Barry W. Eveland,
60, the senior state executive for IBM and chair emeritus of NCCBI, retired
last month after 39 years with the company. Since he first came to RTP in
1970, it grew to be the largest IBM campus in the world, home to 13,000
employees and 30 business units, ironically, none of them manufacturing, the
site’s original purpose.
Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair, 52,
replaces Eveland as IBM’s senior state executive and will preside over IBM
facilities in the Triangle, Greensboro, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem. She
will be the company’s official representative to employees and the community
and handle government relations in the state.
“Rusine is enthusiastic,
intelligent and has a good sense about the business and government
communities,” says Eveland. “She’ll do a fine job.”
Mitchell-Sinclair, who joined IBM
in 1981, came to the company’s RTP campus the same year that Eveland took
the reins as senior state executive. She held a variety of service
management positions with the company, most recently as vice president of
strategy and implementation for IBM Global IT Delivery.
During her tenure as general
manager of IBM’s e-business hosting services, she helped the company achieve
No. 1 ranking in the industry, according to the Garner Group, a position it
Mitchell-Sinclair says she’s
known Eveland for most of the years she’s been at the RTP site and she hopes
to continue providing the “thoughtful and insightful leadership that he has,
not only at the site, but in the community.” She notes that she plans to
increase the company’s relationships with both businesses and elected
officials in the region.
Eveland joined IBM in the Federal
Systems Division in Owego, N.Y., in 1966 and moved to RTP in 1970, where he
was instrumental in the expansion of the company’s site and the opening of
its Charlotte facility.
Eveland held executive positions
in manufacturing and supply chain management in the company’s Westchester
County, N.Y., headquarters for 12 years before returning to North Carolina
in 1993, where he became general manager of PC Manufacturing Operations.
In 2002, Eveland was named vice
president of operations for the integrated supply chain organization,
responsible for IBM’s system hardware manufacturing and distribution
worldwide. “I was one of three executives who established the organization,
which consolidated procurement, manufacturing, logistics, customer
fulfillment, and IT, which substantially improved IBM’s supply chain costs
and effectiveness,” says Eveland. He was also senior location executive for
IBM’s RTP facility.
Eveland served as campaign chair
for the annual fund raising drive for the Triangle United Way in 2001 and
the Wake Education Partnership in 2003. As NCCBI chair in 2004-05 he set a
record for the number of regional meetings attended.
Two IBM accomplishments Eveland
points to in particular are the expansion of the RTP site in the late ’70s
and early ’80s and the opening of the Charlotte facility in 1978. He plans
to remain involved with NCCBI and the N.C. State University Board of
Visitors and Engineering Advisory Council, among others. He also will remain
on the boards of CT Communications and Intrahealth International. But he’ll
also keep busy building a second home in Blowing Rock and sailing the
Intracoastal Waterway. And then, Eveland notes, “there is the honey do
— Allan Maurer
Smog Gets Worse as Mass Transit Arrives
Charlotte’s growth and increasing
sophistication have brought about another designation of which the city is
not so proud. An eight-county region including Charlotte was recently added
to a federal bad-air list, making it the city with the worst ozone problem
in the Southeast.
The Northwest Environment Watch
recently named Charlotte worst in sprawl among 15 US cities. The
organization looked at the amount of rural land converted to suburbs, and
the growth of low-density neighborhoods.
On the heels of bad environmental
news, Voices & Choices of the Central Carolinas, a nonprofit group that was
formed in the mid-1990s to help balance the region’s growth with its
environment, has run out of money and closed its doors.
Governments have a reason to heed
the bad news about Charlotte’s environment. The region has until 2010 to
meet federal ozone standards.
The Southern Environmental Law
Center has recommended that the region continue programs that link land-use
planning to air quality and discourage suburban housing developments that
create more air pollution because they require people to drive to work,
shopping and all other destinations.
