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PUTTING QUALITY FIRST IS DAVID’S BUSINESS. WE ARE PROUD HE HAS MADE IT OUR BUSINESS, TOO. David is driven to meet his customers’ needs. And Time Warner Cable Business Class helps him achieve this. To expand his business online, we set up High-Speed Internet and a Web Hosting solution that lets him take orders. At Time Warner Cable Business Class, we listen — so you get the right mix of Internet, Phone, Ethernet and Cable TV solutions. We have seen how that works for David. We will make it work for you.

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INTERNET | PHONE | CABLE TV | ETHERNET


CENTRAL PIEDMONT COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Serving our community

For almost 50 years, CPCC has been training leaders, such as Harold Medlock, who make our community a better place to live and work. To learn more, visit cpccfoundation.com.

Deputy Chief Harold Medlock CPCC Alumnus, Associate in Applied Science, Law Enforcement Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department


in this issue

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cover story

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

For five days in early September, the eyes of the world will turn to Charlotte as the 2012 Democratic National Convention comes to town. Chief Rodney Monroe of the CMPD is the point man for public safety and convention security. Under his leadership, Charlotte has seen crime rates fall to their lowest levels in decades. Now with the DNC coming to town, Chief Monroe has a whole new responsibility—ensuring a safe and trouble-free convention.

10 Proffitt Family

departments

Cattle Company Life down on the farm, with its roaming Scottish Aberdeen Angus cattle, is as natural as it gets. “We raise 100 percent grassfed, grass-finished beef on USDA certified organic pastures,” says Shelley Proffitt Eagan, a second generation farmer and co-owner of the only organic beef operation in North Carolina.

16 F.D.Y., Inc. Thirty years ago Floyd D. Young started his food service company because he had seen the food industry “from the highest to the lowest,” and had learned “what to do and what not do.” He was determined to bring quality food and quality service to the Carolinas. Today FDY is one of the largest minority-owned food service companies in America.

28 Harper Corporation of America

Family-owned and operated Harper Corporation of America is the largest worldwide manufacturer of high precision anilox rolls, as well as gravure and coating rollers and related machinery and supplies. It’s a safe bet that if it’s a package that’s printed, coated and involves precision, they’re involved.

june 2012

34 TPM of Charlotte “Anything that needs a design, pretty much uses CAD software. Software is the core of our business,” say TPM team members. TPM offers digital solutions including Autodesk and Solidworks software solutions, and the latest in print technologies and document management solutions for businesses. Its Color Lab is the Carolina’s largest provider of large-format graphics.

publisher’spost

4

legalbiz

5

Transforming the Business of Law to Meet the Needs of Business

accountingbiz

7

Accounting, Tax and Consulting Solutions

webbiz

8

New Media Strategies, Secrets and Solutions

taxbiz

9

Savvy Business Tax Practices

biznetwork

44

on the cover: Rodney D. Monroe Chief of Police Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

legalbiz

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accountingbiz

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webbiz

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taxbiz

june 2012

   Proffitt Family Cattle Company    F.D.Y., Inc.    Harper Corporation of America    TPM of Charlotte    Mantissa Corporation

the CMPD Leads as the DNC Comes to Town

Rodney D. Monroe Chief of Police Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Photo by Wayne Morris

Scan to view greatercharlottebiz.com

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Mantissa Corporation Mantissa’s solutions support material handling all over the world, from Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. to China. A typical Mantissa solution is a combination of conveyer belts, trays and discharge chutes with patented control systems. Andrew Fortenbury acknowledges that the equipment looks like an 800-foot racetrack inside a commercial building.

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The most trusted health insurer in North Carolina. Plans for you, your family and your business.

The most trusted health insurer in North Carolina based on FrederickPolls, LLC April 2011. An independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. U7811, 9/11


[publisher’spost] Collaborative Success:

Charlotte a Model for U.S. Competiveness Though we’ve lasted through the Great Recession that began in December 2007 and bottomed out in June 2009, we are still reeling from the loss of income, investments, home values and jobs. The substantial structural changes underway will continue to diminish wealth and threaten our livelihoods for years to come. John Paul Galles The global economy has attracted many industries away from the United States to foreign soil, and different governments and institutions are also attracting U.S. wealth and assets. And so, we struggle to understand these changes and how they will affect our future. Is the U.S. in decline? Have we lost our competitive position? Can the U.S. really compete globally? If so, how? To address these questions, the Harvard Business School launched a study of U.S. competitiveness with a survey of nearly 10,000 Harvard alumni in October 2011. In March 2012, they presented a report in the Harvard Business Review that provides an analysis of the critical areas that drive U.S. competiveness. The survey demonstrated strong evidence that the United States faces a deepening competiveness problem. SeventyBusiness leaders one percent of respondents expect the U.S. position to and policymakers in decline over the next three years with worker living standards under greater pressure than firms’ success. Pessimism America must find was widely shared. ways for Americans More than 1,700 respondents were personally involved in to work smarter and decisions about whether to place business activities and jobs in the U.S. or elsewhere. Given those choices, the U.S. fared more productively poorly, losing two-thirds of those decisions. Facilities involving large numbers of jobs moved out faster than they moved in. than workers who The survey also helped to pinpoint the problems that affect are paid lower the U.S. Those problems include America’s tax code, political system, K-12 education system, macroeconomic policies, legal wages overseas. framework, regulations, infrastructure and workforce skills. While there is little progress on the federal level, many initiatives are coming at the local level. Harvard’s definition of U.S. competitiveness is “the extent to which firms operating in the U.S. are able to compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for Americans.” Both firms’ success and worker living standards are essential to this measurement. The U. S. can win globally and support high wages by being highly productive over the longer term. They conclude that business leaders and policymakers in America “must find ways for Americans to work smarter and more productively than workers who are paid lower wages overseas.” In early May, 2012, Harvard Business School held a seminar in Charlotte to discuss local efforts and shed light on local initiatives. In particular, they were interested in Charlotte’s Energy Cluster and its ambitions to create new job opportunities and provide the innovative training programs to equip workers with the required skills for 21st century jobs. The school has chosen to feature Charlotte as a role model of dynamic local leadership in its competitiveness project. At the seminar, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers spoke about inviting area energy-related enterprises to a meeting with what turned out to be standing room only. Currently, more than 200 energy businesses are benefiting from its emerging energy cluster; cross collaboration has been credited with having added over 5,000 jobs in the last five years. Together with Central Piedmont Community College and UNC Charlotte’s EPIC center, they are developing curricula, apprenticeships and research in support of Charlotte’s energy economy. Adding to these local initiatives, the Charlotte airport and its new Intermodal Center will provide even more resources to stimulate job growth and business success. While Charlotte has been hugely successful at recruiting new companies to our marketplace, at this point our nucleus of businesses and business resources can foster even greater growth from within our region than we can by attracting out-of-town entities. Growing our marketplace from within will overwhelm any pessimism and replace it with a renewed vitality and confidence in our ability to compete globally. If you have an idea or a story of collaborative success you’d like to share, we’d like to hear about it. We have work to do. Let’s get on with it! biz

Let me know what you think - jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.com

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704-676-5850

June 2012 Volume 13 • Issue 06 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 Talbert Gray x106

partners Central Piedmont Community College hiSoft Technology International Limited Knowmad Technologies Potter & Company, P.A. Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman, P.A.

Contributing Writers Craig Dixon Zenda Douglas Barbara Fagan Jim Froneberger Heather Head Casey Jacobus

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 2012 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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[legalbiz]

Survival Training:

Bob Needs To Make His Lender an Offer It Won’t Refuse

t some point in time, many businesses and business owners like Bob Businessman find that they are not in the best position or relationship with their lender(s). A cash flow deficiency may have caused loan payment defaults; financial covenants may have not been met; the loans may be in good standing, but the lender may not be willing to renew them; or problems may not have arisen yet, but there is a risk they could. After default and acceleration of the debt, a lawsuit or foreclosure could commence at any time. To avoid these situations if possible, and to deal with them better when they arise, follow these principles: Give Proactive Attention. Review loan documents before signing them. Review the loan requirements and your company’s financial condition, prospects and ability to maintain its credit facilities in good standing. Deal with loan defaults immediately when they occur. Consider what your company’s alternatives may be to (a) recover from defaults and continue with its current lender; (b) obtain lender waivers and forbearance during the default; (c) restructure the business and its credit facilities; or (d) close the business in an orderly way. Plan Then Act. When your company’s financial condition deteriorates, act quickly to identify all your options. Hire a consultant if you are uncertain what to do. Immediately engage an attorney experienced in working with lenders on behalf of borrowers experiencing financial difficulties. Do not hesitate. Do not “wait and see.” Communicate, Consult, Communicate. Good times or bad, spend the time and money to keep your trusted advisors (attorney, accountant and other business advisers) informed about your business. Seek their advice early and often. Communicate with key employees to obtain their input, encourage their loyalty, and make them members of your “solutions team”. Communicate proactively with your financial lender and other creditors— but only after consulting with your attorney and other trusted advisors. You may not be able to distinguish between what is prudent and what could be imprudent—or worse, disastrous. Every communication with your lender should be vetted and planned. Determine whether your attorney or you will be the primary contact with the lender. Avoid any form of adversarial communication. Make the lender’s representatives themselves members of your workout team. Educate. Tell your story, inform the lender about your workout plan, seek input from your lender, and seek the active support of your lender within its

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

institution for approval of your workout plan. Be specific about every element of loan accommodation and business action involved. The Documents Govern—But They Don’t Have To. Your lender’s starting point is based on what your loan documents require. Show your lender what requirements can’t be met and why. Show why strict compliance should not matter under your plan. Seek a “forbearance agreement.” This is a written understanding with your lender which acknowledges loan defaults and allows them to continue without the bank taking action against you provided you are able to meet agreed requirements and goals. Be Realistic. Your company’s financial difficulties most likely arose because its “old plan” failed or no longer fit the circumstances. Something has to change. “Stay the course” is not an option. Make sure your lender has the same understanding. Be realistic with yourself and with your lender about what is viable and what is achievable. Show Your Lender Why You Offer a Better Alternative. Lenders understand the disruption, costs and unsatisfactory recovery outcomes that can result from treating a borrower adversarially. If your company can survive, show the lender how it will achieve a better financial result through your company’s business reorganization and credit facilities restructure proposal. If your company can’t survive, show the lender how it will achieve a better financial result by leaving the company and you in operation and control either (i) to sell the company, or (ii) to maximize receipts and liquidation proceeds during a wind-down period. Know When To Quit. Keep asking yourself “Is it time to quit struggling for survival, and instead prudently unwind?” Take Care of Yourself. Dealing with a financial crisis can inflict a heavy personal toll. A company owner’s maintaining her or his physical and mental health during a time of crisis is essential. Remember—you will survive. To paraphrase a recent movie quote: “All things end well. If things are not well, it is not the end.” Content contributed by Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman, P.A., which partners with owners of privately held businesses to provide comprehensive legal services in all areas of business, tax, estate planning, succession planning, purchases and sales of businesses, real estate, family law, and litigation. For more information, contact John Northey, J.D., at 704-364-0010 or visit www.wnhplaw.com.

june 2012

5


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Potter & Company, P.A.

