Annual Report 2015-2016

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2015 – 2016 ANNUAL REPORT

sometimes a different set of eyes, an unclouded view, an unbiased ear, a fresh perspective, is all we need to find a new horizon.


DARBY COMMUNICATIONS Asheville + Cullowhee






CELLF BIO Greensboro + Winston-Salem






Durham + Chapel Hill



























Fayetteville + Pembroke

THE storiES




from the state director Scott Daugherty State Director SBTDC Dear Fellow North Carolinians, This year’s SBTDC Annual Report theme is “Fresh Perspectives”. This is reflective of both the exciting and fast paced year we have just completed and the promise of several new opportunities to come in the year ahead. The past year was marked by very significant levels of outreach and service to small businesses across North Carolina. Over 4,600 businesses benefited from over 60,000 hours of counseling. Another 4,500 individuals attended one or more of our 180 training events. Noteworthy, as well, was the engagement of over 500 students in substantive practicum experiences with small business clients. Our commitment to student engagement in our work has been longstanding. It’s widely recognized here in North Carolina and around the country. The University’s Board of Governors recently acknowledged this role and has provided the SBTDC with funding to launch a Summer Internship Program for rising seniors. This will enable us to place 80 or more students each summer from across our 17 campus University System with growing small business clients of the SBTDC. These will be paid, eight-week internships that provide significant future career learning opportunities for the participating students. The companies that host students will be able to address current business needs and potentially identify talented future staff. For over 30 years our commitment to client firms has made a real difference. Year in and year out, independent data confirms that SBTDC client companies significantly outperform other North Carolina small businesses in terms of sales and job growth. In the year ahead we will be looking to form new or enhanced partnerships with banks and economic development organizations across the state. Through these efforts we hope to be able to more effectively identify and serve potential growth firms across North Carolina and help them to be successful. It’s been a really good year for our clients and the SBTDC. We are committed to making this next one even better. 4


champion of small business in recognition of significant contributions to help small and mid-sized businesses in North Carolina

RAY BARNES Statewide Advisory Board President, James River Region BB&T Ray Barnes has been a member of the SBTDC’s Statewide Advisory Board for over a decade. He has recently advised us that he will step down from this role because of his acceptance of a promotion within BB&T to serve as the James River Regional President (Richmond-Norfolk) for the bank. During his tenure on the Advisory Board, Ray has provided us with invaluable advice and counsel. His insights and thoughtful recommendations have always been on target and actionable. Ray’s long-term banking career began upon his graduation from East Carolina University. His early assignments were in small, eastern North Carolina towns. That’s where he learned banking and developed his love for small businesses. That passion has stayed with him as his experience grew and promotional opportunities followed. The SBTDC has benefited greatly from Ray’s commitment and support of our mission. On numerous occasions, he has been able to help us meet our needs and improve our capability to more effectively serve small businesses across North Carolina. We are very thankful for his service to our small businesses across our state. We’ll miss him, but know he’ll continue to do well in Virginia.




Margaret Spellings

Dr. Randy Woodson

President University of North Carolina System

Chancellor NC State University

As I have assumed my role as President of The University of North Carolina, I have quickly become aware of the breadth and intensity of the ways in which The University affects the citizens of North Carolina. Our reach extends not just to the 225,000 students enrolled at our 17 campuses. It also includes an extraordinary level of teaching, research, continuous education, outreach and services to many thousands of constituents across the State. The SBTDC is one of our leading extension resources. Housed administratively at NC State, its unique structure as an inter-institutional program allows it to engage all 17 campuses of the University. As a part of each campus, SBTDC is able to efficiently engage students, faculty and other resources to serve small to medium-sized businesses in all regions of the state. Among the SBTDC’s leading attributes has been its long commitment to the engagement of students in internships, assistantships and practicum courses which give students opportunities to apply classroom learning in real world business settings. This clearly benefits students who are preparing for future careers. It’s also a way in which The University can help the women and men who are growing businesses and jobs in North Carolina make better decisions as they manage and grow their business. My congratulations to the SBTDC on its success to date. I look forward to its continued good work serving our small businesses, our communities and our State.



I’m delighted to commend the SBTDC on another great year of service to North Carolina’s small businesses. This has included providing business advisory services to over 4,600 firms throughout our State’s 100 counties. Their assistance has helped numerous entrepreneurs start up their businesses. Hundreds of existing businesses have been assisted in improving their operational performance, identifying new market opportunities, and accessing capital to spur growth. In many ways the SBTDC is unique. It is a business extension service that was founded on a commitment to directly engage the campuses of The University of North Carolina system. Its lead center is hosted by NC State and its 16 field offices are hosted by one or more of the other constituent campuses of The University. This enables the SBTDC to directly leverage university resources statewide for the benefit of the state’s small business community, with an ultimate goal of improving North Carolina’s economy. A second special characteristic of the SBTDC has been its commitment to the engagement of undergraduate, graduate and professional students in real life practicum educational experiences focused on helping small to mid-sized companies address challenges and pursue new opportunities. Last year, for instance, over 500 students were engaged across the state. The SBTDC’s training and advisory services have had major positive impacts on its business clients. It is truly a difference maker. We are proud of their contribution and continuing impact.

partnerships We are proud of our team of qualified counselors, innovative programs and the change we effect in the lives of North Carolina entrepreneurs, but none of it could be done without the support and collaboration of our partners. Thank you.

Lynn Douthett District Director U.S. Small Business Administration The SBTDC is a highly valued resource partner of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) in North Carolina. Together we create opportunities for entrepreneurs to expand and grow their businesses. For over 30 years, the SBTDC has played a key role in our State’s economic development by creating and retaining jobs, assisting in business expansion and development, and strengthening relationships that support our communities. The SBTDC provides a broad range of business management counseling, educational programs, and high profile conferences as well as events aimed at serving a broad spectrum of NC businesses. Recognized nationally for their innovative programs and services, they are regularly consulted by the District Office and ASBDC for their expertise. In addition, their accomplishments are consistently recognized by SBA, as is the case with this year’s NC Small Business of the Year (North State Aviation) and Exporter of the Year (Stay Online). As a strategically focused organization, the SBTDC is committed to find new ways to support entrepreneurship and small businesses as our State’s economy changes, which is reflected by a deep commitment to their work, their clients, and to make “Your Business. Better.” A special thank you and congratulations to the SBTDC staff for their exceptional accomplishments and successes in 2015-16!