Charlotte is building a mass
transit system and the first passenger train will roll in the summer of
2006. City planners are looking at new guidelines that will push
high-density development near rail lines. Such Transit Oriented Zoning would
impose a minimum housing density in areas right around transit stations.
Festival Park Plaza Gets Off the Ground
Fayetteville’s city council has
approved a new $5.8 million addition to the ongoing revitalization of the
city’s downtown. The council approved a proposal for the Festival Park Plaza
building, a 42,000-square-foot mixed-use, three-story structure.
The Raleigh-based Lundy Group is
developing the building, which will include 14,000 square feet of retail
space on its first floor and about 28,000 square feet of office space on the
The Downtown Development Corp. (DDC)
says the building will add 143 additional office workers and five to seven
new businesses with at least $4.5 million in annual wages to the downtown
In addition, a unique profit
sharing arrangement means the building could produce an income stream to
support other downtown development, says the DDC.
The new building will serve as a
gateway entrance to the community’s Festival Park. First floor restaurants
and shops will open onto the promenade, linking the two.
The DDC has recommended two other
projects to the city council for review. They are: the “Capitol”
entertainment project (named after the Capitol Department store previously
on the site); a multi-zoned facility patterned after the nationally
successful “Dave & Buster’s” franchise; and the “300 Block of Hay,” a $13.5
million mixed use development. The development would include 8,800 square
feet of retail space and 42 residential units with associated private
parking, says Marshall Isler, executive vice president with the DDC. The
Capitol project is expected to draw up to 175,000 visitors a year.
All three projects represent
nearly $25 million in downtown investment, more than four times that
invested in 2004, and would create 275 new jobs and a projected additional
$344,000 in property tax revenue.
They stem from the community’s
“Renaissance Plan” approved in 2002 and adopted to revitalize Fayetteville’s
depressed downtown market. The DDC manages and implements the plan by
constructing private-public partnerships. --Allan Maurer
Bank's New Name Alters the Skyline
The skyline CCB sign that has
long been one of Durham’s most identifying landmarks on the downtown Central
Carolina Bank Building will disappear over the weekend of April 22-24.
SunTrust Bank Inc., which merged
with National Commerce Financial Corp., CCB’s parent company in October,
plans to convert the CCB signs over that weekend. The CCB and NCF branches
have operated as part of SunTrust since the merger.
The combined financial services
enterprise holds assets of more than $152 billion, deposits of $101 billion,
and has more than 1,720 branches from Maryland to Florida.
CCB always focused on
smaller investors, but SunTrust brings much greater assets to the market.
SunTrust says that gives CCB customers access to larger commercial credit
lines and wider capital markets, broader investment opportunities and access
to debt and equity financing and mezzanine financing, none of which NCF
Furniture Showrooms Exhibiting New Wares
The interiors of High Point’s
furniture showroom buildings have long remained a mystery to most people not
directly involved in the semi-annual International Home Furnishings Market.
Entry ways to the buildings are closely guarded, and many showroom
facilities do not even have windows to give outsiders a glimpse of the fine
furnishings and decorative accessories displayed inside.
But one of the Furniture
Capital’s premier showroom addresses has bucked the tradition of conducting
business outside public view and is, in fact, opening its doors to visitors.
The 500,000-square-foot Showplace exhibition building made its debut during
the fall 2000 Home Furnishings Market in the heart of the downtown showroom
district on a site previously occupied by a Sears retail store. The
contemporary glass-fronted building offers a clear view of the products on
display and the activities going on inside the five-story exhibit hall.
Now Showplace is inviting
non-furniture groups to take advantage of the spacious building’s display
areas outside of Market times.
Joanna Easter, one of the
founders of Showplace, explained that the city’s lack of a convention center
was one factor in the company’s decision to solicit trade shows and
conventions for High Point.
She added that “people love
coming to High Point to shop for furniture so it’s exciting all the way
In addition to hosting groups
like health underwriters and building contractors, weddings and Christmas
parties, Showplace is sponsoring its own events. A “Look What’s Cooking in
the Piedmont” show is slated for May 20-22, and the first Piedmont New Car
Festival will be held in December.