[accountingbiz]

Accounting, Tax and Consulting Solutions

Forecast:

T

Variable Weather, as Variable as State Tax Practices

he federal income tax system is often discussed and, with the exception of its many intricacies, the general concept is largely grasped by taxpayers. There is less discussion, publicity and awareness by taxpayers of how state tax compliance systems are run and the many differences that exist among them. How do individual states decide who is entitled to tax a business with activity in multiple states? What factors do they use to determine how much income is taxed? Do all states assess the same types of taxes? Are there changes happening currently in the state tax arena that business owners should be aware of? Let’s compile the answers to these questions, compare tax policies between various states and review the changes the current economic and political climate is ushering in. Nexus State tax is predicated on the idea that each state has the right to tax entities domiciled within its borders. Many states also exercise the right to tax income earned within the state by nonresident businesses. With state boundaries less significant as businesses expand nationally and globally, a state’s right to tax is less clear. A state’s ability to tax income relates to a concept called “nexus.” Nexus for tax purposes can be defined as the extent to which a state has connection to a business’s income and consequently, the right to levy taxes. Business Income Tax State income tax rules for businesses work much differently than the rules for individuals when multiple states are involved. Through a concept aptly known as “apportionment,” a business allocates its net income for the year across the various states in which it operates. The apportionment factors can vary but are usually some combination of revenue, payroll expense, equipment, property, inventory and rent expense. Each state typically requires a few adjustments to the amount of income calculated for federal tax purposes. Once adjusted, this income is then subjected to the state’s respective apportionment percentage to determine how much income will be subject to tax in that state. The range of the states’ corporate income tax rates is from 0 to 9.9 percent (Pennsylvania). North Carolina assesses a 6.9 percent tax rate and South Carolina a 5 percent rate, ranking each 27th and 42nd highest, respectively. Recent Developments Due in part to a down economy, increase in Internet sales bypassing the purchasers’ state sales tax, and some income tax ideological shifts, states are in need of revenue and are becoming more aggressive and creative

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

in efforts to generate it. The revenue streams being tapped are typically from businesses, specifically those engaged in e-commerce. Historically, for sales tax purposes, nexus was not considered established for products delivered by U.S. mail. Without nexus, vendors had no ability to collect sales tax on out-ofstate purchases. The recent trend has been for states to expand the definition of nexus and require businesses to withhold sales tax through a movement called “agency nexus” (aka “click-through” or “Amazon” nexus). In 2011, 15 states enacted, or began legislative action to establish agency nexus, not only because of the need for additional tax revenue, but also the recent challenges to a Supreme Court case inferring that a business does not establish nexus unless it has a physical presence in a state. Some states are also supplementing income tax or doing away with it altogether by creating alternative taxes. Ohio, for example, taxes gross receipts instead of net income. Many states (including North Carolina) have a franchise tax, which can be based on a company’s equity, net book value of their fixed assets or other non-profit indicators. These sorts of business privilege taxes provide states with tax revenue even when companies are not profitable, thus ensuring the states’ receipt of tax dollars. Whether it is rooted in fiscal ideology, changing economic conditions or other factors, state tax policies vary from state to state and from the federal tax code. Businesses should keep state tax compliance in their thoughts, especially as states continue to look for additional sources of revenue. Policies across states can be as varied as the weather. Tomorrow’s forecast: probable continued change with a 100 percent chance of increased state efforts to collect on what each deems to be its proper share. Content contributed by Robert W. Taylor, CPA, PFS, Partner with Potter & Company, P.A., a locally based certified public accounting firm offering core services of audit, business consulting, tax, and financial analysis. For more information, contact him at 704-662-3146 or visit www.gotopotter.com.

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[webbiz]

Knowmad Advancing Business Online

I

magine that you’ve just spent a large portion of this year’s marketing budget on a website to improve sales by attracting leads online. After spending many long hours building internal support for the project, planning the website, having it built and creating content, you’re ready to see results. The website finally launches. Now, you wait to see the results. For a while, you’re excited. Everyone loves the new website! The excitement soon wears off, however, as the results you expected don’t materialize. There’s a temporary increase in traffic but few new sales leads. Worse yet, the company planned on results from the website expense and there is little to show. The disappointment is palpable. You know you need to use the Web for marketing or the company risks losing market share. This new website isn’t working. What went wrong? Sharing the story with others, you hear, “You need SEO. Good SEO will make you No. 1 on Google.” Researching SEO, you get a couple of quotes, only to find it confusing to understand what you’re buying and what you should pay for it. Sound familiar? You can easily avoid this. Get to know SEO so you can understand its importance and value.

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a part of an overall Internet marketing strategy. SEO is exclusively focused on increasing ranking in search results. There are three foundational activities used to achieve desirable rankings for the average website: keyword research, optimizing the website for keywords (on-site optimization), and creating inbound links (link building or off-site optimization). Pricing depends on the quality of the service provider and the activities included.

Get to Know SEO:

Search Engine Optimization • •• (SEO) Explained •••

The Importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) The days of “build it and they will come” for websites ended long ago. Buyers look for products and solutions via search engines like Google which makes SEO important for attracting sales leads online. Tests show that a business doesn’t need to be No. 1, but it is best to place in the first 3 to 4 result listings because searchers often don’t look past page one of search results. SEO is fundamental to Internet marketing because it ties into many activities. By prioritizing SEO, you will avoid disappointing results and ensure support of other online marketing activities. The more visible your business is in search, the more prospects you will attract.

True or False? The more a keyword is used, the higher a website will rank in search engines. Mostly false. While using a keyword is part of optimization, using keywords in unnatural ways to increase frequency can actually harm rankings. This is called “keyword stuffing.” In addition, keywords are page-specific. They don’t apply to the website as a whole because search engines return pages, not websites.

How valuable is SEO? Beyond getting found without paying the Google tax (adwords), SEO delivers an often overlooked value. Using the keywords from SEO in other online marketing activities increases the value of those activities. For instance, using these keywords in blog entries, press releases and social media promotions delivers more content and inbound links for the keywords. Using the keywords in content distributed across the Web creates more inbound links. More content and inbound links for keywords improves search engine rankings. When buying SEO, look for the following: ■ A company with a proven track record that shows results in a reasonable timeframe, usually 4 to 6 months. Talk to a couple of their customers. ■ Help choosing effective keywords and suggestions for website changes to improve rankings. ■ Clear reporting that is easy to understand and keeps you up-to-date. Ask for examples.

8

SEO is an ongoing process. True. SEO is a process, not a product, and requires ongoing attention. It’s important to monitor results regularly because Google’s algorithms change, new search features are introduced, and it is important to stay competitive. Exchanging links with colleagues will improve my rankings. Mostly false. While this practice won’t get you penalized (unless you exchange links excessively), it doesn’t have a great benefit either. Google is smart enough to detect reciprocal links between websites, and if it determines the websites are unrelated, it can look fishy. Improving website speed and performance improves rankings. True. Since 2010, Google has included page speed in its algorithm. Beyond the SEO benefits, having a faster website creates a more seamless user experience and happy customers. Content contributed by Knowmad, a Web strategy, design and Internet marketing company located in Charlotte, N.C. Knowmad guides clients on the most effective ways to advance their business online. For more information, contact Diona Kidd at 704-343-9330 or visit http://www.knowmad.com/gcb.

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David Bunn

[taxbiz]

Savvy Business Tax Practices

›Payroll Service Providers and Your Business

U

sing a third party payroll service can be an effective business practice, but as an employer you must always understand your tax obligations.

When making the decision to outsource payroll functions, the employer must use care in finding a provider that has the reputation and proven track record for servicing its clients. Doing research online, through business associates, trade groups, or other trusted sources is critical. In the end the decision to employ a payroll service provider is far-reaching and can be key to the success or failure of your enterprise. Due diligence and care are essential in your choice and once that choice is made, follow the advice of President Ronald Reagan: “Trust but Verify.” There are several categories of third party payroll service providers that can be utilized depending on the level of service needed and the degree to which you want to delegate your role in the process.

Payroll Service Provider (PSP) The Payroll Service Provider (PSP) is the most common type of third party provider used by small businesses. PSPs typically prepare employee paychecks, prepare payroll tax returns, make tax deposits and payments, and provide employee W2 forms at the end of the tax year. The employer signs and files the tax returns when using a PSP. When an employer uses a PSP, the employer remains liable for all tax return filings as well as payments. The PSP does not have any liability. Reporting Agent Some businesses utilize the services of a Reporting Agent which differs from a PSP primarily in that the Reporting Agent can sign and file tax returns for the employer. Reporting Agents must be authorized to act through the use of IRS Form 8655 which allows them to sign for the employer. As with the PSP, the employer remains ultimately liable for filing and payment of all taxes. The Reporting Agent carries no liability. Section 3504 Agent The final category of providers is the Section 3504 Agent. This category of provider takes on additional responsibilities and is authorized to do so through IRS Form 2678. Due to the more complex nature of the relationship, the 3504 Agent is most commonly used by a larger business. Due to their additional functions and responsibility, this category of provider can

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

be held liable for failures to file or pay over taxes. Even though the 3504 Agent can be held liable, the employer is also liable for the ultimate filing and payment of company taxes. Keep the following in mind if you decide to employ a third party payroll service provider: ■ The employer is ultimately responsible for the deposit and payment of federal tax liabilities. ■ Even if you transfer funds to the provider, you do not transfer your liability, and if the provider fails to turn over the funds to the IRS, you will be held responsible for the unpaid tax, penalties and interest. ■ IRS may hold officers and key employees within a company personally responsible for unpaid taxes that the company cannot pay. ■ IRS will correspond with the employer if there are problems and the employer is held accountable for responding to notices or inquiries. It is critical that steps are taken to ensure that the address Internal Revenue Service has for the employer is not that of the payroll service provider so that correspondence is properly directed to the company and not the provider. ■ Virtually all federal tax deposits are made via the electronic Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Employers must ensure that the provider is using the EFTPS system. In addition, the employer should register on the EFTPS system and then verify that payments are being made. By doing so the employer can spot problems, make deposits if necessary, and be alert to issues as they develop. ■ It is critical that the employer maintain a close ongoing relationship with their provider and that the employer contact the IRS if they see problems that are not fully resolved. Even when payroll service providers are prosecuted in those cases where fraud is committed or funds are deliberately stolen, the employer remains liable for the unpaid taxes and must either pay them or face the potential of financial ruin. Recently, a payroll service provider filed bankruptcy in the Western District of North Carolina located here in Charlotte. A number of businesses had relied on the provider to pay over their taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and the various departments of revenue; however, the provider had failed to turn over funds it held on behalf of the clients. The end result is that the various clients have been required to pay the tax twice, first by turning over funds to the provider for deposit, and second by having to pay out those same amounts, plus penalty and interest, to the IRS and state tax authorities. This is the type of costly lesson that few businesses can afford to learn and one that might have been avoided had the businesses exercised diligence in maintaining an overview of their tax matters through available resources such as the EFTPS system and by attending to correspondence generated by the taxing authorities. The choice to use a third party payroll service provider can be a valuable approach to growing your business but it is one which must be attended to with care, requires ongoing commitment to monitor the process, with the absolute understanding that you, the employer, are in the end responsible for your taxes. Content contributed by David Bunn, an Enrolled Agent practicing in Charlotte, N.C., with specialization in tax collection issues. For more information, contact him at 704-408-6987 or by email at dwbunnea@bellsouth.net.