UNC SYSTEM US small business administratioN NC Small Business center networK Defense Logistics AgencY NC Department of commercE US Export-Import Bank



ABOUT THE SBTDC The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is a business advisory service of The University of North Carolina System. Since 1984, the SBTDC has helped over 135,000 North Carolina entrepreneurs make their business better. The SBTDC’s statewide team provides personalized management counseling and education services designed to help small and mediumsized businesses: • Obtain quality business and market information • Evaluate and improve financial performance • Access new capital and markets • Improve management and employee performance • Make better decisions and achieve goals

STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION SBTDC assessments, strategic performance retreats, and ongoing counseling help owners and managers: • Assess and benchmark company performance and effectiveness • Develop and implement successful strategies, both short and long term • Identify priorities and action steps • Measure and monitor progress

MARKETING SBTDC counselors and specialized market research staff help companies enhance their success in the marketplace by identifying: • Information on industry trends, customers, competitors and best business practices • New or expanded markets for existing products and services including exporting • Federal, state, and local government contracting opportunities • Commercialization options for new, innovative technologies

FINANCING The SBTDC specializes in helping businesses: • Analyze revenue and costs, and understand financial data and reports • Prepare financial projections • Identify and access sources of capital, including traditional and SBA-backed loans, angel and venture capital, R&D funding, and export financing

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT The SBTDC’s performance enhancement services help clients: • Link business strategies to workplace learning and accomplishments • Strengthen leadership and management skills • Refine internal processes to improve performance • Enhance communications and teamwork

Economic & Community Development The SBTDC also provides research, planning facilitation, and strategy development to public and private sector organizations, leading to enhanced economic opportunities and an improved environment for small business and entrepreneurs in their respective communities. 8


SBTDC STATEWIDE OFFICES The SBTDC is administered by NC State University on behalf of The University of North Carolina System. We maintain 17 offices across the state that are each affiliated with one or more constituent institution campuses. Through the experience and skill of SBTDC staff across this statewide network of university-affiliated offices, we are able to reach and serve a diverse client base and quickly support their changing needs.

01 10


02 03 12




15 14



0405 06


5 West Hargett Street, Suite 600 Raleigh, NC 27601 • 919.715.7272 • •

01 02 WINSTON-SALEM Greensboro 03 04 CHAPEL HILL Boone

Appalachian State University

Winston-Salem State University

North Carolina A&T State University University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

05 DURHAM 06 Raleigh 07 Greenville 08 Elizabeth City North Carolina Central University

North Carolina State University

East Carolina University

Elizabeth City State University

09 NAGS HEAD 10 Cullowhee Asheville 11 12 Hickory Elizabeth City State University

Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University University of North Carolina at Asheville

Appalachian State University

13 CHARLOTTE 14 Fayetteville 15 Pembroke 16 Wilmington

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Fayetteville State University

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

University of North Carolina at Wilmington




see the difference a fresh perspective can make

$225,000,000 $105,000,000 61,000 4,600 432 27,107



contracts from federal, state & local agencies and prime contractors

in capital obtained by clients including $10.7 million in SBA loans, $28 million in SBIR/STTR awards, and $17 million in Export financing

hours of counseling

clients who worked with the SBTDC

graduate and undergraduate students participated in internship programs as a source of real world experience.

hours contributed by students for SBTDC clients


increased revenue by companies helped by the SBTDC. The average North Carolina Business increased employment growth by just 1.8%


the amount generated in new tax revenues for every $1.00 invested in the SBTDC program

FOCUS: TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT & COMMERCIALIZATION SERVICES they put the “T” in SBTDC The Technology Commercialization program is the longest running SBTDC specialized program and has been a part of the organization since its inception in 1984. It is what accounts for the “T” in “SBTDC”—a distinction requiring an additional level of accreditation from the national Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). North Carolina’s continually growing technology sector makes programs like this a critical component for companies, university researchers, and others who are interested in the development and commercialization of new technologies. The team specializes in product development, licensing strategies, and funding opportunities by identifying resources. It is also the state’s designated agency charged with support and promotion of the federal SBIR/STTR programs. Last year, the Tech Team accomplished some impressive goals including the delivery of high-quality training events and their remarkable MBA Summer Internship Program. This year, 16 students were selected from full-time programs from both public and private universities in North Carolina. Each student is assigned to work with two technology-based companies during the 10-week period of the program. All firms are SBTDC clients and many are SBIR/ STTR recipients. Since 2002, over 150 graduate students have participated in this program and worked with over 300 companies across North Carolina.

2015 FACTS

2015 marked the hire of a new program Director, Dr. Nicole Schwerbrock. Nicole’s resume exhibits her passion for developing new commercialization opportunities, building strategic relationships with the entrepreneurial community and supporting student engagement. She has already made significant contributions to the program in the short year she has been director. clients 326 326 clients spent counseling hours spent counseling 2,017 2,017 hours hours student hours 3,951 3,951 student obtained capital obtained $30,401,859 $30,401,859 capital business starts business starts 1010 newnew created or retained created or retained 178 178 jobsjobs

NICOLE SCHWERBROCK, PhD Nicole’s extensive and varied experience has uniquely qualified her as Director of this team. Prior to joining the SBTDC, she identified and promoted viable technology commercialization opportunities originating from the UNC Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She has also served as an R&D scientist for both early stage and commercial-stage pharmaceutical corporations.

John ujvari, MBA John has been with the SBTDC for 15 years, and in that time he has become an expert in the SBIR and STTR federal funding program. Since joining the team, SBIR and STTR awards in this state have increased five-fold. He is also responsible for a variety of statewide training events, the SBIR/STTR newsletter and the MBA Summer Internship program.

chris veal, MBA Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1994, an Associate Degree in Aviation Management in 1999, and a Masters in Business Administration from Wake Forest University in 2003. The blend of technical and business backgrounds through his education and work experience enhances his ability to assist companies with the commercialization of new technology and the business development to support such commercialization.

mike carnes, MBA Mike brings a wealth of knowledge on technology commercialization due to his education from NC State University. He earned his BS in Microbiology, a Professional Science Master’s in Microbial Biotechnology and, most recently, an MBA with an emphasis on technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. Mike draws on his connections and vast knowledge of statewide resources when helping entrepreneurs along the path to commercialization.

diana martinez, MBA Diana has been with the SBTDC for two years and recently joined the Technology Commercialization Team, and she is a natural fit. With her experience as a product manager and global brand manager for two biotech companies out of Texas, Diana brings a specialization in devices. She also has an entrepreneurial perspective after running her own consulting firm for established and emerging biotech companies. FRESH PERSPECTIVES | SBTDC


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? With over 30 years of building relationships with clients and creating an Annual Report, we have clients that have continued to make outstanding achievements and reach new heights. We would like to recognize some of these inspirational clients.




