place for us to be. For us it was a hidden gem. It’s got the base for great infrastructure, great opportunity, and it’s a great business climate. It’s also an international city, with many types of European firms opening branches here. It was, at the time, an untapped territory.” ~Andrew Hill Vice President

in providing the incentive to pursue development and therefore creating a project that may not have otherwise moved forward. Then they look for ways to develop the site that take advantage of the efficiencies of their many services. For instance, another environmental firm might suggest extensive excavation for many acres of dirt before beginning development. Cardno, because they understand the specific development needs of the site and include all services in-house, may recommend instead that the site’s parking lot be placed over the contamination as a cap, effectively encapsulating it and saving the developer the extensive cost of excavation. “A lot of companies offer either environmental services or civil engineering and landscape architecture,” explains Hill. “We can provide all the services from inception to completion, from a dirty junkyard to a completed fire station.” In addition to multiple development "

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services, Cardno also brings a strong marketing and sales emphasis to every deal. Besides bringing potential purchasers to a deal, they also focus on the “marketing trail” for many of their high-end residential projects. From brochures to implemented landscapes, to the way the road rises and falls, every piece of development is focused on making a sale for the customer. For instance, when Del Webb asked Cardno (WRG at that time) to help develop Sun City Carolina Lakes, they looked at the site and created a vision designed to sell homes and provide a memorable experience. They started with the entrance and, instead of just letting the entryway drop down into the community from the highway as the site currently did, they envisioned an infill of dirt that would raise the entry and bring visitors up to a plateau as they entered, revealing suddenly and grandly the entire community laid out below. “You may have just sold the home right there,” explains Hill. Attention to detail is key, he adds, and mentions that other touches such as custom manhole covers, choice of street lamps, and community themes enliven every project and lead to stronger sales. In addition, Cardno offers many support services that can be hard to find elsewhere, but are invaluable during the development stage. For instance, thanks to the addition of TBE, they provide subsurface utility engineering and utility coordination. These services can use surface techniques such as ground-penetrating radar or subsurface techniques such as vacuum excavation to nondestructively locate and map the exact location of all underground utility lines, so that designers can avoid costly conflicts during construction. Only a very few companies offer the level of utility engineering design, coordination and field locating services that Cardno’s subsurface utility engineering services can. It can often keep a project’s schedule on track and avoid unnecessary costs and conflicts. Utility coordination refers to the process of identifying which lines belong to which utility companies, and maintaining proactive communication. Utility coordination brings all utility owners involved in the project together to work out the complex issues involved with re-routing any utilities before or during construction. If everyone has a plan upfront, the project should avoid roadblocks. Facing the Future Cardno’s biggest challenge has been the one that the entire industry shares—the ravages of the recent economic nose dive. Hill says Charlotte’s success during boom times actually contributed to the challenge of the

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!The Round - Beaverton, OR

“A lot of companies offer either environmental services or civil engineering and landscape architecture. We can provide all the services from inception to completion, from a dirty junkyard to a completed fire station.” ~Andrew Hill Vice President

down times for companies like his. “Charlotte was a hot spot for folks in the Northeast and Southeast and was doing a great job of getting ahead of the game and building enough supply to meet the demand,” Hill explains. “So when the demand dropped off, it created a challenge. At one point, there were 40,000 permitted residential lots in Charlotte—lots with the design done, drawings approved, just sitting there waiting to have houses put on them.” Hill shakes his head. “In a good year,” he says, “Charlotte permits about 12,000 lots. That means, from a developer’s standpoint, that Charlotte had a backlog of about three years’ worth of permitted sites ready for houses. From a consultant’s standpoint, that represents three years’ worth of work already done with little need for their services in the interim.” “That’s a significant challenge,” he admits. Like many companies, the office had to downsize during the worst of the downturn, but Hill says they’re coming out of it strong, and glad to be in Charlotte. He believes not only that Charlotte and the Carolinas are a great place for his company to be, but that Charlotte will pull