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Steve Proffitt (father) and Shelley Eagan Proffitt (daughter) on Proffitt family farm with herd of Scottish Aberdeen Angus Cattle Farm

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by zenda douglas

[bizprofile]

ife on the Proffitt Family Cattle Company farm, with its roaming Scottish Aberdeen Angus cattle, is as natural as it gets, if you don’t count the benefits of electricity and some farming equipment. “We’re raising cattle the ‘old-fashioned’ way—before chemicals and pesticides and feedlots,” says Shelley Eagan, second generation farmer and co-owner of the family enterprise located just off of Interstate 85 in Kings Mountain, N.C. “We raise 100 percent grassfed, grass-finished beef on certified organic pastures,” says Shelley, with obvious pride. That’s a mouthful. The process and routines necessary to produce grassfed beef and the standards that must be met to achieve a certified United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic label are rigorous and require constant diligence, according to Shelley. Proffitt Family Cattle Company is the only organic beef operation in North Carolina. Although in business just three years now, Proffitt Family Cattle Company has been well received by an eager clientele.

Proffitt Family Cattle Company Raises Certified Organic Beef

“The first time we went to the farmer’s market, we went with one cooler of beef and sold out in an hour. The next weekend, we returned with two coolers—same thing,” says Shelley. “The reaction has been overwhelming. These are people who have heard the news clips and seen the movies about inhumane animal processing. This was a customer base waiting for us. Our only issue has been supply.” Proffitt Family Cattle Company sells its beef at the Charlotte Regional Market off Tyvola and the Atherton Mills Market off South Boulevard. Their beef is also available at the company’s farm store in Kings Mountain and can be found in a few select restaurants and stores in the area. Down on the Farm Approximately 750 acres are devoted to pasture between the four Proffitt Family Cattle Company

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farm properties. The calving takes place on 360 acres half-owned half-leased in Blacksburg, S.C., and when the calves are weaned, they are moved to 200 acres of pastureland in Shelby, N.C., or the 50-acre Creek Ranch just down the road from the family home in Kings Mountain. For their last few months of life, cattle are moved to the Kings Mountain 60-acre pasture behind the family home. There are currently 230 head of cattle: a mix of cows, which are the mommas and the calves at their sides; heifers, or female animals that have never calved; steers, which are the castrated males; and the males chosen to be breeder bulls. The breed, Scottish Aberdeen Angus, which is naturally polled (does not have horns), was developed from cattle indigenous to the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland. Black Angus is the most popular beef breed of cattle in ➤ the United States.

june 2012

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Life is stress-free for Proffitt cattle. They live out their days in the open with an abundance of food, water and sunshine. Their diet is the one created for them by nature—an assortment of organic grasses including vetch, heavy clover, fescue, plantain, wild clover, crabgrass and Bermuda. Surrounded by woods, shade is available on hot summer days. Briars and thistles are removed from their paths—chopped not sprayed to protect their food source and the land. Their biggest disturbance comes in the form of a Kelpie, or Australian cattle dog, named Sadie who helps to direct their focus when its time to change pastures. The only additives to their grass diet are organic salt with a high trace mineral content, and kelp which keeps them safe from pink eye, a common infection in cattle. Cows and bulls have the longest lives. Mommas can live up to 30 years and can bear calves for 15 of those. Cattle intended for beef will generally be raised for 14 to 18 months. “Most cows start out on a farm walking in a pasture but they don’t get to live out their lives there,” says Shelley. “Most farmers in the cow industry raise cow and calf and sell them at the auction house when calves get to be six months to a year old. Or they buy calves from the auction house, bring them up in weight over the course of the year and sell them for more money the following year.” Once sold, the cattle are taken to join many thousands of other cattle in a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) or feedlot where upwards of a thousand or more cows are placed together in paddocks equipped with huge troughs. There they are fattened up on feed most commonly made from corn and soy. A large number of animals are slaughtered at one time and the beef goes out to groceries and other distributors all over the country. “Most people would consider feedlots inhumane,” says Shelley. “Cows can’t live more than six months in a feedlot because the feeding system is so detrimental to their health.” “We are the antithesis of that,” claims Shelley who says that it is not her intention to villianize the conventional beef industry. “Some feedlots have taken steps to make the kill facility and the way they transport the animals more humane.” Further, Shelley recognizes that the nation’s insatiable demand for cheap beef cannot currently be met through organic and grassfed methods. “The reason more people can’t do this is that they don’t have enough grass to support two or three generations of cattle. Even if acreage is available, it has to have specific characteristics—proper fencing, clean water, certain vegetation, and quality soil,” says Shelley. Farming a Family Shelley and her siblings were raised in Charlotte and attended Charlotte Latin School. Shelley graduated from University of Georgia in 1996 and then moved to Park City, Utah. There she met Brian, a graduate of University of Utah, got married and had two children, and settled in a suburb of Denver, Colo. Shelley was teaching fifth grade and Brian was furthering his sales career. Patriarch Steve Proffitt, a Charlotte businessman, had retired and moved with his wife Diane to a second home in Florida. “They fished and golfed and got that out of their system,” says Shelley with a smile. Returning to Charlotte, the couple opened an organic bread store. “My sister’s move to Kings Mountain was what got them looking in this area,” says Shelley. “They bought the farm, which was just the home farm and the Blacksburg properties in 1999. They built this modern version of a farmhouse and Dad became interested in cows.” By 2000, Steve was selling cows the conventional way through the auction barn but was increasingly disturbed by the feedlots. His research and self-education led him to pursue grassfed beef. Instead of weaning the calves and selling them at auction, he obtained more pastureland and kept them for the entirety of their lives. He also pursued organic certification. Shelley and Brian and their two children Dewi and Zoe would vacation on the farm for a few weeks each summer. Shelley enjoyed being outside and helping with the cows. Husband Brian, having grown up spending his summers on a sheep farm in Idaho, also loved to➤ be outside, riding horses. So the family decided to move to the farm in December of 2008.

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“We’re raising cattle the ‘oldfashioned’ way—before chemicals and pesticides and feedlots. We raise 100 percent grassfed, grassfinished beef on USDA certified organic pastures. Grassfed and organic are actually two different things; we just happen to be both of those things.” ~Shelley Proffitt Eagan Co-owner and Operator

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Steve Proffitt Shelley Proffitt Eagan Owners and Operators Proffitt Family Cattle Company “We all live and work here together,” says Shelley. “We traded suburbia for multi-generational farm life. We get to be outdoors, don’t mind getting sweaty and dirty, and we have a lot of empathy for animals. It’s hard work but a good life.” Amazingly, Proffitt Family Cattle Company has only four part-time employees. Two work with the cattle and two help sell the beef at the markets. Shelley and her father are the two main ranchers. Diane helps to get the beef to market and is a master gardener. Brian has a fulltime sales job outside the farm but helps to run the business and spends about two and one-half days on the farm each week. “There’s no such thing as weekends off but with two families here, everybody can have a break,” says Shelley. Even the kids have chores: Dewi is in charge of the chickens—there are also ducks, guineas, a rooster and hens—and helps to load hay; Zoe takes care of the pony in the mornings and afternoons. Eight cats and five dogs also call the farm their home. Certified Organic In 2009, the Proffitt Family Cattle Company received its organic certification through the Clemson University Department of Plant and Industry, which means that the Proffitts’ land and beef now carry the certified USDA organic label extended to those who have met rigorous requirements. They are just reaching the point that they have cattle of harvestable age that have been raised under the organic label. (The certification reflects a prior three-year period of time during which no chemicals were employed on the land or in the care and feed of the animals.) “Grassfed and organic are actually two different things; we just happen to be both of those things,” explains Shelley. The family is also proud of other certifications they have earned from the American Grassfed Association

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“The reason more people can’t do this is that they don’t have enough grass to support two or three generations of cattle. Even if acreage is available, it has to have specific characteristics—proper fencing, clean water, certain vegetation, and quality soil.” ~Shelley Proffitt Eagan Co-owner and Operator

STEAKS FROM SCOTTISH ABERDEEN ANGUS CATTLE 1. Rib-Eye Steak: A juicy, tasteful, slice of sirloin, rich in fat. 2. N.Y. Strip: The most tasteful part of the sirloin, the American steak-eaters’ favorite. 3. Sirloin Steak: Typically lean, juicy slice of sirloin made more tasty by a thin fat layer. 4. Tenderloin Steak: Tenderloin steak, the most magnificent part of the Angus cattle. 5. Rump-Steak: Angus Beef Rump Steak specialties. T-Bone Steak: The T-Bone combines two steaks in one—a flavorful New York Strip on one side of the “T” and a tender Filet on the other. Porterhouse Steak: The porterhouse steak includes two of your favorite steaks—the entire sirloin strip and the tenderloin filet.

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and Animal Welfare Approved. “These certifications provide extra assurance for our customers who are concerned over the issues of sustainability, clean food and the well-being of animals,” says Shelley. The quality of life for a cow, particularly the food it eats, dictates the quality of the beef for humans. Consumption of grassfed beef, according to a 2009 study conducted by the USDA and Clemson University, carries with it some major health benefits. Loaded with higher levels of vitamin E, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, vaccenic acid and omega-3, grassfed beef is lower in total fat and calories and lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease. It is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is important as CLA is one of the most powerful defenses against cancer. CLA, which is stored in fat cells, actually makes eating a well-marbled steak or the fatty trimmings a healthy choice. Grassfed and certified USDA organic beef cost more in the marketplace, but that doesn’t bother Shelley: “My customers don’t shop at Wal-Mart. They are looking for organic, local food produced using sustainable methods and they understand that it will cost them more.” “It’s important to us to be transparent to

be presented with on the morrow. They provide healthy food for people. As Shelley is oft heard saying after a successful roundup, “That’ll do, Sadie.” biz Zenda Douglas is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Proffitt Farms, LLC dba

our customers,” says Shelley. “We want people to come out and see the animals; see the grass.” Tours are regularly scheduled that often include wine tastings and cooking classes, both very popular. “Most people of my generation don’t know what to do with a roast. If they don’t make hamburger or put a steak on the grill, they may feel overwhelmed.” Proffitt Family Cattle Company also offers recipes in its newsletter and on its website. The cycles of life—and death—are never so apparent as on a farm that raises animals for meat. On the Proffitt farm, cows calve every year; some every 10 months. Four animals are slaughtered every other week. But for the entirety of their lives, they are peacefully sustained by the sunny pastures of natural grasses. They sleep under the stars and dream about the fresh swath of clover they will