In the 2010-2011 SBTDC Annual Report, NSA stated that they’d like to grow to 300 employees over the next three to five years. This company, which specializes in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul of large transport aircraft, exceeded that goal by 2015 with 385 full-time employees. The SBTDC helped secure their original $3.9 million financing package to get the business off the ground. Today they have more than 400 employees and, with plans to open a second maintenance center in Kinston, they intend to hire another 109 employees over two years. This year they were named North Carolina’s 2016 Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Last year, Traci Whiteside of Club Canine was featured in the SBTDC’s annual report after moving into their state-of-the-art 12,000 square foot facility, hiring 12 employees and increasing their sales by 30%. Then, last December, they were announced as a finalist for Business North Carolina Magazine’s Small Business of the Year Award. Byron Hicks, an SBTDC Regional Director, says, “Traci has a passion for what she is doing, more than just running a business. She went after what she wanted; she didn’t just build a building, she built something that would serve her passion.”




Dan Brooks and Leif Anderson started Rhino Assembly Corporation in July of 2000, and reached out to the SBTDC two years later. They were experiencing rapid sales growth and looking for ways to strategically expand their market. Rhino Assembly was featured in the SBTDC’s 2011-2012 Annual Report. Since then, they’ve worked with an MBA team to research new business expansion, added a service company, increased sales by $8 million, hired 12 new people and opened a $1.5 million line of credit. Last year sales were $22 million. They were also recently added to the mid-market Fast 40 list published by Business North Carolina Magazine.

Geological Resources provides geological and environmental engineering consulting services to predominantly petroleum, industrial, and state and local government clients that need environmental studies or tests. They were originally featured in the SBTDC’s 2012-2013 Annual Report. This past year, they were a finalist for the Business North Carolina Magazine’s Small Business of the Year Award. They also received the North Carolina Petroleum and Convenience Marketers 2015 Vendor of the Year award, a first for an environmental company. In April, Geological Resources opened a third office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



DARby communications Asheville | Coral Darby |

ABOUT Darby Communications This public relations firm representing leaders within the outdoor and fitness industries is expert at finding creative ways to make sure potential customers know about their clients and their innovative products. Darby has a knack for going above and beyond traditional PR tactics by generating opportunities in the digital space. They take the time to involve themselves in social platforms daily, combing through Instagram, monitoring Snapchat, studying Twitter and keeping up with Facebook so their clients don’t have to. A specialty at Darby is aligning their clients with the movers and shakers of the social media world and tapping into their established social networks – ultimately, getting the influencers advocating for the brands and products in an authentic way that their audiences appreciate.

Host CampusES:

Western Carolina University University of North Carolina at Asheville

Why the outdoor market? I went to Colorado State University and surrounded myself with passionately outdoorsy people. When I got into an internship program, I asked the director to reach out to Patagonia, Inc. even though it was a long shot. I ended up getting a marketing internship with them and spent a semester in Ventura, CA, at their corporate office. After graduating, I worked for an advertising firm in Montana that specialized in representing outdoor gear companies and pioneered their PR department before deciding to go out on my own. My husband and I were looking to move to Asheville. So, I asked my employer at the time if they would be my first client and they agreed to take a chance on me. What inspired you to market products by targeting online influencers? There are a lot of intelligent and magnetic people out there who are able to make a livelihood for themselves via social-media accounts, and those people have built enormous followings. So in a sense, this is another media channel. But this one takes a lot of time and a lot of finesse. People pick up on brands that self-promote regularly, and for a lot of people that becomes a turn-off. You have to find a voice that represents the brand in a really authentic way. What has been your biggest challenge? Breaking through the fears that hold me back personally. For the most part, I’m completely self-taught. I don’t have all the answers, and they rarely come easily. It’s nerve-racking, but there are resources like the SBTDC that I can tap into. How would you describe working with the SBTDC? Working with SBTDC reminds me of whitewater kayaking, a sport in which flipping over in your boat is inevitable. It’s scary - you’re upside down in the water with your lower half wedged into the boat, but, before you run a rapid you train to be able to ‘right’ your boat. Every so often I’d hit my roll, but more often than not I’d freeze. I’d pull my spray skirt and swim, which is actually much more dangerous. And, you can’t fully enjoy the beauty of the river if you’re running a rapid with that constant level of intensity and fear. The SBTDC takes the fear away. Now I look at my financials and I understand them. Similar to my kayaking analogy, I can now hit my roll and plot my downriver course with confidence. I’m by no means a pro, and I still have a lot of questions. But I’m in there every month, and I know where I’m going to be at the end of the year. We’ve already hit our projections for the end of 2016; our gross revenues are up 20%. And we’ve just added two new employees. What do you love most about running your own business? The self-confidence. It’s really empowering, especially as a female in a primarily male-dominated industry. And I know this sounds cheesy, but we’ve done a really good job hiring here. These employees are my second family and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. And our clients, too. I mean we have fantastic clients. Plus, it is just so much fun. I get to help outdoor gear brands sell tents and hiking boots and things I’m passionate about, and who wouldn’t love that?



gross revenues are up by 20%

The SBTDC takes the fear away. Now I look at my financials and I understand them.Similar to my kayaking analogy, I can now hit my roll and plot my downriver course with confidence.



Barringer moving & storage Newton | Chris Barringer |

ABOUT BARRINGER MOVING & STORAGE This family-owned business provides turnkey moving services for residential and commercial customers looking to move across town or across country. Moving is a stressful time, which is why they take steps to ease the transition and provide services to ensure their customers’ things arrive safely. In addition to packing, protecting, unloading, and unpacking, Barringer also offers short- and longterm storage solutions in their climatecontrolled warehouse.