The cooking show next month will
be a “kitchen extravaganza,” according to Showplace Event Marketing Manager
Allison Akes. The event will feature gourmet foods and beverage exhibitors,
she says, along with catering sources and other kitchen needs.
Area automobile dealers are
enthused about the December car festival, Joanna Easter says, and are
anxious to display their 2006 models inside Showplace.
Both events are open to the
public with a portion of the admission proceeds going to Kyle Petty’s
Victory Junction Gang camp in Randleman. —
Qubein Makes Good on Fundraising Pledge
When Nido Qubein took the helm as
the new president of High Point University, he challenged the community to
support the institution by raising $10 million in 60 days and pledged the
first $1 million himself. Only 29 days later, Qubein told an audience at the
school’s Hayworth Fine Arts Center that the campaign had already received
pledges twice that amount in half the time — $20 million.
Qubein says 95 percent of the
money came from High Point and resulted largely from his making personal
visits to people and asking them to contribute as he had.
Qubein, 56, says the university
needs from $35 million to $50 million more to upgrade buildings, dorms, and
athletic facilities, establish a student life building and create new homes
for the business and education schools.
private university, the school cannot rely on tax dollars for support.
Although the university charges $24,000 for tuition and board, many
scholarship students do not pay the full amount, and Qubein hopes to shift
the balance to more who do.
Biotech Programs Get Another Booster Shot
The state’s efforts to retain its
leadership position in biotechnology got another booster shot last month
when the Golden Leaf Foundation approved $1.3 million in grants to fund
training programs at N.C. community colleges.
Golden Leaf, which is dispersing
funds from the national tobacco settlement, has funded a total of 63
BioNetwork grants totaling $6.7 million during the last year. Golden Leaf
provided $8.7 million in startup funding for BioNetwork as part of an
overall grant to the Biomanufacturing & Pharmaceutical Training Consortium (BPTC).
The BPTC includes the Biomanufacturing and Training Center at N.C. State
University and the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology
Enterprise at N.C. Central University.
Community colleges statewide are
using the latest grants to obtain equipment and technology necessary to
provide specialized training for the highly regulated biotechnology and
pharmaceutical industries. The industry does not hire people without the
specialized training necessary to work in U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The largest single grant of
$159,621 went to Haywood Community College for a classroom and lab to
support biotech training. Asheville-Buncombe Technical College received
$114,790 for its biotech laboratory enhancement project. Johnston Community
College gets $99,400 for its BioProcess Technology program.
Separate grants also fund biotech
distance learning programs and innovation fund awards. Asheville-Buncombe,
Johnston, and Pit Community College reach received distance learning grants
of $58,795. Grants to 13 other community colleges ranged from $9,000 to
$50,000. The latest round of grants extends the BioNetwork’s impact to 80 of
the state’s 100 counties.
“This funding is
transforming biotechnology education and training in North Carolina,” says
BioNetwork Director Susan Seymour. “Although our colleges have been
providing excellent training for many years, the rapid growth of
biomanufacturing industry in the state has left us struggling to keep pace
with their workforce training needs.” --Allan Maurer
Innovative Urban Design Lets Town Keep
A small town on the rural western
edge of Stanly County is holding on to its hometown roots in the face of
When NC 24/27 through the Stanly
County town of Locust was widened in 2002, the landscape of the town changed
forever. Some turn-of-the-century buildings through the main crossroads were
But developers with a love of the
town and a taste for urban design are reinventing a new town center.
The group, called Main Street
Property LLC, assembled 120 acres on the northwest edge of the city and is
rebuilding downtown with the help of internationally known design firm
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co, which has an office in nearby Davidson. DPZ is
known for promoting the “New Urbanism” movement.
Called Locust Town Center, the
project includes a renovated 30,000-square-foot building with a hardware
store and the busiest branch library in the county. City hall and the police
department move to the building in April.