Proffitt Family Cattle Company 150 Old Home Place Rd. Kings Mountain, N.C. 28086 Phone: 704-751-6455 Principals: Steve and Diane Proffitt, Brian and Shelley Eagan; Owners and Operators Established: 2009 Employees: 2 principals and 2 part-time staff Cattle: Scottish Aberdeen Angus beef cattle; 200+ head Pasturelands: Blacksburg, S.C.; Shelby, N.C.; Creek Ranch (Kings Mountain, N.C.); behind family home in Kings Mountain, N.C.; approximately 750 acres total Business: Producer of high quality, 100 percent grassfed/finished, certified USDA organic beef; mission is to produce beef in a natural way in a purely natural environment. www.proffittfarms.com

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“We are committed to performing our job right and on time the first time while never compromising taste, freshness, presentation and/or service.� ~Floyd D. Young Jr. President and CEO

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F.D.Y., Inc. Provides a Diverse Foodservice Solution

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loyd D. Young Jr. learned to work hard picking cotton as a boy in Prairie View, Tex., a small town of about 4,000 located 90 miles north of Houston. In Prairie View, school was often delayed starting in the fall until the cotton crop was harvested. “Picking cotton was the hardest work I ever did,” says Young. “You’d pick all day and, if you were lucky, you’d have 300 lbs. and $1.50 at the end of the day.” Young was no stranger to hard work. In high school, he worked for $7 a week, two hours before school, two hours after school and 12 hours on Friday night at a commercial bakery. He learned a lot there about the basics of how a small company operates. He also learned the importance of going to work daily and being on time. After graduating high school, Young attended Prairie View A&M University, the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. The historically black university is also known as one of the nation’s top producers of African-American engineers, and has produced more African-American three-star generals than any other historically black university in the country. Young graduated with a degree in industrial education, and then apprenticed as the night baker at a Dallas hotel. Shortly thereafter, he accepted an offer from the Flanner House Community Center in Indianapolis, Ind., to start his career as their food service manager. There Young met Ida Edelen, who was on the staff of Flanner House as a social worker and her 5-year-old nephew Keith Haywood, who was enrolled in the child development center. Before long Young married Keith’s mother and Ida’s sister-in-law, Norma Edelen. During his years in Indianapolis, Young also worked at Eli Lilly Co., the global pharmaceutical giant headquartered there, and taught food services at Indiana State University. In 1969, he was recruited to serve as head of Johnson C. Smith University’s food services and he moved with his wife and stepson to Charlotte. “I thought I was in hog haven,” Young laughs. “I was earning a good salary and Charlotte was a great place to live. Of course, I knew nothing about the city before I got here and thought it was near the ocean. After I got here, I kept looking for the beach and the waves.” Soon after Young got to Charlotte, the food service company he came here to work for was sold. He went to work for a new company, Gourmet Services, now headquartered in Atlanta, for a short time and then, in 1982, struck out on his own as F.D.Y., Inc. (FDY). “I had seen the food industry from the highest to the lowest,” says Young. “I had learned what to do and➤ what not do. I was determined to bring quality food and quality service to the Carolinas.”

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Floyd D.Young Jr. President and CEO F.D.Y., Inc.

Quality Food, Quality Service Today FDY is one of the largest minorityowned food service companies in America. Young started out 30 years ago with 30 employees; today, he has more than 300. He started with three clients; today he has 10 major clients. FDY’s original purpose was to meet the growing demand for quality food management and vending services in the Carolinas. FDY’s current services include all aspects of contract food services, from college and corporation cafeterias, to airports retail and franchises, to catered receptions and weddings. The company’s emphasis on quality, taste and presentation along with the professionalism of its associates has earned FDY the distinction of being among the finest food service operations in the Southeast. The company has also invested in and operates several retail franchises. “We believe that the best food service programs are those which are customized for each target group,” asserts Young. The Campus Dining Division is the foundation of FDY. Its clients include Johnson C. Smith University, along with partnerships at Bennett College for

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Women, Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, and North Carolina Central University. The complexity of serving food year-round on today’s campuses to residential students, commuter students, faculty, staff, dignitaries and visitors presents the company with its biggest challenges and rewards. “When we started, we were mandated to supply three meals a day, seven days a week,” says Young. “Now everyone wants service like they get in the mall. We’re seeing new retail franchise concepts on campus, new growth and new ways of providing meals.” FDY’s campus dining food management staff works to keep abreast of the changing nutritional desires and needs of the student population. Menu upgrades are determined based on periodic surveys, evaluations and recommendations. FDY also works with institutions on facility planning, restoration and renovation projects. FDY’s experience and resources can help schools enhance their cafeterias, student centers and conference facilities. FDY is adding new concepts and franchise dining outlets to campuses and airports to accommodate customers with busy lifestyles. The addition of outlets like a Papa John’s Pizza at Johnson C. Smith University or a Bojangles at the Charlotte Airport add variety and increase participation at the campus establishments. “Achieving the perfect dining program is a never-ending journey,” states Young. “It is

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a journey that everyone at FDY will pursue with energy and passion to achieve the client’s desired results.” Sustainable Choices FDY has also created a program called Sustain 365 to help its customers make healthy food choices. The program features menus and recipes that deliver on taste, while using ingredients and cooking techniques that promote a healthy nutritional lifestyle. The marketing strategy for Sustain 365 includes posting nutritional data at every serving counter with nutritional icons appearing on the menu sign to designate each healthy option. The company uses Sustain 365 shirts during service, maintains a nutritional data desk in the cafeteria, makes use of posters and table tents, promotes “Fry Free Thursdays” and creates special events around the Sustain 365 theme. Partnering with Johnson C. Smith University, Rowan Regional Hospital, Carolinas Medical Center, the American Dietetic Association, the Mayo Healthy Living Center and the American Heart Association helps to provide educational support materials and healthy lifestyle awareness resources. FDY has also initiated campus health workshops. “We strive constantly for new and better ways to improve our service,” says Young. “Our customers are the essence of our company. We listen to them continuously, anticipate their needs and go beyond their expectations.”

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Young has seen many changes to the food service industry during his career. The biggest change is a consolidation at the top. Aramark Corporation based in Philadelphia, Pa., Compass Group Americas Division in Charlotte, and Sodexho, Inc. out of Gaithersburg, Md., are the behemoths. “We’re in competition now with megabuck companies, and to be competitive,” asserts Young, “you need to invest capital. But you need to be very careful how you invest those dollars.”

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“We strive constantly for new and better ways to improve our service. Our customers are the essence of our company. We listen to them continuously, anticipate their needs and go beyond their expectations.”

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FDY has chosen to diversify its retail services by partnering with another Charlottebased company, Bojangles. Bojangles was founded in 1977 in Charlotte and has grown into a true destination restaurant throughout the Carolinas and beyond. In 2008, FDY opened a Bojangles franchise at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. With the airport Bojangles’ serving an average 1,250 meals a day, FDY has gone on to open Bojangles franchises at Clemson and, most recently, Union Station in Washington, D.C. FDY has also partnered with the HMSHost in operating a Burger King at the Norfolk Airport in Virginia. While the company was founded on its experience and knowledge of food management service to colleges, universities and corporations, it has become more diversified over the past 30 years. Its partnership with Bojangles is one strategy; another is its expansion in vending services. In 1987, it acquired the food management con➤ tract at the Rocky Mount Engine Company

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(now known as Cummins) plant in Whitaker, N.C. FDY serves more than 2,200 people in the company’s cafeteria and services 40 clusters of vending machines throughout the plant. “While FDY’s business is currently a mix of food service contract and retail, the retail side is growing,” reports Young. “That’s where the market is going—more and more retail and franchise restaurant opportunities.” Energy and Passion When Young launched FDY in 1982, one of his goals was to enhance the quality of life for others by offering gainful employment opportunities and raising the bar for minorities in the food service industry. “I wanted to bring quality to my employees’ lives. I came from humble beginnings and as I’ve grown and come along, I’ve wanted to help them come along as well. Health care, benefits and competitive wages are important to me and to them.” From the beginning, Young has been helped by the support and experience of his wife, Norma, serving as vice president and advisor in the areas of strategic planning, client satisfaction, employee relations, policies and procedures, financial accountability and company stability. Her mission is to strengthen the organization by creating a warm and inviting

searching,

workplace environment, responsible business practices and customer satisfaction. Young’s stepson, Keith Haywood, has also been a substantial part of FDY since 1983. After graduating from North Carolina Central University in 1977 with a major in business administration and marketing, Haywood joined Gourmet Services, Inc, and clerked with the company’s vice president for operations and financial affairs. For the past 26 years, Haywood has been affiliated with FDY. He has managed the Banquet and Catering Division with clients that include the North Carolina Furniture Market, National Basketball Association, NCAA Final Four Tournament, New Heritage USA Resort, NBC 24 Hour News Network, ACC Tournament, Nations Bank (Bank of America), and Amway. Haywood has launched two food service management companies and served as

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a food service specialist for the Kellogg’s/ Fearn International, Le Gout Foods subsidiary. Additionally, he has chaired the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau and been active in the minority business community and small business development initiatives. Now serving as vice president of sales and marketing, Haywood is the company’s point person for business development initiatives, partnerships and new ventures. His other areas of work have included food service management, catering and special events, facility design, construction, and brand development work, including retail and franchise development. He also provides valuable leadership in the Company’s annual growth. “I chose the right place, the right people and the right time to start this company,” says Young. “I had the insights and the experience to develop it. However the only way to stay ahead year after year is to develop a great team. Thankfully, we’ve been able to do that as well.” Young’s own role in the company has evolved into providing stability and guidance for his team. He visits clients and makes sure they are happy. He makes sure the company is staying on track and he makes sure the finances are flowing in the right direction. “I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to grow the business,” Young laughs. “Food management is a service business, which means business is good as long as you do good work. It also means you have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. We always want to offer a quality dining experience at any FDY operation or special event.” biz Casey Jacobus is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

F.D.Y., Inc. 2459 Wilkinson Blvd., Ste. 300 Charlotte, N.C. 28208 Phone: 704-523-6605 Principal: Floyd D.Young Jr., President and CEO; Norma R.Young,Vice President and Advisor to the President; Keith J. Haywood, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Founded: 1982 Employees: More than 300 Territory: Throughout the Southeast from D.C. to Georgia Business: Minority-owned food service company providing dining, catering and vending services to colleges, universities and corporations, as well as managing retail franchises throughout the Southeast. www.fdyinc.com

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Photo: Wayne Morris

Rodney D. Monroe Chief of Police Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

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or five days in early September, the eyes of the world will turn to Charlotte as the 2012 Democratic National Convention comes to town. It’s perhaps the most significant national event to ever come to the Queen City, with over 35,000 delegates, government officials, celebrities, media, and demonstrators expected during the week of Labor Day. With all of this attention comes a host of challenges, not the least of which is providing for public safety and convention security. Thousands of demonstrators are expected, and as the nominating convention for a sitting president and vice president, the DNC will require an even larger security apparatus than the Republican Convention being held the week before in Tampa. The point man for security is Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney D. Monroe. For the last three and a half years under Chief Monroe’s leadership, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) has seen crime rates fall to their lowest levels in decades. Now with the DNC coming to town, Chief Monroe has a whole new responsibility before him—ensuring a safe and trouble-free convention. 22