How did you get into moving? I owned an insurance agency, and I loved it. When a friend of mine bought AAA Moving with a partner, he begged me to get involved. Finally, I told him I’d become an investor and help out two half-days per week. Well, I fell in love with the business. It’s a good thing, too, because it turns out I really bought myself a full-time job. But, as a result of unfortunate circumstances, we ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2005. We had to liquidate everything and my wife, Melissa, and I lived in her parents’ basement for four years. So, what convinced you to start over? It felt like we were being pushed back into moving. I tried other careers including real estate, which I loved, but it was 2008 and the economy went south. We couldn’t help listening to the signs pointing to starting another company together. I researched the market and knew several previous employees ready to come work for me. I talked to several of my previous clients to see if they were interested and their response was, “When can you start?” What was your biggest challenge in opening your doors? Because of the bankruptcy, we had to grow without access to conventional debt capital – even with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. We started out with Melissa’s credit card and were completely debt-free, paying it off every month for the first two and a half years. All of our growth was done very cautiously and completely self-funded. Were the first few years what you expected? We officially opened the doors in January of 2010 and had to hang on. In five years, we’ve done more in a recovering economy than I did in 10 years with AAA and it has all been organic growth through word of mouth. The first three years we were growing 80% year after year. We started out renting a cute little 5,000 sf building and within a few years we were renting six buildings across Hickory. We just moved into this building, and we’re already 75% full. Plus we’re able to employ an average of 20 or more, and that’s something we love being able to do for our community.

Host Campus:

Appalachian State University




What did it take to get a loan for a new building? The SBTDC. When we found the right building, our first call was to our SBTDC counselor, Byron. He was a tremendous help. He educated us on what the bankers needed and asked us all the questions that the bankers would ask. The banks loved it. They didn’t have to ask the questions, because we had the packet ready and we looked like a professional company. Honestly, without that assistance, no banker would have even looked at us to find out our story, and we never would have gotten this building. How did you find out about the SBTDC? I’d worked with them back in my AAA days, so when I opened Barringer I naturally planned to call. Then when I saw an article in the newspaper about Byron’s work with the SBTDC, I picked up the phone. This wasn’t long after we started out and his positive attitude and wealth of knowledge were a relief. And the fact that he has been through our same issues as an entrepreneur himself makes all the difference. We really appreciate that it isn’t just a one-time deal. He’ll be there as we continue to grow and continue to have questions.

58% growth annually

My counselor’s positive attitude and wealth of knowledge were a relief. And the fact that he has been through our same issues as an entrepreneur himself makes all the difference.

able to purchase new building and additional trucks FRESH PERSPECTIVES | SBTDC


CELLF BIO Winston-Salem | Dr. Khalil BItar

ABOUT CELLF BIO This bioengineering startup, still in the research phase, is developing a cure for incontinence. Cellf Bio uses the patient’s own neuro-progenitor cells to grow a sphincter, which means virtually no risk of the body rejecting the new part. After 10 years, Dr. Khalil Bitar is embarking on the last stages of research and approval before their product goes to market. The sphincter is just the first in a line of products possible using this science.

How did you come up with this idea? We had the idea over 10 years ago at the University of Michigan. I’ve been funded in neuro-gastroenterology since my thesis back in 1976. We were interested in the effects of aging on the intestine and colon and incontinence comes with that. I know there are more glamorous organs. We could bioengineer a heart, but you can already transplant a heart; there’s a solution for that. There’s no solution for incontinence besides adult diapers, and that’s not really a solution. And the need for a solution is huge, the market for adult diapers in the United States is actually larger than for young children. Someone once told me that it is the sphincter of civilization, and I think that’s true. It becomes a societal problem. Half of the people in nursing homes are there because of this issue. How does it work? Essentially, you take a biopsy from the gut of the patient and isolate smooth muscle cells and neural stem cells. Using those, we bioengineer the tissue construct. We do extensive quality control testing before surgically implanting it in the patient. Typically, the whole thing takes approximately six weeks. We have five animals that have recuperated their function nicely. The science is solid, we have the whole team set up and ready to go for the first procedure. I even have a list of people who have contacted me interested in being first. What has been your biggest challenge? Funding, certainly. That’s why the SBIR and NIH grants are so important for people who need the capital but are years away from generating revenue. Helping with funding is where the SBTDC has been extremely helpful. The research is expensive, but there are still a lot of things not covered by the grants. So, we’re also looking for investors, but I would have to know their intentions. I take it to heart that this is first and foremost something that helps people.

Host Campus:

NC A&T State University UNC Greensboro Winston-Salem State University



What has the SBTDC been able to help you with? They’ve been great. I met John and Chris at the start of the SBIR grant process and they helped fine tune my proposals. The first round, we received a very favorable review with the suggestion to try again. We did and we were funded. They were also completely committed to the NIH grant process and worked with me to establish Cellf Bio as a business, including hiring a COO. John was actually tracking down other clients to see how to make the process smoother. Without those grants, I don’t know where we would be today. They’ve been great to work with and they’re nice people too. John is always coming up with ideas for the next step. What does the future look like for Cellf Bio? Right now we’re starting to think beyond the science. We have to come up with packaging for transportation and longer storage times in the event that the surgical implantation procedure is delayed. But we’re thinking long-term too. We have two other projects in the pipeline and plan to develop a whole line of products. The goal is to have a service line in every hospital, so patients can go in and have their biopsy and we’ll bioengineer their needed tissue. This is the future, using your own cells so there is no risk of rejection.

STTR phase II grant recipient

They’ve been great to work with and they’re nice people too. John is always coming up with ideas for the next step.

2,000 square foot laboratory



SCANONLINE Locust | Lee Pickler |

ABOUT SCANONLINE ScanOnline designs and implements workforce solutions for companies relying heavily on connectivity, such as transportation and logistics, hospitality and manufacturing. ScanOnline can be broken out into three focus areas: Enterprise Wireless architects and installs the wireless network for companies with a large footprint. These hundred thousand or million square foot facilities require a niche set of skills to ensure overlap of coverage without interference. Enterprise Mobility Solutions is about giving the workforce proper devices that meet their environmental demands. They work with the client to find the best tools for the job, then add or develop the applications to arm their workforce with durable and efficient solutions. Managed Services offers 24/7 monitoring of the network, equipment and security of the customer’s facility to ensure that downtime is essentially eliminated so workers can continue to perform at their optimum capacity.