The project will feature
apartments, retail and service businesses. The new downtown will include a
town green for concerts and a farmers’ market. Over the next 10 years some
248 single-family homes priced near $300,000 will be built.
What’s fueling growth and
interest by developers is the completion of I-485, Charlotte’s new outer
“People have realized that we are
10 miles from I-485 and 20 miles to uptown,” says Locust town administrator
James Inman. “Our goal is to grow.”
But Inman says the town hopes to
avoid the sprawling growth many outer belt communities encounter, and an
eight-day series of DPZ-led design meetings about the town center revealed
strong sentiment among townspeople about their community.
Out of those meetings came the
slogan, “Locust, the city with a soul,” and that has been adopted with a new
Though the soul remains, Locust’s
identity is sure to change if growth projections bear out. The town is
projected to grow from 2,500 residents to as many as 15,000 in the next 20
Locust has readied itself for
growth by providing plenty of infrastructure. It recently doubled the
capacity of its water lines, providing enticement for developers who are
hampered by water restrictions in neighboring Cabarrus County.
“I’ve authorized more housing
starts in the last six months than in the last four years,” says Inman.
Developers are taking notice. One
already has a gated golf-course project with 1,440 homes, town homes and
apartments on the drawing board. The retirement community would offer homes
ranging from $200,000 to $1 million, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts
and other amenities.
“We’re never going to be a
like Charlotte,” says Inman. “We like being a suburb of the city. We take no
issue with that.” — Laura
Planes and Trains Draw Record New Customers
Air travel is often one measure
of a region’s economic health, so economic development officials in Western
North Carolina are pleased that traffic at Asheville Regional Airport is
Officials with the airport
announced that total passenger traffic in January rose nearly 40 percent
over the same time period in 2004. Total passenger traffic for January
reached a record of 38,344, the highest figure for January air travel in
Asheville since 1988.
The airport has added new flights
to keep up with demand, including a daily nonstop flight to Minneapolis/St.
Paul, Minn., on Northwest Airlines that connects Western North Carolina with
the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Canada among other destinations.
Northwest agreed to add the flight after successfully adding a new
Currently, four commercial air
carriers serve the airport. For the fiscal year ended June 30, there were
240,585 enplanements and 238,125 deplanements at the airport.
But they’re working on the
railroad in Western North Carolina as well. To the west of Asheville, a
short line railroad located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is
receiving a $7.5 million direct loan from the Federal Railroad
Administration (FRA) to rehabilitate its infrastructure and maintain its
economic importance to the region.
The $7.5 million loan, made under
the FRA Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program, will be
used to refinance existing debt and upgrade four miles of track to heavier
rail and replace over 38,000 railroad ties.
The railroad will purchase and
install three turntables, which are used to turn locomotives around, to
increase the safety and efficiency of its operations. By refinancing
existing debt, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) will have more cash
available for maintenance and capital improvement expenditures. It operates
primarily as a tourist railroad and carried approximately 167,000 passengers
It also handles some freight
shipments along its 53 miles of track. Located in Swain County, the GSMR is
one of the largest employers in the area. It employs about 46 people
full-time and nearly 140 seasonal employees. The GSMR provides an estimated
$50 million in economic benefits to the region annually. -- Mark
CED to Hear Johnson
Robert L. Johnson, founder and
CEO of Black Entertainment Television and majority owner of the Charlotte
Bobcats, will keynote the N.C. Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s
Venture 2005 Conference at Pinehurst Resort April 26-27.
The conference, “Where Great
Minds Meet Smart Money,” is one of the CED’s signature annual events.
Although Johnson will keynote the second day of the event, some attendees
will be the ones jumping through hoops to convince backers to invest in
their businesses. The conference includes presentations from 33 high-growth
companies seeking venture backing. The companies make their presentations to
an audience of 700-900 business people who usually include numerous
representatives from regional and national venture capital funds.