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by jim froneberger

[bizprofile]

the

CMPD Leads as the DNC Comes to Town Accountability and Community A native of the Washington, D.C., area, Chief Monroe is a 34-year veteran of law enforcement. After becoming a police officer in 1979, he served for 21 years with the D.C. police force before moving on to become the chief of police in Macon, Ga. In February 2005 he was named chief in Richmond, Va., where he served until he was appointed chief of the CharlotteMecklenburg Police Department in June 2008. In the three and a half years Monroe has been in Charlotte, crime has dropped by over 30 percent to the lowest rate in more than 20 years. The improvement is across the board, with all categories —homicide, robbery, rape,

auto theft, larceny, aggravated assault, arson, and burglary—showing significant decreases. By comparison, other large cities have seen decreases in the 4 to 8 percent range. CMPD also boasts an 88 percent closure rate on homicides, compared to a national average closure of only about 50 percent. Chief Monroe credits the improvements to a more accountable organization, new technology, and a concerted effort to get local communities involved as the eyes of the police force. “When I first came to Charlotte, I attended a number of neighborhood meetings where the same themes kept repeating themselves,” he recalls. “People felt they didn’t see enough police

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officers and they believed we had strayed from a focus on property crimes. “While violent crimes often get the most attention, the most common crimes are the ones that affect people’s homes, business, and vehicles. I wanted to bring more focus to those crimes and get more personnel back onto the streets,” the Chief continues. “We looked at every assignment in the department, did a lot of restructuring, and were able to put 100 officers back into the community.” Monroe points out that key to managing crime is being able to measure it. “You have to know where and when it is occurring and who ➤ is committing the crime,” he explains. “So

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Interior photos courtesy of David E. Morgan

we created a robust crime analysis capability so we could get in front of crime rather than just responding to it.” The department now has a predictive crime analysis system utilizing up to seven years of crime data that allows police to pinpoint locations, times and even weather conditions where crime is most likely to occur. Resources are then be deployed to the right places at the right times. Monroe also wanted a greater sense of accountability at the community level. “Police officers work shifts, so once your shift is over you tend to forget about what has gone on until you come back in,” admits the Chief. “But we wanted somebody to be responsible for every piece of real estate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” To accomplish this, Monroe created 39 response areas and designated a Response Area Commander for each. Each commander is like a mini-police chief and is responsible for his geographic area 24/7. Weekly review meetings and monthly planning sessions ensure that everyone stays results-oriented. This community-based approach has allowed CMPD to engage the local communities and solve cases more successfully, something Monroe credits for the high closure rate on homicides. “No case happens in isolation; somebody knows something,” he says. “If you can gain the community’s confidence they will come forward with information, knowing that you’re going to

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act on it and get that person off the street.” Communities also must become more involved themselves. “If you are a community that comes home, pulls into the garage, shuts the door, and then gets back in the car the next morning, you’re going to have problems,” he suggests. “But if you know who lives in your community, who belongs and who doesn’t belong, and you call the police when you see suspicious activity— that is a community where a criminal can’t come in and arbitrarily prey. Someone is going to say, ‘You don’t belong here.’” Ensuring a Safe Convention When Charlotte was chosen as the site for the 2012 Democratic Convention, some questioned whether a city with little experience hosting large national events could effectively manage the high level of security required. Chief Monroe says that’s not an issue for Charlotte. “As soon as the announcement was made in February 2011, we began reaching out,” he explains. “We reached out to other agencies and to our counterparts in the cities that have hosted a convention recently. There are plenty of blueprints across the country to help us position ourselves to handle just about anything that comes about.” One of the first orders of business was establishing an executive steering committee to oversee security led by CMPD and the Secret Service. Other participants include the FBI, the Fire Department, FEMA, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the State of N.C., and many more. There are also 21 subcommittees covering

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everything from air support, to civil disturbances, to logistics, and dignitary protection. As the DNC host city, Charlotte is receiving a $50 million federal grant to defray the cost of convention security. The money is being used for equipment and technology purchases and will also fund several hundred additional police officers traveling from around the state and nation to supplement CMPD’s existing force. “We’ll have officers from Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and many others,” says the Chief. “You’ll see a national flavor to law enforcement in Charlotte.” The state legislature provided CMPD a one-time waiver to allow outof-state officers to be temporarily sworn as North Carolina Peace Officers. Additional resources from the Capitol Police, governors’ details, and the Secret Service will supplement the force. The grant also funded the department’s $1.7 million command center that was completed late last year. The new center will operate 24/7 during the convention and will house representatives from all of the local, state and federal agencies involved in convention security. A wall of video screens provides access to hundreds of video surveillance cameras and the center is equipped with a sophisticated communications system, allowing resources to be monitored and dispatched directly from the command center. “We’ll be able to communicate with all of our partners and we will have a very robust group of decision-makers so we can get decisions made or resources assigned,” explains Chief Monroe. “We will have those resources right at our fingertips.” CMPD will purchase an undisclosed number of surveillance cameras, but existing cameras will play a major role in giving the command center its eyes. “We have hundreds of private cameras already in uptown,” explains Chief Monroe. “Technology is evolving so we’re focusing on trying to tie into those existing cameras and in some cases to even be able to control the cameras. We already have the ability to monitor CDOT, CATS and government

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building cameras, so now we’re just trying to tie all of that together.” Unlike most political conventions, DNC 2012 will use three separate major venues—Time Warner Cable Arena, Bank of America Stadium, and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Security needs will inevitably cause disruptions near each venue, but through a combination of one-on-one meetings and a variety of community forums, Monroe’s team has been listening to concerns and keeping nearby businesses informed.

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“The key to managing crime is being able to measure it. You have to know where and when it is occurring and who is committing the crime. So we created a robust crime analysis capability so we could get in front of crime rather than just responding to it.” ~Rodney D. Monroe Chief of Police “Things are going to be different,” says Monroe. “Streets are going to be closed, some areas are going to have limited access, and people may have to go through security checkpoints to get to certain places.” The highest level of security will be for the venues themselves, continuing on out to perimeters for pedestrians and perimeters for vehicles. No specific details are being released until much closer to the convention.

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Accommodating Peaceful Expression Political conventions always attract a variety of demonstrators, and the Charlotte DNC 2012 will be no exception. Whether it is a small group wanting to stand on a street corner with signs or a group of thousands hoping to hold a more formal parade, Chief Monroe says the security team wants to accommodate all peaceful expression. “Other than the secure perimeters established ➤ for each of the venues, every other part of the

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city is open for individuals to express their First Amendment rights,” he explains. “They can’t block the thoroughfares and they can’t block the sidewalks, but other than that, it’s an open environment.” Larger groups will be able to schedule formal parades to present their point of view, and CMPD has already received at least 25 or 30 inquiries from such groups. They will soon be asked to register for specific dates/times.

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“We’ll close the streets down for a specific route and we’ll provide them with a speaker’s platform so they can get up there and talk about whatever it is they want to talk about,” Monroe says. The security team is preparing for groups of all sizes with new training on handling crowds and civil disturbances. “It may take one approach to handle a group of 500 people who just want to peacefully stand and hold signs,” explains Monroe. “It may take a very different strategy for a group of people who might want to try to do something a little more aggressive. In either case, we’re going to try to give the people the opportunity to express themselves, but we’ll also expect them to abide by the law and do things in a manner that does not cause harm or disruption to the convention.” The Bank of America shareholders meeting last month attracted several hundred protesters to uptown, giving CMPD a preview of what

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to expect during the convention. The meeting was designated an “extraordinary event” under a new city statute enacted for the DNC, giving police expanded authority to ban certain items and search bags as needed. Protest groups such as Occupy Charlotte also say they plan to increase their visibility in the months leading up to the convention.

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More Work to Do Despite his success over the last three and a half years and the short-term focus on the DNC 2012, Chief Monroe believes more can be done to reduce crime. “We need to do a better job expediting trials and we need more district attorneys, more judges, and more courtrooms to hold offenders accountable,” he says. “We need more police officers on the street and we need to do a better job with drug treatment because a lot of crimes still revolve around drugs. We also need more positive opportunities for our young people to counter the negative things they get involved with—drugs, gangs and guns. We have to continue to find ways to reach them.” As each day brings it closer, Chief Monroe feels the scrutiny on the department and the mechanisms in place to ensure that Charlotte hosts a safe and orderly Democratic National Convention. “I’m very comfortable that we have taken the necessary steps to be prepared,” he concludes. “There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, but I’m confident we’ll be ready to handle whatever comes our way.” biz

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Jim Froneberger is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department 601 E. Trade Street Charlotte, N.C. 28202 Phone: 704-336-2000 Principal: Rodney D. Monroe, Chief of Police Employees: Approximately 2,500 people, including 1,760 sworn officers Mission: CMPD engages citizens as active partners in problem identification and crime reduction, raising the perception of safety, and utilizing enforcement actions and partnerships that target priority chronic offenders. CMPD and the Secret Service are the lead agencies in the development of the security plan for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. www.cmpd.org

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(back l to r) Jim Harper, Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, HarperScientific Division; Ronald (“Lee�) Harper Kluttz, Vice President of Operations; Margaret Harper Kluttz, President; (front) Katherine Harper Harper Corporation of America

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Harper is the largest worldwide manufacturer and restorer of anilox rolls. The rolls can cost several hundred up to tens of thousands of dollars and measure from one inch all the way up to almost a yard in diameter. The largest rolls can have a length of over 17 feet and weights that can only be moved by overhead crane.

by barbara fagan

[bizprofile]

On a Roll... Harper Corporation of America is Imprinted with Innovation

A

“Flexo is used for the flexible packaging market, so pretty much all retail packaging is made with anilox rolls. We work with major retailers who have their own print shops or with the printers for the product manufacturers.” ~Lee Kluttz Vice President of Operations

nyone who’s taken a 5-year-old through a grocery store cereal aisle understands the role of packaging in determining which products are put in shopping carts and which end up languishing on shelves. Science reveals that consumers routinely make product decisions in as little as a third of a second, which means that retail packaging can be a make-or-break proposition for many companies. No one understands this challenge better than Harper Corporation of America (HCA). Headquartered in Charlotte, HCA is a global leader in the technology and manufacture of high precision anilox rolls, gravure and coating rollers, and related machinery and supplies. The rolls are laser-engraved on HCA-designed proprietary CNC equipment. The engraving is so small that all must be measured in microns with interfermeric instruments. (A micron is one third the thickness of a human hair.) The engraved cells transfer ink and ensure print consistency, which is the heart of the flexographic printing process. “Flexo is used for the flexible packaging market, so pretty much all retail packaging is made with anilox rolls,” explains Vice President of Operations Lee Kluttz. “We work with major retailers who have their own print shops or with the printers for the product manufacturers.” Currently, HCA is the largest worldwide manufacturer and restorer of anilox rolls. The rolls can cost several hundred up to tens of thousands of dollars and measure from one inch all the way up to almost a yard in diameter. The largest rolls can have a length of over 17 feet and weights that can only be moved by overhead crane. HCA’s anilox rolls are manufactured domestically in Charlotte and Green Bay, Wis., and internationally in Herford, Germany and Bangkok, Thailand. “The international push was customer-driven,” explains Margie Harper Kluttz, president. “We have a worldwide market and multinational customers that desire global consistency in their process and want Harper’s technology involved. “Besides, being closer to those market saves time and the costs of freight and customs duties. Germany services the European market and Thailand services Asia and Australia. The U.S. is still our largest market but Central and South America are really starting to boom. We service that market from Charlotte.” “The industry is not only highly technical, but also highly competitive,” says Lee, “but most other firms are in a niche market. They may handle only narrow web, or mid or ➤ wide web. We’re the only one who dominates in all those markets.”