Host Campus: UNC Charlotte





How did you get started? Years ago I sold my software development and integration services company to a barcode data-collection company. For the first time I saw the combination of hardware with services, and we realized people need whole solutions and not just products. So, when we started ScanOnline in 1999, that’s where we focused. It has allowed a small company like us to play in big spaces with large companies because we provide wireless infrastructure and rugged mobile solutions better than anyone else out there. How have things changed? Things have changed a lot, but then again I look back and we have always been on that same underlying path. We’ve had new products, of course, but the biggest change we’ve seen is in the end user’s familiarity with technology. Workers have smart phones in their pockets, they have the familiarity and dexterity to work easily with these devices now. They’re less intimidated, which means less training, less built-in bulletproofing, and fewer service calls. How has the SBTDC been able to help? Every year we have a company event and our counselor, Mary, came in to facilitate that meeting two years in a row. Since then, we’ve used the same model that she established because we see the difference it makes to our communications and goal setting. Now, everyone is involved in establishing goals and, thanks to Mary, we have processes in place to measure our progress and ensure we meet those goals. We’ve also been able to really improve our communications. Every person in our company touches a customer at some point, so it is critical that each employee understands our values, because we’re going to be judged by their representation of the company. Would you recommend the SBTDC to other small businesses? You don’t know what you don’t know. As a small company, it’s easy to grow organically and never step back and question how you’re doing. Are you doing the best you can? Do you know where your weaknesses are? What are you doing about them? That’s one area where the SBTDC has really helped us. Every other year we survey our employees so we know what is going on and where we can improve. Then our counselors give us the resources to make the necessary changes. What a great service. Honestly, we likely would have lost a lot of revenue and a lot of momentum had we not started really evaluating where we are. What was it like working with an MBA team? The biggest thing they discovered was a need to focus. We took it to heart and have chosen specific business partners and narrowed our areas of expertise. You can’t be all things to all people. We’re in a great niche market, but we need to continue to focus and improve our messaging so customers clearly see that we’re a good match for their needs. What kind of growth have you seen in the last year? Last year we had over 27% revenue growth, started the management services department, and hired seven to eight new employees. We expanded our territory into Florida and this year we’re looking into Atlanta and Ohio. The demand for our services is there; our biggest limiting factor is finding employees with the skills we need.

7 new employees hired

We likely would have lost a lot of revenue and a lot of momentum had we not started really evaluating where we are.

27% revenue growth



furnish this Durham | Tyler Singleton |

ABOUT Furnish this Furnish This is about filling in the blanks. Furnish this apartment or this bungalow or wherever you live. They sell brandnew furniture from mostly North Carolina brand names. They’re last-year’s models, showroom samples and the occasional scratch and dent piece. Because the furniture is bought in bulk, it can be sold at 70%-90% off the retail price. Tyler takes care in choosing only pieces that he would put in his own home – pieces full of life and built to last.

Host Campus:

UNC Chapel Hill NC Central University




What’s your startup story? Honestly, it was a stroke of luck. I was in school for a master’s degree in Sports Marketing and I wasn’t happy at all. I had a friend, though, who was starting a gold and diamond mining operation down in Guyana, South America. So, I called him up one day and told him, “I’m dropping out of school and coming to work for you.” I moved down about a month later and stayed for three and a half years as a Supply Chain Manager. By March of 2014, I was ready to make a change. There were a lot of things I missed about the US, like stop signs and craft beer. I heard about a position with a company called Move Loot, based out of San Francisco, and I interviewed with them via Skype. The problem was that I was looking to move back to North Carolina, so I laid out a business plan to open a branch in the Triangle. It’s the perfect location for them because we have 100,000 students, which is their target market. But they claimed they just weren’t ready to expand yet. Well, I figured I already have this whole business plan laid out, so why not do it myself? Then, they opened a branch here seven months later. What has been your biggest challenge? Marketing. I’ve heard marketing described as throwing money at the wall to see what sticks, and it seems pretty accurate, but that’s tough for a small business starting out. Spending $400 every month on just one marketing item is a big deal. Another marketing challenge is dealing with the funny little aversions people have to certain words. Our name, for example, was originally Furnish This - Discount Furniture, but it turns out that people have a bad connotation with the word “discount.” Now, I’m in the process of changing everything over to Furnish This - Fine Home Furnishings. How did you hear about the SBTDC? I was searching online and stumbled upon the SBTDC’s website, and I got really excited reading through the services available. The website is fantastic with resources for finding funding options and starting a business. I was able to download an outline for a business plan, which felt kind of like cheating because I just had to fill in my own information. Then, I met with Pieter Swanepoel and Whitney Hildebran. They sat down and walked me through my financials and marketing strategies to get this going. Since Pieter is a very successful businessman himself, he gives insightful feedback when I need someone to bounce my ideas off of. It was awesome to hear both Whitney and Pieter say, ”Yeah, I think you have something here; I think this is going to work.” That takes a big weight off your shoulders. So, how was your first year and a half in business? Honestly, I’m surprised by the growth I’ve seen. Starting out, my goal was $10,000 a month. I’ve quadrupled that. The first year we did around $150,000 and this year we’re on track to hit $480,000. Within seven months I doubled the square footage of the store. Then, in three months I outgrew that. Now, I have a tractor trailer out back that’s packed full and I’ve outgrown that. I’m working full time. I have about three consistent part-timers and two or three on a contract basis; plus a couple interns. What do you love most about running your own business? There’s a running joke between me and my family - they always ask, “Are you sure you can take off today?” and I always say, “Let me ask the boss.” It’s nice to work for yourself. But, what I really love is paying for a piece of furniture and bringing it to my store, then watching it sell for a profit. It’s exciting.

successful business start

Honestly, I’m surprised by the growth I’ve seen. Starting out, my goal was $10,000 a month. I’ve quadrupled that.

sales tripled in first year FRESH PERSPECTIVES | SBTDC


Stay Online Corp Creedmoor| Bellinda and Jim Higgins |

ABOUT Stay Online corp While everyone else is getting out of manufacturing in the United States, Stay Online is digging in deeper with five production lines to meet the powerconnectivity needs worldwide. From their environmentally-friendly 150,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and warehouse facility, they make molded power cords, plug adapters, electrical drops, wiring harnesses and PDU Whips, and house the largest inventory of these products worldwide. They do molding and termination assemblies in house and are proud their products are Made in America. Their focus is on high quality and quick turn-around time with no MOQ, which puts them in a different ball game than their competition overseas. The husband-and-wife team started out in direct sales of tech consumables before opening five retail locations. Since then, they’ve reinvented into a manufacturer with a world class ISO 9001:2008 & 14001 quality management system. They were recently named 2016’s SBA Exporter of the Year for NC and received the Presidential “E” Award for Exports.