out of the economic downturn soon. While it may never reach the heady heights of furious development of 2007-8, it has the potential to be something great, and he expects his company to be in the middle of that growth. “I see this office being a 60 to 80 person office in five to 10 years,” he says. “As the economy improves, our clients are looking to begin some projects they’ve had on hold, and right now we can offer them a wider range of services at this office.” Hill says he sees Cardno blending its services even more than it already does by continuing to focus on optimum customer service and the ability to pull from an international palette of expertise. As for Charlotte, he’d like to see the banks start lending again and for builders to start opening up and spending again. He says there are plenty of builders with cash, but they’ve been afraid to spend it. He also believes that other areas of the country have to strengthen themselves before Charlotte can boom. He explains that people who want to move to Charlotte can only do so if they can sell their current homes, and that can only happen when places like New York and Florida revitalize themselves. He believes it will happen, and soon. “I’m already starting to see some signs of this in the past six months. Also, the Chamber has a good vision for the area and some good companies are relocating headquarters here. Charlotte has a lot to offer.” If Hill is right, Cardno is going to play a significant role in developing Charlotte’s potential. And that’s a big picture everyone can enjoy. biz Heather Head is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Cardno (NC), Inc. and TBE Professional Services, PLLC

Cardno TBE 9101 Southern Pine Blvd., Ste. 200 Charlotte, N.C. 28273 Phone: 704-927-9700 Principal: Andrew Hill, RLA,Vice President Employees: 10 in Charlotte; 1,100 in the U.S.; 4,000 internationally In Business: Charlotte since 2006; member of international engineering giant Cardno Business: Provides expansive suite of civil engineering, landscape architecture, master planning, environmental services, subsurface utility engineering, project management and construction management services. www.cardnotbe.com

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QR Codes (Quick Response Codes, QRCs) are a relatively new, 2-dimensional form of barcodes. Already very popular in Europe and Japan, businesses and consumers throughout the U.S. are discovering hundreds of exciting uses for this flexible, convenient (and free) information connection. How QR Codes Work… QR Codes can be displayed almost anywhere. They can be found on printed literature, business cards, highway billboards, product packaging, advertising banners and more. They can be inserted into digital signage and even screen printed onto apparel. QR Codes include embedded text information, web page links and simple programming commands that directly connect customers to timely information about you, your business, and your products or services. Using a mobile “smart phone,” equipped with a built-in camera, customers simply snap a digital photo of the code symbol. Then a free, downloadable QRC “reader” interprets the code and initiates one or more actions, such as accessing a Web page or online map using the phone’s Web browser, displaying onscreen text information, opening an e-mail delivery (mailto) form, sending a (SMS) text message, dialing a phone call or other actions. What QR Codes Can Do for Your Business… QR Codes can be your on-demand sales and customer service representatives. Display text messages, exchange vCard information, initiate a phone call, link to prerecorded audio or video, collect customer “loyalty points,” facilitate online purchases like e-tickets, and easily perform other customer interactions. You can specify a limited date range to convey your content or provide ongoing access to your information. And, each customer connection can be tracked by your organization. Further, you can update and personalize information provided at the point of the exchange. Messages can be updated manually or programmed to change automatically based on the time of day, day of week, weather conditions, etc. Many QRC readers can utilize the mobile phone’s built-in GPS locator and customize information based on the customer’s current proximity. Content can be changed by the business any time to take advantage of current weather or business conditions.

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Paddock Pool Equipment Company Makes a Splash With The Evacuator

%

rom pool development, to pool part manufacturing and installation, to innovative game changing technologies and products, Paddock is a leader in the commercial swimming pool industry. If you swim in commercial pools, chances are pretty good that the pool was designed by or includes components made by Paddock Pool Equipment Company, Inc. Paddock Pool Equipment Company, Inc. is immersed in innovation. CEO Don Baker swims in swimming pool problems all day, every day. He has a knack for solving problems and every so often comes up for air with a particularly brilliant solution…like the company’s latest invention, the Paddock Evacuator Chloramine Evacuation System. If you spend any time at an indoor pool, experiencing the discomfort of burning eyes and smelly pool air, you’ll find the Evacuator a breath of fresh air. Paddock is a company known for developing highperformance commercial pool products designed to create some of the nation’s most distinctive aquatic facilities. Paddock is the only company offering complete in-house production and touts that their products have been proudly Made in the USA throughout their company’s entire 90+ year history. No other company provides more innovation in their products and service than Paddock Pool Equipment Company.