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Getting Rolling Service is not only how the company started, but also why it started. Back in the late 1960s, the family patriarch, Ronald Harper, was a salesman for a printing machinery company but was unhappy with the company’s customer support, or lack thereof, after the sale. That dissatisfaction led him to first become a distributor of printing machinery, and, ultimately, to manufacture the machinery. Starting with base cylinders for the engraving and chrome plating trades, Ron Harper and his wife Katherine founded Harper Corporation of America in 1971. Together, the Harpers— including subsequent offspring—have grown the business to be an innovator and a major player in the industry. “Harper revolutionized the industry when it pioneered ceramic-coated rolls,” says Jim Harper, vice president of the HarperScientific division. “We introduced the first successful ceramiccoated roll to replace chrome plating. It increased the lifespan of a roll from several weeks up to as much as five years, taking the industry to a new level.” “The company also developed the ‘60 degree hex,’” Jim continues, referring

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to the honeycomb pattern laser-engraved in the rolls. “It gives measured, consistent results every time, improving efficiency and decreasing downtime. It’s become the workhorse of the industry—it’s been huge for us.” Although Ron Harper passed away in April of this year at the age of 79, and Katherine is retired, innovation remains key to the company. To stay on top you always have to have something new and different,” Lee says. “Companies pay a premium for unusual packaging to catch the consumer’s eye.” “But the push for new and improved product comes not only from our customers, it’s driven internally too. Our tech team is always challenging our manufacturing department. And of course, it’s always about quality. Our facilities are certified ISO 9001:2008. We have a QC manager who regularly audits processes and product and our manufacturing departments have a monthly global Corrective Action Team meeting.” Ron Harper’s commitment to customer service and support is still as important to the company today as when it was founded. “We have our GraphicSolutions Team,” Lee continues. “Their job is to help our customers be as competitive as possible. We’re the only company that has that technical resource for our customers.” To accomplish this, the team of experts provides specific troubleshooting, consulting and training in all aspects of the flexographic process. One of their most popular programs is their trademarked “WalkingSeminar.” “We used to do just classroom training,” Lee explains, “but my grandfather said we needed to

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break up the instruction some and walk around a bit. That was the beginning of the WalkingSeminar. A visiting company can choose from one of several of our programs or have one customized for their particular needs. Visitors tour the plant and meet our manufacturing department. The visitors get manufacturing’s input and the employees enjoy talking about what they do.” The tours are complimentary and are also available to schools to teach students the basics of printing, inks and pigments. “The walking tours have been so popular that about five years ago we decided to take them on the road,” adds Margie. “Our road shows go to eight or 10 different places each year. We’ve found that while managers and supervisors will come to our WalkingSeminar, the road shows give the people actually running the presses an opportunity to attend, especially if they can’t afford to travel. “The idea took off and a lot of other suppliers in the industry wanted to tag on. So now what used to be a two- to four-hour seminar about anilox rolls has expanded to an all-day event where customers can learn about other related products like inks and cleaning systems.” Family Values “Education was also very important to my father,” states Jim. “He wanted kids to have opportunities—and not just the kids who excelled in academics. My father felt that putting a printing press in a school and allowing students to design and create something from start to finish would give them a sense of pride. It might engage a student and keep them in school. He felt that if it kept even one kid in school, it was worth it.” The Harpers’ dedication to education resulted in new flexographic printing programs in 21 high schools and 32 colleges across the U.S., in Canada, Costa Rica and in Argentina. There are flexo departments named for the Harpers in colleges in Illinois, Wisconsin and California. Locally, Central Piedmont Community College has the Harper Campus, Ron and Katherine Harper Scholarship and the Harper National

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Flexographic Center; and Appalachian State University dedicated the Katherine Harper Hall in 2009. The Harpers also helped Clemson University develop their graphics department and initiated a drive to get interactive Smart Boards in 2,000 classrooms in Gaston County schools. • Corporate • Advertising • Industrial • Editorial

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“It’s about quality. We don’t cut corners. We’re not the cheapest, but when you look at what we provide, it’s really a bargain. We provide technical support, backing. Even companies who buy on price alone will say that Harper’s is the best roll out there.” ~Margaret Harper Kluttz President

In 1995, in recognition of all of the Harpers’ contributions, Governor Jim Hunt appointed Ron Harper to the NC Education Fund board of directors. Even after retiring from the business in 2006, the Harpers continued to work in the community, and in 2010, received the Spirit of Freedom Award from the Gaston Gazette and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine State from Governor Bev Perdue. “Our father—Lee’s grandfather— will be greatly missed,” says Margie, “but we fully understand the importance of his legacy in business and community service. It will be carried on.” Pressing Forward Since 2006, HCA has been managed by the Harpers’ daughter Margie, son Jim and grandson Lee, who can recall childhood Saturdays playing in his grandfather’s office. Lee, who worked his way up the ranks from ➤ part-time janitor through blast operator,

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shift supervisor, customer service manager and plant manager to his present position of vice president of operations, now occupies his grandfather’s office. “We want to make a strong statement that we’re committed to the business,” states Lee. “Since we’ve taken over management, we’ve put $8 million in new equipment and technology back into the business. “And our employees are a tremendous asset. We have the largest and most highly skilled in field technical support staff in the industry— more than any competitor worldwide. “And we have a very stable workforce here. We’re very proud, that in 41 years, we’ve never had a layoff.” Growth is one of HCA’s more immediate goals. “We’ve had two consecutive years of 11 percent growth,” Lee says. “If we’re growing, I’m happy—but I’d like to provide more products and more jobs here. Our newest product line is bridge sleeves made in the U.S. and we will be adding other complementary products.” HCA also has a strong commitment to “green manufacturing.” Fifteen years ago they made the switch from chrome-plated rolls to the more environmentally-friendly ceramic-coated ones. They also separate out and recycle all the metals used in their manufacturing, including

“It’s a safe bet that if it’s a package that’s printed, coated and involves precision, we’re involved. Our mission is to be the customer’s resource base and help take them to markets where they would not otherwise be.” ~Jim Harper Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, HarperScientific Division recapturing metal wastes such as shavings, wires and powders. And all the cleaners HCA sells are environmentally safe. Maintaining the quality of HCA’s products and services is also paramount. “It’s about quality. We don’t cut corners. We’re not the cheapest, but when you look at what we provide, it’s really a bargain. We provide technical support, backing. Even companies who buy on price alone will say that Harper’s is the best roll out there,” says Margie proudly. “It’s a safe bet that if it’s a package that’s printed, coated and involves precision, we’re involved,” offers Jim. “Our mission is to be the customer’s

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resource base and help take them to markets where they would not otherwise be.” To keep their competitive edge, HCA stays abreast of industry trends. “For example,” says Lee, “now there’s computerization built into rolls that track revolutions and temperature to ensure that the rolls, which are often expensive pieces of machinery, aren’t damaged. The rolls can even tell the operator if they have the right roll in the press. “And the industry is always looking for faster and faster presses. Our ability to increase speed keeps us competitive.” “As far as packaging,” Lee continues, “we were involved in the project creating thermochromic labels,” referring to the labels which were nationally introduced on beverage containers that change color when the product reaches a certain temperature. “And we’re marketing a tactile label now that’s gotten a lot of interest. We have a sample that we show of a wet baseball sitting in the grass made with difference textures of threads. When you touch the baseball, you ‘feel’ the water beads on the baseball as well as the blades of grass. It has a three-dimensional look as well. “We are also working with other industry leaders on combining thermochromic, scratch and sniff with the tactile. Imagine being able to see, feel and smell the product before ever opening the package. And who knows…maybe one day we’ll even be able to taste it as well prior to buying the product.” It’s yet another innovation for Harper Corporation of America, but it sounds like grocery store shopping with a 5-year-old has just become a lot more challenging! biz Barbara Fagan is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Harper Corporation of America 11625 Steele Creek Road Charlotte, N.C. 28273 Phone: 704-588-3371 Principals: Margaret Harper Kluttz, President; Jim Harper, Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, HarperScientific Division; Ronald (“Lee”) Harper Kluttz, Vice President of Operations Founded: 1971 Employees: 118 in Charlotte, 43 in Green Bay, 35 in Europe/Asia Business: Manufacturer of high precision anilox rolls, gravure and coating rollers, and related machinery and supplies. www.harperimage.com www.harperscientific.com

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edia m l l ad a ust and e l nes ing tr y. i z a Mag enerat eptivit in g ad rec

t sisten st con unnel o m he hase f y are t ines the purc in the ke z a g Ma rmer in rength ty and t i perfo rticular s favorabil a p d . n h t wit s of bra e inten stage purchas

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TPM Offers Digital Solutions to Enable More Productive Creation

T

PM is the acronym for The Print Machine, but the company has grown far beyond its original scope and footprint. Jerry Cooper founded TPM in Greenville, S.C., in 1973. For almost 40 years now, the company has been providing printing solutions as well as software service and support for architects, engineers, contractors (AEC) and manufacturers, and has grown to four offices, first expanding to Columbia, S.C., then Charlotte and, most recently, Raleigh. Today, TPM provides digital solutions through four strategic divisions. The AEC division provides architects, engineers and contractors the full line of Autodesk software solutions including training, support, and implementation. The Manufacturing division focuses on SolidWorks software solutions and technical support, training, and implementation. The Printing Solutions division brings the latest in print technologies and document management solutions to businesses including copiers, scanners, plotters, and 3D printers, as well as service. The TPM Color Lab is the Carolina’s largest provider of large format graphics specializing in fabric applications, trade show displays and hardware, vehicle graphics, flatbed printing, and indoor/outdoor signage. Reproducing With Success Jerry Cooper had always been an entrepreneur and people-person at heart. Daughter Kasey Cooper Fay, now in charge of TPM’s business development, describes him by saying, “My dad can meet you one time and you’ll feel like you’ve known him for 20 years.” In his early days as a draftsman at Fluor Daniel, Cooper felt he could do bigger things. As a matter of fact, he often thought about starting his own business. “I was basically sitting in a cubicle drawing everyday, but I knew I needed something more,” says Cooper. “Being in the engineering environment, I was familiar with the reprographic industry and knew that there weren’t a lot of people in the market doing reprographics.” Cooper saw it as a huge opportunity, so it