RALEIGH Host Campus:

NC State University 24


How are you making manufacturing work in the US? We’re trying to crack the nut differently than how all the old manufacturers used to do it. We focus on turning a job quickly. For instance, two weeks ago, a client in Europe needed several hundred unique cords immediately. They called our office in Prague and we got ten samples out to them that same day. Our competition in China has a very different rationale. A lot of them require minimum orders of 5,000 or even 50,000 pieces. We have no minimums. We’ve got the products ready to ship today, and if we don’t then we can likely make them in house. When did you start exporting? We started exporting in the 90s to Canada, but it wasn’t until the last few years that we’ve pushed into other international markets and seen a lot of growth. We opened a second location in the Czech Republic last year, and it is already doing much better than we projected. There’s rarely a day that we don’t ship to Malaysia, Korea, Europe, Latin America, over 100 countries a year. Probably 20% of our sales are from exporting. Has it been a challenge for you in some ways? There is a lot to know for exporting. There are a lot of questions, and a lot of discomfort. That’s where organizations like the SBTDC have helped a lot. We’re constantly asking,”What do we do? How do we go about it? What certifications are required by the countries on our products?” Our counselors have the answers. They took a company that was clueless about interacting outside the US and helped pave the way to our comfort zone. What has been the best part about exporting? The cultural aspects are so interesting. A meeting in France, a meeting in the UK and a meeting in Germany are all so different. Four years ago we went to our first tradeshow in Germany, as part of a booth with the Department of Commerce. Usually we try to engage customers as they’re walking by, but that first day was a complete failure. We learned the Germans want to initiate the conversation so approaching them was counter productive. What have you done with the SBTDC? We’ve taken advantage of several programs including financial analysis and the graduate intern programs with MBA, Law and HR students from local universities. The Management Survey they conducted was particularly eye opening and helpful. Our management team now meets monthly. We also get the entire company together monthly to introduce new people and talk about new projects. It gives our employees some context about what is going on and what’s important to the company right now. So how much growth have you seen lately? We’ve tripled our physical space in the last year. Revenue for the last few years has been a little unique as we invest heavily in scaling for growth, but we’re having a record year. We added wiring harnesses two years ago, and it’s already doing seven figures. And, we just spent a quarter-million dollars on three new molding machines. Our staff is growing too. We have over 100 employees.

exporting to 100 countries

They took a company that was clueless about interacting outside the US and helped pave the way to our comfort zone.

new location in Prague, Czech Republic



KIDZCARE Pediatrics Fayetteville | Dr. Ashok Jain |

ABOUT Kidzcare pediatrics For Dr. Jain, it is all about affordable, accessible, and quality pediatric care. Their aim is to give every child in the state of North Carolina access to medical care in a location that is convenient for the parents and regardless of the type of insurance they carry or their ability to pay. By doing so, they keep patients out of the emergency rooms and reduce health care costs across the board. They have 17 locations across the state, serving more than 100,000 children annually from 64 counties.

What brought you to North Carolina? I’ve always had a heart to take care of people, so medicine was something that was a natural fit. I was lucky to attend Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, India on an athletic scholarship as a speed skater. I graduated at 22 and served in India for two years before taking a Pediatric residency at New York Medical College in 1995 and a Pediatric Cardiac Fellowship at Northwestern University in 1999. In 2001, I was recruited to run the pediatric ICU at Cape Fear Valley Hospital and I worked there for two years while getting an MBA at Fayetteville State University. I had a vision to open pediatric offices where children need them the most. How much have you grown since you opened in 2003? Eighteen months after opening the first location in 2003, we opened a second in north Fayetteville, 18 months later, after the 2nd office, we acquired a practice from a retiring doctor. The fourth location opened in 2009, and the fifth one in 2010. We kept quiet for two years to build a hospital in India and to see what would happen with the Affordable Care Act. Then in 2012 we opened three more offices across NC. In 2014 we opened another three and in 2015 we opened six more practices across NC. We plan to open six this year. The location of each site has been very strategic. Before we open any office, we call Johnnie at the SBTDC and he gives me demographic information about the community. We really take advantage of his expertise, which allows us to pinpoint areas that best fit our business model. Today we have 17 offices from the coast to the mountains and currently serve more than 100,000 kids each year from 64 counties in NC. We have 152 employees and will add at least 25 or 30 this year. With every office we open, we bring in a minimum of four jobs and indirectly we create another four or five jobs in the form of pharmacy, physical therapy, lab and all the other auxiliary services in the community.

Host Campus:

Fayetteville State University UNC Pembroke



What has been a challenge for you? Ensuring we have access to emergency funds. In 2014, the government (NC Medicaid) changed its IT systems, and we didn’t get paid for two months; that cost us $400,000. Then during the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, a lot of doctors were deployed so we stepped up and treated the children of the armed forces. But once the war ended we were faced with about $700,000 in revenue loss. And last year, North Carolina cut 27% of Medicaid reimbursement, We managed to survive that $1.5 million loss and still make a profit because of our great team who stepped up productivity, kept the cost down with lean team, diversified with more sites to create new revenue centers, changed our payer-mix ratio, used the expertise of Finance Head Nelson Morris, his background as an experienced banker, and the sounding board of our SBTDC counselor. What results have you seen from the SBTDC’s MBA internship program? One group analyzed the time patients spend at each of our designated care areas like the front desk, medical assistants/nursing, and time with doctors. We could see where the bottlenecks were and improved those areas. At any given time, we have at least 15 different types of healthcare / non-healthcare students training with us. We end up hiring a lot of our interns and give them the experience they need to build their resumes. We are the stepping stone to much better jobs for them.

150 new jobs created

Now we have 17 offices from the coast to the mountains and currently serve about 100,000 kids each year in 64 counties across NC. We have 152 employees and will add at least 25 or 30 this year.

16 new locations



LINPRINT COMPANY Wilmington | Brad Donnell |

ABOUT Linprint Company A commercial printer since 1947, Linprint now offers a wide array of services beyond their high-quality offset printing including digital and wide-format printing, mailing ,and fulfillment. Brad Donnell purchased the company in 1985 when it was still a small-sized printing company in Wilmington. They made a name for themselves with higher quality, better service, faster estimates and faster delivery—the things that matter to customers. They have made it through the economic downturn and major changes in the printing industry as the largest printer in Wilmington.