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A Saturated History Swimming Pools…movie stars…that’s how Paddock got started back in the early 1920s, building America’s first backyard pools on the estates of wealthy Southern Californians. Back then, a private pool had to be built with formed concrete using heavy machinery—an exorbitantly priced luxury available only to the top echelons of society. But the idea caught on, and in a short time everybody wanted one. Paddock took the concept to the next level, and the modern pool industry was born. In the 1930s, Paddock built the first 50-meter monolithic pool using pneumatically applied concrete (gunite) at the Biltmore in Santa Barbara. Soon, gunite was the method of choice for pool construction, enabling a new generation of specialized contractors to build affordable residential pools. By the 1940s, Paddock had established the first network of franchised dealers to build its standard designs around the country.

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by carol gifford

[bizprofile]

“If you have a problem, you bring it to us and we’ll come up with a solution. Don Baker grew up in the swimming pool business—he’s eaten it, slept it, swam it, and known it since he was a kid. When he’s asked to come up with a solution, it just clicks with him.” ~Todd Williams Sales and Product Manager

Paddock transitioned from residential to commercial swimming pool design and construction in the 1960s when Bill Baker, Don Baker’s father, purchased the company out of bankruptcy and moved it from the West Coast to Albany, New York. Paddock was reorganized and shifted its focus to commercial equipment exclusively. The Equipment Company took center stage, introducing a number of key innovations into the market that define commercial pools today—such as the stainless steel perimeter, the movable bulkhead, and the vacuum sand filter. In the early ’70s, the company relocated to Rock Hill, S.C., where it fabricates a line of high performance products designed to create the most distinctive aquatic facilities in a 200,000-plussquare-foot manufacturing plant. Today, Paddock works on projects ranging from facilities like YMCAs to Olympic style competitive 50 meter pools at universities and swim

clubs. In addition to its work with SwimMAC Carolina, in the Charlotte region, Paddock was the pool contractor for the Huntersville Aquatic Center, Harris YMCA, and Carmel Country Club. Paddock has also built the pools at regional universities such as Winthrop, Duke, N.C. State, NCCU, and FSU. In fact, the Paddock Pool Equipment Company and its dealer group nationwide have built upwards of 6,000 commercial pools across the country. The company provides equipment on 80 to 120 projects each year. “About 85 percent of our business comes from our manufactured products,” says Todd Williams, sales and product manager for Paddock. “Our products include pool gutters, filters, bulkheads, drain covers and other custom items for commercial pools. “And all of our equipment is made in America,” adds Baker, with obvious pride.

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Refreshingly Resourceful Don’s father, Bill Baker, is considered to be the “founding father” of the modern-day Paddock Pool Equipment Company and one of the great innovators of the commercial pool industry. Baker recounts the story of his father’s partnership with and generous donation of a 50-meter swimming pool to the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club (MAC). In the late ’80s, he says, Jeff Gaeckle, then head swim coach of MAC, was approached by the elder Baker who asked if MAC would like its own pool. Gaeckle quickly responded, “How about a 50 meter by 25 yard?” Bill Baker countered, “How deep?” Then, Bill and his team at Paddock proceeded to design and build the pool, and donated it to MAC. The facility has become an integral part of Charlotte Latin School’s campus and programming, has been " the focal point for swimming in the Charlotte