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wasn’t surprising, in 1973, when he struck out on his own as The Print Machine (later in the ’90s shortening it to TPM). He smiles as he remembers how he started out in a small building “with only $700, his mother’s bread cabinet as a desk, and one blueprint machine.” In the beginning, Cooper focused on providing drafting supplies and blueprints to architects and engineers. As the industry began changing, he made a point of looking for the new and innovative solutions to bring to his customers. By the late ’80s, TPM was undergoing a shift in business, as computers revolutionized the drafting and design industry. Cooper could see that tasks done by hand were being automated. He had to decide whether or not to take a risk on a CAD (computer-aided design) package and basically put a warehouse full of supplies ➤

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by the wayside. And so he did, and TPM became an Autodesk Authorized Reseller to the AEC industry. “Anything that needs a design, pretty much uses CAD software. Software is the core of our business. We sell it, and we have certified engineers on staff that train all of our customers and assist with proper implementation,” Cooper notes. In the 1990s, TPM branched out further, becoming a SolidWorks Authorized Reseller which brought 3D CAD solutions to the manufacturing and industrial markets. As the manufacturing space continues to automate, TPM is helping companies optimize their designs and workflow by combining the SolidWorks suite of products with 3D printing technologies. In 2000, TPM opened their color graphics division, known as the Color Lab. “A lot of reprographics shops saw color as the next wave of revenue for them, and we wanted to stay on top of it—trade shows, vehicle wraps, building wraps, or almost anything you can think of—we can print in-house,” Cooper says. “TPM’s Color Lab is the Carolina’s largest provider of large-format graphics specializing in fabric applications, trade show displays and hardware, vehicle graphics, flatbed printing, and indoor/outdoor signage,” adds Fay. Some TPM Color Lab examples include the silos off South Boulevard, two large building wraps for Charlotte Area Transit System, as well as multiple fabric and tractor trailer wrap projects in the NASCAR industry. Enlarging the Original TPM has always been a family-owned and family-run operation for the Coopers and they believe that has been an important element to its success. So, when they decided to extend their footprint into Charlotte, embracing another family-run business made sense. Forrest Kenley Sr. had founded A&E Printing and Graphics (originally A&E Reprographics) on South Boulevard in Charlotte in 1982. A&E specialized in reprographics, printer sales and service, color/graphic solutions, and AEC products including OCE, Canon and HP wide format plotters, service and supplies. Forrest Kenley Jr. had helped out in the family business as a youngster and formally joined ranks with his father in 1989 after graduating college. “We’d talked with a number of different companies, but before TPM came along, nothing ever seemed to click,” Kenley Sr. remarks. A healthy regard and professional friendship between Cooper and Kenley Sr. helped speed the process along and in August of 2007, Cooper and Kenley Sr. consummated TPM’s acquisition of A&E, allowing TPM to bring its broad array of solutions to an already strong foothold in the Charlotte marketplace. Just recently TPM extended its reach even further with the establishment of a new office in Raleigh. TPM is leading with their manufacturing division in this new marketplace. As Fay describes it, “Our strategy is to identify opportunities in fastgrowing new markets with significant growth potential that can benefit from the full array of TPM solutions.” Cooper adds, “We see Charlotte and Raleigh as hotbeds for technology with significant growth opportunities. That fits right in with TPM’s mission. There are some competitors of course, but none that offer the full array of solutions that we do.” At present, TPM has approximately 90-plus employees in total; 50 at the main office in Greenville, and 20 at each of their Columbia and Charlotte

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(l to r) Kasey Cooper Fay Business Development Todd Brown Vice President Forrest Kenley Jr. General Manager of Charlotte Office TPM of Charlotte, LLC

offices, with it being too early to tally the Raleigh headcount. As Cooper touts, “We’re small enough that no one’s face is going to be lost in a crowd, but we’re big enough to handle ambitious jobs for clients throughout the region.” All in the Family Carrying on the legacies that their parents built, Cooper’s daughter Fay and Kenley Sr.’s son Kenley Jr. work together to keep the ink flowing at TPM of Charlotte. Fay actively handles business development primarily from the headquarters office and Kenley Jr. manages in the Charlotte office. “I was raised that God was first, family was second, and TPM was third,” Fay recalls of her early days. “I don’t have any brothers and sisters, but I’ve always joked that TPM is my big brother.” “I remember my dad giving me my first time card when I was four years old,” she boasts, making a light-hearted joke about child labor laws. “I’ve never wanted to do anything else: I’ve always loved working for my dad since day one.” Fay never strayed too far from home, attending college at Clemson University where she majored in management and entrepreneurship. Kenley Jr. has similar fond memories of his father’s legacy at A&E: “I learned a lot every night at the dinner table. My mom worked in the business, so we talked about it all the time. I very much respected how my dad

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ran the business; I try to follow in his example in managing and working with customers.” Kenley Jr., a Charlotte native, attended Wingate University, and echoes Fay’s sentiments about working in the family business. “I always knew I wanted to work with my father; I was very proud of what he accomplished. I miss having him around the office. Like Mr. Cooper, he just ran a great business—he cared about his employees and his customers above all else, and I think that’s why they were both so successful over the years,” says Kenley Jr.

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Developing Charlotte TPM had acquired the Charlotte operations right before the economic crash in the fall of 2008. “We had also started our Canon division around that time, so it was certainly an interesting year,” Fay comments. Even with the turbulence of the economy, the acquisition was more than beneficial for TPM. With the decline in the reprographics industry, A&E wanted to modernize and expand operations but needed resources to get there; TPM wanted to expand its presence in the marketplace and tap into the Charlotte market. “We were in a complementary situation to A&E. We were seeking to expand our business footprint, and it seemed like the logical move to come together,” comments Todd Brown, TPM’s vice president. “It was a perfect fit for us to come to Charlotte, to tap into the customer base and bring in new technologies. We also had similar business philosophies.” ➤

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“Knowing we had Forrest Jr. running our day-to-day operations gave us the confidence we could grow in a large market with someone we could trust and who always has the best interest of the company at heart,” says Fay. “The Charlotte operation had an established customer base with strong relationships that we could leverage for growth. There are probably more architects in Charlotte than all of South Carolina, so that was a very valuable customer base to plug into. It was exactly what we wanted to do,” Fay adds. For Kenley Jr., the transformation was also significant. “I’d never worked for anyone other than my dad. That was an adjustment, but now that we’ve been in this for a while, it’s really as comfortable as it was when it was just me and my dad,” he says. Being able to serve not only the Carolinas but also extend into some parts of Georgia as a united front has greatly benefited TPM. “We’re hoping to have a breakout year; we just had our best quarter in five years,” Brown says. TPM’s Canon division is a newer venture and reason for some of their enthusiasm. “Canon represents a different kind of marketplace for us. Every business needs a printer and a copier and now, even a scanner. We’ve always been very targeted, in very niche markets. Canon

“Knowing we had Forrest Jr. running our day-to-day operations gave us the confidence we could grow in a large market with someone we could trust and who always has the best interest of the company at heart.” ~Kasey Cooper Fay Business Development has opened up relationship-building on a much broader playing field offering products built to the same standards we strive for in our other operations. They are unsurpassed in their color reproduction and innovation,” comments Fay. TPM’s emphasis on family and personal relationships carries over in their customer approach. Significant to the TPM strategy is

VoIP one company | one call

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encouraging their clients to get to know them on a more personal basis. “Come in and take a tour of our operations, have lunch with us. I’m confident that once prospective clients get to know us face-to-face, they’ll want to do business with us,” Kenley Jr. says. “What we want people to know about our business is that we’re truly solution-based. We’re about establishing relationships and doing what’s right for the customer, which is pretty much how we’ve operated since day one,” Fay says. Going forward, TPM constantly reassesses which sectors of their operations to expand, and how best to keep up with an ever shifting technology industry. “Deciding where to develop and expand is tough. Fortunately, as it is right now, business is picking up all the way across the board,” says Brown. Fay is confident TPM can keep up with the pace and thinks it’s part of the company’s spirit from the beginning: “A lot of people would have been hesitant to jump into the design software when my dad did, but he was a visionary, always on top of the latest technologies.” TPM’s offerings are both diverse and dynamic. Still, the original proprietors keep a finger on the pulse of the business they’ve help create. Fay’s dad stays closely involved in the Greenville office and her husband Chris now handles general operations. Kenley Sr. hasn’t completely made his exit from the business either. His son jokes about his occasional cameo appearances in the Charlotte office: “He makes deliveries now and then and he drinks the coffee.” biz

The Print Machine Incorporated dba

TPM TPM of Charlotte, LLC 900 Pressley Road Charlotte, N.C. 28217 Phone: 704-527-7881 Principals: Jerry Cooper, President; Kasey Cooper Fay, Business Development; Todd Brown,Vice President; Forrest O. Kenley Jr., General Manager of the Charlotte office Founded: 1973 Employees: 20 (90+ total) Locations: Greenville, S.C. (main office), Charlotte, Raleigh, and Columbia, S.C. Areas Served: North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia Business: Digital solutions provider offering Autodesk software solutions; SolidWorks software solutions; the latest in print technologies and document management solutions for businesses; and large format graphics. www.tpm.com

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We’re looking for products or services made or conceived of within the 16-county

Charlotte USA region that have had a signiďƒžcant impact on their respective industries or trades. We’d like to know

Alexander County Anson County Cabarrus County Catawba County Chester County Chesterfield County Cleveland County Gaston County Iredell County Lancaster County Lincoln County Mecklenburg County Rowan County Stanly County Union County York County

about companies within our local footprint that have demonstrated achievement and ingenuity in this increasingly competitive global arena.

MADE IN CHARLOTTE USA

Contact mlane@greatercharlottebiz.com if you have a product or service suggestion that would make us proud!

8FCÀ1BDLBHJOHÀ4IFFUGFEÀ%JHJUBMÀ.BJMJOHÀ'VMGJMMNFOUÀ101À(SBOE'PSNBU Web • Packaging • Sheetfed • Digital • Mailing • Fulfillment • POP • Grand Format 8PSL4NBSU4VJUF WorkSmart Suite: FOEUPFOEUFDIOPMPHZGPSDSFBUJOH EJTUSVCVUJOHNBOBHJOH end-to-end technology for creating, distributing & managing CSFBLUISPVHINBSLFUJOHDBNQBJHOT break-through marketing campaigns

Breaking the mold of traditional traditional printing printing by offering customer-driven solutions solutions to transform your marketing dreams dreams into a reality.