What brought you in to the SBTDC? In 2005, our biggest competitor was bought out. It was an opportunity. We bought the building on Market Street and a lot of press and pre-press equipment. This was state-of-the-art stuff that no one else had. Unfortunately, we bought it all in 2007. The majority of our customers were in real estate and we all know what happened to the real estate market. By 2010, we were really struggling financially. We were using one of these small banks and they desperately needed to get us off their books, but a traditional bank wouldn’t take us. Our counselor, Janis Mueller, helped us find the right bank, figure out my financials, and put together our presentation to get an SBA loan. We still work with Janis regularly; in fact, I called just yesterday with some concerns. She was able to bring in an expert in the field that I had questions about while I was still on the phone with her. It was that quick. I think it’s unique that I can call her spur of the moment and get that kind of response. It has been very valuable to us and I would say we probably wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t reached out to the SBTDC. I talk about Janis like she’s magic but she is kind of magic. What changes have you made to stay in the game? We’ve diversified our services and our customer base. We got into mailing and that has been really successful. Since we are working on a print job already, we can get it into the mail stream a day or two sooner by cutting out the mail house. We also added wide-format banners, point-of-purchase displays and window graphics. We’re the only place in Wilmington where you can get 40,000 brochures, 100 digital copies, and a sign, all in house. We’ve also beefed up the digital side of things and we will be getting a new digital press in the next couple of months. We added a fulfillment department, which could potentially be huge.

Host Campus:

UNC Wilmington




How did you get into printing? John Lindler opened the doors in 1947 and owned Linprint Company until the 70s when he sold it to a gentleman named Claude Cole. When Claude tragically developed cancer and passed away in the mid 80s, we bought the business. We didn’t realize just how bad it was struggling, so we had a rough couple of years to get things going. We started out as one of the smaller print shops and immediately started making a name for ourselves with better service, faster estimates, and faster delivery. Now we’ve been the largest printer in Wilmington for 10 years.


How was your experience with the Learning Alliance Internship Program? We’ve participated twice now and we’re signed up for a third year. There are some sharp kids over there at UNC Wilmington. They were very helpful and we used their research to make some important decisions. I think they learned a lot about the business world from an old guy that has done it for a long time, and they were also very valuable to us. So, has it made a difference? Well, we didn’t go out of business. We’ve hired one additional employee so we’re up to 14. We’re also starting to see a number of our customers returning as email marketing becomes less effective. Even people who use the Internet to buy something still like to look through a printed brochure or catalog. Putting the two together works; that’s where we see the light at the end of the tunnel. This past year, sales were up about 3% and the year before that we were up about 6%.

obtained an SBA loan for $1,740,000

I would say we probably wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t reached out to the SBTDC.



blue arbor New Bern | Lucine Moffett and Russell Norris |

ABOUT BLUE ARBOR Blue Arbor is a full service human resource company providing businesses across the country with recruiting, staffing, background checks, and drug screening services. For 35 years, Lucine Moffett has taken pride in placing trustworthy and skilled employees in primarily manufacturing, construction and clerical roles. Seeing the stability of government hiring through natural disasters and the economic downturn led them to diversify by investing in government contracting, which now makes up roughly 20% of their gross sales. Blue Arbor also manages Atlantic Gulf Coast Contracting Inc. (AGCI) which specializes in construction, renovation, and disaster recovery.

What inspired you to start a staffing company? I’ve been working since I was eight on my uncle’s tobacco farm. At 16, I got a job driving a school bus, which they’d never allow now, but I’ve always been a hard worker and the people in my life were entrepreneurs who inspired me to pursue my dreams. When I was 24, I had been working for Texas Gulf for seven years. It was 1981, and I saw first hand how women were hardly being recognized or promoted. I was thinking about that when I realized there weren’t any staffing companies in New Bern. So, I started what was then Temporary Employee Services, Inc. How has the SBTDC been useful to you? We’ve worked with the SBTDC primarily for Government contracting assistance. One of the areas where our counselor, Ariana, has been so much help is deciphering the somewhat ambiguous rules and regulations around submitting proposals. Interpreting the language correctly can make the difference between winning a contract and not. Each contracting officer views the regulations differently. I can present the Request For Proposal to Ariana, and she is able to make suggestions as to what aspects are uniform and what may be left up to interpretation. Sometimes they are strictly looking for the lowest price. Other times it may be experience in the field. Ariana knows based on her years of experience seeing what other companies have discovered when dealing with that agency or officer. She is truly an asset to your organization as well as an asset to ours. I can’t say enough in terms of how much she has meant to our efforts. One specific instance, we sent in a proposal for a GSA contract. We knew they received it, but we couldn’t get a response from them in over a year. One of the Senators got involved and the needle moved slightly. Then I mentioned it to another SBTDC counselor, Nick Economou, who used to work at the GSA. He made a few calls and suddenly they were calling us instead of us calling them. How much growth have you seen in the last five years? Our annual revenue has grown a minimum of 10%. In the last year we have placed 35 to 40 employees with federal contracts that we received with the help of the SBTDC and we placed approximately 2000 employees throughout the Southeast. We have a total of three federal contracts, one of which is expanding and those probably generate three-quarters of a million annually.

Host Campus:

East Carolina University





What do you see for the future? We’re focusing on all of the municipalities in the state of NC, and then we’ll move from there. We’ll go to South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi, all along the Southeast. We’re already traveling quite a bit and that is likely to increase, so I have to tell you because I’m so excited, I bought a plane. Her name is Amelia and she has Amelia Earhart’s picture on her side. Between here and Pensecola, it takes about 4 hours, which beats the heck out of 12.5 hours driving.

placed 2000 employees last year

Our annual revenue has grown a minimum of 10%. In the last year we have placed 35 to 40 employees with federal contracts that we received with the help of the SBTDC.

awarded 3 federal contracts generating $750,000 annually FRESH PERSPECTIVES | SBTDC


outer banks craft distilling Manteo | Adam Ball, Kelly Bray, Matt Newsome, Scott Smith |

ABOUT Outer banks craft distilling From molasses to glasses - a craft distillery making Kill Devil Rum on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The name, “Kill Devil” is what the fieldworkers called rum when they discovered how to distill the molasses left over from sugar cane production. They believed it would ward off evil spirits; a drink so strong it could kill the devil inside you. To get their sugar to New England, the ships would travel up the coast past the Outer Banks. The area was difficult to navigate and shipwrecks were common. The barrels of Kill Devil on board would wash up on the beach and the locals would be waiting to stash the barrels in the dunes before the salvage wreckers arrived. One of the most popular dunes became known as Kill Devil Hill. Since their opening one year ago, these four artisans are changing people’s perceptions of how rum should taste. Using the best possible ingredients and nothing artificial, you can taste the raw, natural molasses.