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for multiple activities, such as competitive swim meets on one side and recreational exercise on the other. The bulkheads are equipped with rollers on each end that ride on the pool gutters and are easily positioned by the pool staff. Paddock also is known for the drain covers it developed in response to the Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) law that required every commercial pool and spa to change the drain covers to prevent entrapments. “When VGB came to the forefront, Baker figured out a quick and effective solution,” says Sinclair. Paddock developed and patented a flat stainless steel drain cover. The Paddock Flat Covers were the first large drain covers to be approved that could be installed flush on the floor eliminating the suction and entrapment issues. Constructed of stainless steel rather than PVC plastic, the Paddock covers quickly became the cover of choice for many pool operators.

region, has been named a Center of Excellence by USA Swimming, and is home to an elite team of professional athletes with an internationally recognized developmental program, having placed no less than five athletes on USA Olympic Teams. Needless to say, Paddock has a strong relationship with what is now the SwimMAC Carolina organization. Paddock has consistently led the industry in knowledge and production of pool products,” says Williams. “If you have a problem, you bring it to us and we’ll come up with a solution,” says Williams. “Don Baker grew up in the swimming pool business—he’s eaten it, slept it, swam it, and known it since he was a kid. When he’s asked to come up with a solution, it just clicks with him.” “Baker is one smart guy,” says Tom Sinclair, P.E., CEO and president of Sinclair & Associates, a Duncan, S.C., engineering firm that works in aquatic design and often partners with Paddock. “He can figure out solutions. Taking a problem, figuring it out, and turning it into opportunity is what Paddock does. That’s true business innovation.” Baker shuns the accolades and says he’s not an engineer, just a person who studies swimming pool design and construction to try to develop needed solutions to pool problems. “He’s the captain of the ship,” says Williams. “He knows so many people in the industry and they come to him for his opinion and experience. “Most swimming pool developers and operators have a connection back to Paddock; that

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tree has dropped a lot of acorns and grown a lot more trees. Many of these upstart companies got their knowledge and training from working with Paddock,” continues Williams. Innovative Products With a reputation of innovation—and patents to back it up—Paddock has introduced several successful products to the industry. “Top products sales change each year,” says Williams, but generally include gutters, filters, and bulkheads and drain covers.” “Pool perimeter gutters are currently the top selling product,” says Williams. “We offer different solutions to recirculate the water in the pool.” A new product introduced in 2003 was radius gutters, used in free-form pools. Pool water filters are another topselling Paddock product. The compact vacuum sand filter pulls the water thru the sand bed removing dirt particles down to 1.5 to 2 microns, providing excellent water clarity. “Paddock also promoted an ultraviolet (UV) system about 10 years ago to improve pool water quality,” says Baker. The medium pressure UV bulbs are encased in stainless steel vessels. The water is sanitized as it passes the UV light and kills 99 percent of all viruses and bacteria’s including cryptosporidium. Pool bulkheads are another top seller for Paddock. Bulkheads are large movable beams used to partition pools

Introducing the Paddock Evacuator Recently, Paddock has taken up the struggle to improve air quality around indoor pools. That nasty closeted odor-embedded chlorine-based smell is not only unhealthy, but its presence also seriously corrodes pool equipment. The idea came about when, in 2009, the Paddock and Sinclair companies started work on a pool renovation project with the Greenville County (S.C.) Recreation District. Their facility had a projected lifespan of 40 years, but was falling apart after just 17. The problem was chloramines. The chloramines were corroding the Greenville facility’s interior systems. The layman’s typical reaction to chloramines in the pool air is that there is too much chlorine in the pool. However, this foul odor is not caused by excess chlorine but rather by a chlorine compound called chloramine. Chloramines are created in the water when chlorine does its job—attacking and burning up nitrogen introduced into the water by bathers. These chloramines are very volatile and off gas from the surface of the pool when agitated. Chloramines have long been linked to breathing issues amongst pool users; however, problems aren’t limited to humans. Chloramines permeate facilities as well, deteriorating building components, pool accessories and air handling systems. Facility managers recognize how poor air quality can hurt attendance Donald C. Baker President and CEO Paddock Pool Equipment Company, Inc.