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308 308 Friendship Friendship Drive Drive Greensboro, Greensboro,NC NC27409 27409 june 2012

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[bizprofile]

by heather head

Conveying Genius I

f you’ve ever worn a pair of New Balance shoes, driven on a set of Bridgestone tires, or received a package via UPS, then you have benefited from Mantissa Corporation’s ingenuity. Mantissa’s solutions support material handling all over the world, from Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. to China. While most of North Carolina’s manufacturing has migrated overseas in the past few decades, Mantissa’s commitment to its hometown has grown ever stronger. Its strength in product innovation and staying ahead of the curve to provide manufacturing solutions has recently helped propel it onto the international stage. Mantissa manufactures high-speed sorting conveyor systems and helps companies engineer material handling solutions that can move, sort and distribute everything from clothing to luggage to newspapers. A typical Mantissa solution consists of a combination of fast conveyer belts, trays and discharge chutes. As product is transported through a facility it all arrives at the Mantissa sorter trays, which are arranged in a train-like fashion and operate along a track. Then patented control systems automatically sort and distribute material into chutes for further processing. Basically, the equipment looks like an 800-foot racetrack inside a commercial building. The company’s signature high-speed tilt tray sorter, the Scorpion II, can carry loads up to 125 lbs. per tray and can handle a wide variety of materials in 20 available tray styles. The Scorpion II boasts the most energy efficient drive system in the world, low noise and extreme dependability, and represents one of over 30 patents Mantissa holds today. One of the company’s most ingenious visions resides in an unassuming brick building just off South Tryon Street. It is a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art working model of an airport baggage handling system. Its sister system is installed near the Beijing Capital International Airport, and dignitaries from around the world visit both locations to have a look. The model demonstrates a crucial element of Mantissa’s value proposition: They’re not just manufacturers—they’re solutions providers. This vast baggage retrieval system is a wonder of not only engineering and manufacturing, but also the ingenuity to bring together conveyers, controls, and all the other pieces required to meet the exact needs and specifications of a particular customer. And Mantissa carries through to the installation and maintenance service ➤ to ensure every solution operates consistently at peak potential.

Mantissa Corporation celebrates 40 years of manufacturing solutions 40

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Andrew B. Fortenberry Sr. General Manager Mantissa Corporation

june 2012

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A typical Mantissa solution consists of a combination of fast conveyer belts, trays and discharge chutes. As product is transported through a facility it all arrives at the Mantissa sorter trays, which are arranged in a train-like fashion and operate along a track. Then patented control systems automatically sort and distribute material into chutes for further processing. Basically, the equipment looks like an 800-foot racetrack inside a commercial building.

The Birth of Mantissa Supporting Mantissa’s distinguished position in the manufacturing industry, are the “mad scientist” David Fortenbery, his sister Megan McCormick the “financial wizard and top negotiator,” and David’s passionate son Andrew, who all talk with their hands and tell stories about the Mighty Goddess of War and petty pilferage of prophylactics, yet can solder a circuit board, balance the books and program a computer as the need arises. David founded the company by accident in 1972, with four ball bearings and a book on mathematics. But he says it never would have happened without his father John. John Fortenbery had been a pilot in WWII, and came home and earned a mechanical engineering degree on the GI Bill. After that, he designed conveyer systems for Logan Company, a major material handling company at the time. In the 1950s, as David tells it, John “got a wild hair to go into sales” and moved his family to Charlotte to head up a new sales division for Logan covering the Carolinas. One might argue that wild hairs grow thick in the family, but regardless of his original motivation, the move allowed John to return to his first love—flying. He purchased an airplane and used it to quickly cover—and insert himself into—his new sales territory. Thanks to his travels, he learned more about the material handling needs of his customers than anyone else. David, who had been a teenager at the time of the move, majored in chemistry at UNC Chapel Hill and later joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Germany when Andrew was born, but ultimately came back to Charlotte to work with his father. Before long, David and John were working side by side providing sales, engineering,

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“Any company can spend money and develop something. Developing a good product is a bit harder…developing one that’s engineered to last a long time is even harder. But the most important part of developing a new product is making the first sale. If a company can’t sell a new product in the first six months, the chances of that first sale begin to decline quickly.” ~Andrew B. Fortenberry Sr. General Manager

delivery, and installation of Logan products. Then, the big moment arrived. It was a Friday night in 1972. David had just settled down to enjoy a relaxing book of mathematics, when the phone rang. A Logan customer in South Carolina desperately needed ball bearings in order to repair a conveyer that had shut down, leaving an entire weekend shift sitting idle. David knew that ordering the parts would take over a week, and the customer was desperate. “Give me five minutes and I’ll call you back,” he said. It just happened that he had a pair of ball bearing samples in a briefcase that he carried with him on sales calls. And, as luck would have it, his father had a similar briefcase with a matching pair. Back on the phone, the customer was ecstatic. He told David he’d send him a check for $500 on Monday morning and asked for the name of his company.

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David recalls: “I panicked. There was no company. My eyes landed on the math book. It read, ‘A logarithm consists of two components. To the left of the decimal is the characteristic, and to the right of the decimal is the mantissa.’ I told him to make the check out to Mantissa Corporation.” From that point on, all installations were performed by Mantissa Corporation. With John’s mechanical abilities and salesmanship, and David’s work ethic and installation genius, the company was on its way. Advent of Computers Meanwhile, technology was changing rapidly and David got interested in the potential of computers. The company had already invested in CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software for planning systems, and although no one else was doing it, David became convinced that a computer could be programmed to run the controls for the entire system. At that time, sortation control devices could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars—a large portion of a project’s budget. If a computer could do the same job for $5,000, it would be a game-changer. In 1985, David convinced Mr. Alvin Levine of the Pic N Pay Shoe Company it could be done, and sold him the world’s first computercontrolled high-speed sortation device for its distribution center in Matthews, N.C. As it turned out, that was not a simple proposition. First, Logan Company wouldn’t sell the system; they said it couldn’t be done, and they wouldn’t stand behind it. So David ordered the million dollars’ worth of parts from the spare parts catalog and so Mantissa could install the system themselves. When the parts arrived, David assembled part of it in his garage, programmed the “superfast”

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IBM 286 XT computer, hooked it up, whereupon the computer promptly crashed. Again and again, it refused to run the software. It was simply not up to the task. Knowing persistence pays, David was reading a trade magazine when an ad for the next generation of IBM computers, the IBM 386, caught his attention. He lost no time making the $5,000 investment. The moment the 386 arrived, he set it up, loaded the software, and held his breath. It worked!

I have worked with Daniel, Ratliff & Company since their inception in 1996. They have been integral in the growth and success of our business, and have been with us every step of the way! ~Craig Cass, Vice President Cassco, Inc. of North Carolina & Subsidiary

trust+strategy+integrity+planning+insight+experience Daniel, Ratliff & Company

it all adds up! We’re not your typical CPA firm. Instead, we go beyond traditional accounting services, adding valuable insight and guidance to your growth process.

It wasn’t long before the media got ahold of the story. Modern Materials Handling, at that time the foremost industry magazine, put it on the front cover. The day after it came out, Mantissa’s phone started ringing. In a single day, they received 30 inquiries, and before long their computer-controlled systems were popping up all over the country. Becoming Manufacturers In the early 1990s, Mantissa was still designing and installing material handling solutions built primarily from products manufactured by Logan Company. In 1994, David decided that the best way for Mantissa to compete nationally would be to engineer and manufacture their own high-quality sortation equipment to compete with European models being sold in ➤ the United States.

301 S. McDowell St., Ste. 502, Charlotte, NC 28204 704.371.5000 www.danielratliff.com

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If you’ve ever worn a pair of New Balance shoes, driven on a set of Bridgestone tires, or received a package via UPS, then you have benefited from Mantissa Corporation’s ingenuity. Mantissa’s solutions support material handling all over the world, from Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. to China. So Mantissa began to engineer and develop their own tilt tray system. Over the next 12 months, Mantissa invested over a million dollars to engineer the Scorpion, the predecessor to today’s Scorpion II. “Any company can spend money and develop something,” says Andy. “Developing a good product is a bit harder…developing one that’s engineered to last a long time is even harder. But the most important part of developing a new product is making the first sale. If a company can’t sell a new product in the first six months, the chances of that first sale begin to decline quickly.” They knew it would be a hard sale. Very few companies like to be the first to buy an untried and untested product. So when both New Balance Shoes and Nike Shoes requested information, Mantissa did everything it could to gain favor. David, Megan and the team went over the top to impress both companies. They courted them with enthusiasm; they even purchased New Balance and Nike shoes for employees and coached them on how to show them off when the companies visited. The New Balance meeting took place first. Eventually the top executive asked the question Mantissa had been preparing for and dreading: “Who else is using the Scorpion?” David leveled with him: “No one.” To his surprise, the New Balance top executive lit up with interest. “Really? What if we get started on the system today? Will we be number one off the line?” they asked. They knew of Nike’s interest and were determined not to let their biggest rival be first to the punch! And that’s how New Balance became the first

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company to own the world’s most advanced Tilt Tray Sorter system. A few weeks later, Nike purchased the second system. The Scorpion had only been out a month, and already they had sold to two of the world’s largest shoe manufacturers. Suddenly, everybody was interested in the innovative product, leaving Mantissa the new challenge of keeping up with demand.

[biznetwork] Thank you to our advertisers who make this publication and its distribution to over 100,000 readers possible! Enjoy their products and services as Charlotte’s leading business-to-business suppliers.

Looking Forward David Fortenbery still owns the company, but leaves the daily operations and future strategic oversight to Andrew. Megan and Andy have propelled Mantissa onto the international stage, where it operates as one of only a couple companies in the world that manufacture high-speed sortation equipment. Currently, the company has projects being installed in China, Korea and Qatar. At the same time, the company continues to manufacture systems and look for opportunities for repeat business. As much as the Fortenberys enjoy inventing and creating new things, Andy recognizes that to compete on the global scene, they also need to develop scalable systems for delivering the things they’ve already invented. Still, the culture inside the company retains the “mad scientist” air that originated with its eccentric leader. Anyone, from engineer to receptionist, might at any moment be called upon to re-wire a circuit board or brainstorm a new way to solve a problem. Andy, following in David’s and Megan’s footsteps, conveys a strong work ethic and resourceful attitude among the employees, as well as simple design and leading edge technology for Mantissa’s customers—conveying genius for the next forty years. biz Heather Head is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Mantissa Corporation 616 Pressley Road Charlotte, N.C. 28217 Phone: 704-525-1749 Principals: J. David Fortenbery, Founder; Megan F. McCormick,Vice President; Andrew B. Fortenbery Sr., General Manager Employees: 40 In Business: 40 years Business: Leading provider of automated sortation systems, holding more than 30 patents and delivering complete sortation solutions from inception to on-site installation, as well as maintenance, training and support. www.mantissacorporation.com

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IBC

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e t t o arl

Ch n i up o SEP r G g Next kin r Meeting 14 o w 2012 t e N ier m e Call For More Information r P Call Jenn Snyder at 704-602-9529 e Th jenn@hoodhargett.com www.hoodhargettbreakfastclub.com

2012 SPEAKER LINEUP

The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club is a ‘category exclusive’ business development

Jeff Henderson

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Lisa Ford

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organization that develops and hosts some 36 events

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throughout the year for its members and guests. The goal of these events: to provide success-minded business owners with firstclass venues to entertain clients and prospects.

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Inspirational Leader and Commander of the USS Cole

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Greater Charlotte Biz 2012.06