Host Campus:

Elizabeth City State University




How did you get started? The four of us met working at the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills. Adam and Kelly were brewers, and Scott and I were bartenders. We knew early on that we wanted to do something as a group. Originally, brewing beer made the most sense, but the market is just too saturated. With the history of the Outer Banks, we kept coming back to rum. I mean, Blackbeard died right here in Ocracoke. At what point did you decide to quit your jobs? We met weekly for a year, looking for a location and working through a business plan with the SBTDC. We originally wanted to keep it in Kill Devil Hills, but the only township able to support our waste water was Manteo. As soon as we bought the building, we quit our jobs to work on the building renovation full-time, which took another year. We all believe that it is important to go into this 110%. Thankfully, we have a huge support system here that kept us fed and the bills paid. Did your first year meet expectations? Until we had our Certificate of Occupancy in hand, it was illegal to make any rum. That was a little scary, but we weren’t going in blind. We used the two years leading up to take classes across the country, so our first batch was pretty close to the flavor we were looking for. It went into the liquor stores on May 5th and all 720 bottles sold out within four hours. It was September before they lasted a week on the shelves. We knew we had a following, but we never expected that. Now we have two medals from the American Craft Spirit Association as well. At what point did the SBTDC get involved? We’ve been with them from the very beginning. We thought we had a pretty good idea of what we were doing, then we met these awesome guys and realized how far away we really were. They prepared us for talking to the banks. It’s tough for start ups and they knew what red flags to look for so we were prepared. Even still, we were turned down twice. We are the first distillery on North Carolina’s East Coast, so we’re definitely the guinea pigs for a lot of issues. The SBTDC sat with us through the meetings and helped us figure out why they were hesitant and what we could change. We’ve never done this before, so it’s awesome to be able to call someone who has answers at the drop of a hat. What do you foresee for the future? The way things are going, the only thing holding us back is us. If we keep pushing and working hard, the sky is the limit. We’re looking forward to seeing how much rum we can really sell this year, since we aren’t playing catch up. But we’re being strategic in our growth, starting with the Outer Banks and moving out from there. It is really important to us that we take care of our hometown first. We’re hoping to replace our equipment with larger pieces with more capacity and maybe talk to a distributor next year. Then it’s the eastern seaboard and maybe the whole U.S.

business start

We’ve never done this before, so it’s awesome to be able to call someone who has answers at the drop of a hat.

in ABC stores and restaurants state wide




The Statewide Advisory Board has played an important role in supporting SBTDC leadership since 1985 and is comprised of both at-large and regional center representatives. Board members are selected to enhance the SBTDC and its capacity to provide high-quality service to stimulate business growth and economic development throughout North Carolina. In addition to advocating on behalf of the small to medium-sized business community, board members help develop the SBTDC’s strategic plan and annual work plans, identify new resources, and provide feedback and recommendations on SBTDC programs and services. Many board members have offered guidance to SBTDC counselors and clients, spoken at SBTDC conferences and events, and worked on special projects, including the development of Inception Micro Angel Funds across the state. The following individuals are currently serving on the SBTDC’s Statewide Advisory Board, and we thank them for their generous commitment to the SBTDC and small businesses across North Carolina.

Wendy Banks

Leslie D. (Sonny) Hines

Tom Robinson

Billy Walton

Owner Carolina Management Team Enka, NC

Owner Blue Mountain Enterprises Hickory, NC

Vice President ERD, LTD Kernersville, NC

President Sabre Companies Winterville, NC

John Chaffee

Nick Nicholson

Rebecca Loranger

Peter Bishop

President and CEO North Carolina’s Eastern Alliance Kinston, NC

Executive Vice President / Chief Credit Officer First South Bank Raleigh, NC

President / Owner Lakeside Project Solutions, LLC Denver, NC

Economic Development Director Currituck Chamber of Commerce Currituck, NC

Horace Stimson

Nelson Morris

Todd Hall

Finance Manager Kidzcare Pediatrics PC Fayetteville, NC

Chief Operating Officer Truliant Federal Credit Union Winston-Salem, NC

Debbie HildebranBachofen

Brad Bruestle

Lynn Douthett District Director US Small Business Administration Charlotte, NC

Walter Daniels Chair Daniels & Daniels P.A. Research Triangle Park, NC

Andrew Schwab President First Flight Venture Center Research Triangle Park, NC



Chairman Emeritus Owner Developing Businesses, Inc. Pilot Mountain, NC

Linda Weiner Vice President for Engagement and Strategic Innovation Office of the President Raleigh, NC

Mark W. Packard Director of Small Business BB&T Winston-Salem, NC

Shareholder Manning, Fulton and Skinner P.A. Raleigh, NC

Kevin O’ Mara Executive Director The Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Elon University Elon, NC

Vice President / Sales and Service Officer BB&T SFR Banking Group Wilmington, NC

Dr. Mike Smith Professor / Department Head Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC

Special thanks to SBTDC staff members for their assistance with the creation of this Annual Report: Fred Barringer Ariana Billingsley Matthew Byrne Wendy Cagle Scott Daugherty Deanna Day Angela Farrior Debbie Hathaway Byron Hicks Whitney Hildebran Mary Klock Johnnie Marshburn George McAllister Janis Mueller

CREDITS Text by Jamie Forbes

Lisa Ruckdeschel Fran Scarlett Mike Seibert Ryan Taylor

Edits by Lisa Ruckdeschel, Angela Farrior and Deanna Day

Michael Twiddy

Photography by Jamie Forbes

John Ujvari

Illustrations by Jamie Forbes

Chris Veal

Layout and typesetting by Jamie Forbes

Alex Viva Bob Weston

The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

Carolyn Wilburn

for more info visit

Durham Asheville 919.530.7386

NAGS HEAD 828.251.6025

Elizabeth City 252.335.3334

Boone 252.335.3247

Pembroke 828.262.2492

Fayetteville 910.775.4000

Chapel Hill 910.672.1727

Raleigh 919.962.0389

Greensboro 919.513.1500

Charlotte 336.256.9300

Wilmington 704.687.0440

Greenville 910.962.3744

Cullowhee 252.737.1385

Winston-Salem 828.227.3504

Hickory 336.750.2030 828.345.1110

Small Business and Technology Development Center 800.258.0862 | |