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of spectators at events and even participation by recreational users. Attempts to reduce the chloramines in the pool water by â&#x20AC;&#x153;shockingâ&#x20AC;? it with high levels of chlorine and other chemicals help reduce the chloramines, but not enough. The released gases linger and are recirculated through the facilityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dehumidification and air handling system.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Baker is one smart guy. He can figure out solutions. Taking a problem, figuring it out, and turning it into opportunity is what Paddock does. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true business innovation.â&#x20AC;? ~Tom Sinclair CEO and President of Sinclair & Associates â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most pools try to get rid of chloramines in the pool space using the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Solution by Dilution Method.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; The air in the facility is mixed and a small percentage is continuously exhausted,â&#x20AC;? explains Baker. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You end up exhausting 10 percent of the chloramines and putting the other 90 percent back into the facility. The indoor water parks with interactive spray features have the toughest time with chloramines.â&#x20AC;? Paddock was challenged to find a solution and created a patent-pending piece of equipment called the Paddock Evacuator. Custom-designed for individual pools, it source captures and exhausts the chloramine-laden air out of the facility. The system can also be designed with heat recovery equipment to pump warm air back inside the building, resulting in significant energy savings in colder climates. The Greenville facility is now built and operational with an Evacuator helping to provide fresh air and eliminate the chloramine issue. Paddock Pool Equipment Company handles the Paddock Evacuator for new construction applications; it has spun off the Paddock Evacuator Company to provide solutions for existing facilities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This past January, we asked Jeff Gaeckle, if we could test our unit on the SwimMAC Training Center and he agreed,â&#x20AC;? says Baker, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The swim" mers and coaches liked it so much they

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“From a health perspective, it’s a huge change. It provides swimmers, visitors and people working around pools, like coaches and lifeguards, a better and healthier pool environment. The system will help swimmers who train and compete regularly. It’s a real game-changer.” ~Michael Marsh CEO and Director of Coaching SwimMAC Carolina

“From a health perspective, it’s a huge change,” he says. “It provides swimmers, visitors and people working around pools, like coaches and lifeguards, a better and healthier pool environment. The system will help swimmers who train and compete regularly. It’s a real game-changer.” Williams thinks the Paddock Evacuator is so successful in changing the air quality, that it has the potential to quickly take over 35 to 40 percent of the company’s sales. Whatever is the case, one thing is for sure: Don Baker will be diving into other problems and surfacing with more innovative solutions, like a fish to water. “Don Baker is a guy that everyone can depend on,” says Sinclair. “He works well with people in the industry and in the field, always innovating new products.” biz Carol Gifford is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

wouldn’t let us remove it.” Gaeckle was so impressed with the results and the enormous impact he could forsee the Paddock Evacuator having on the pool industry at large, that he has joined the Paddock Evacuator team as president. “As soon as I saw this, I thought it made perfect sense,” says David Marsh, two-time Olympic coach. Marsh is the CEO and director of coaching at SwimMAC Carolina. “It was kind of an epiphany: you don’t have to accept bad air at a pool any longer.” “We had three big-screen televisions in our pool facility, all eaten away from chloramines in just over a year,” continues Marsh. “If it’s eating up the stainless steel and wires to that extent, think what it’s doing to your body.” Once the Evacuator was installed at his club’s training facility at Charlotte Latin School, Marsh says there was an immediate change.

44

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Paddock Pool Equipment Company, Inc. 555 Paddock Parkway Rock Hill, S.C. 29730 Phone: 803-324-1111; 800-849-2729 Principals: Donald C. Baker, President and CEO;Todd Williams, Sales and Product Manager Established: 1920 Employees: 55 Business: Provides design assistance services and manufactured products for commercial aquatic facilities; full fabricating and welding capabilities for commercial pool equipment such as filters, gutters, bulkheads and deck parts; designs and manufactures custom stainless steel products for commercial swimming pools. www.paddockindustries.com Subsidiary: Paddock Evacuator Company www.paddockevacuator.com

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Greater Charlotte Biz 2011.05