Presenting companies at this
year’s Venture Conference include the first from Western N.C., Navigational
Sciences Inc., of Asheville, which is creating a global system to track
containers as they move by ship and rail. Other presenters include young
companies from Raleigh, Durham, Cary, the RTP, Wilmington and Yadkinville.
Numerous early stage medical device and biotech companies, and information
technology hardware and software companies will also pitch their wares.
Monica Doss, CED president, says
Johnson “is an innovative and successful serial entrepreneur” who will
“undoubtedly inspire and inform the Venture 2005 attendees.”
CED, located in the RTP,
is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1984 to promote high growth
companies and accelerate the entrepreneurial culture of the region.
Region's First Wet Lab Will Foster
An Asheville start-up company’s
difficulty in finding lab space in Western North Carolina led AdvantageWest
and Buncombe County to create a new wet lab on Asheville-Buncombe Tech’s
AdvantageWest CEO Dale Carroll
says the new lab, which is being retrofitted at a cost of $110,000 into an
existing building once part of BASF’s Enka facility, will give new
businesses a head-start. AdvantageWest has committed $55,000 which will be
matched by Buncombe County.
Carroll says the lab project
evolved from a meeting with Genesis Molecular Discovery, a company that was
having trouble locating lab space. Genesis Molecular will focus on providing
chemical and molecular information services to clients. Advantage- West
helped the start-up obtain a $15,000 business development award from the
N.C. Biotechnology Center.
The lab is designed to attract
additional life sciences companies to the area. “We now have plans that will
give Western North Carolina its first world-class wet lab,” Carroll says,
calling it “a solid investment.” The lab is expected to be ready by June.
Nathan Ramsey, chairman of the
Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, says, “ We are building a facility
that will attract employers in what is among the fastest growing industry
sectors in the nation.”
OUT & ABOUT
Time to Take
Me Out to the Ball Game
Umpires will shout “Play ball!”
across North Carolina this month as the state’s 10 minor league professional
teams go to bat for the 2005 season.
Only California has more minor
league teams than North Carolina. The list includes two Triple A
International League teams — the Durham Bulls and the Charlotte Knights —
one Double A team, six Class A teams and one rookie team. One N.C. team
manager says the secret of making minor league ball fans happy isn’t whether
the team wins or loses, but rather, “keeping the beer cold and the hot dogs
The Durham Bulls open
April 7 at home against Toledo. Affiliated with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays,
the Bulls average of 7,100 fans per game. The Bulls finished 77-67 last year
and lost in the first round of playoffs.
The Charlotte Knights,
affiliated with the Chicago White Sox, open April 7 vs. the Columbus
Clippers. The team finished 68-74 last year, at the bottom of the South
The Hickory Crawdads won
the South Atlantic Class A Championship last year. Affiliated with the
Pittsburgh Pirates, the Crawdads average 2,700 fans a game. This year the
team holds a “Faith Night,” for the first time June 5.
The Kinston Indians,
winners of the Class A Carolina League Championship last year for the first
time since 1995, open April 8 at home against Winston-Salem. Affiliated with
the Cleveland Indians, Kinston sells about 2,000 tickets a game. The club
has a new general manager, Marty Wheeler.
The Kannapolis Intimidators
open April 7 against the Asheville Tourists. The Chicago White
Sox-affiliated Intimidators average about 1,800 fans a game and unveil their
new scoreboard this season as well as welcoming new owner, Dale Smith.
The Greensboro Grasshoppers,
affiliated with the Florida Marlins, open April 3 in an exhibition game
against the Marlins at home with a new name in a new venue, First Horizon
Park, which seats 7,600. Its regular season starts April 7 vs. the Hickory
Crawdads at home. The team averages 3,000 to 3,500 spectators a game. The
Grasshoppers, formerly the Greensboro Bats, had a rough season last year,
finishing at the bottom of the league. For more information:
The Asheville Tourists
open away vs. Kannapolis April 7 and play their first home game April 11 at
McCormick Field. Ron McKee, general manager for 25 years, assumes a new role
as president and CEO this year as Larry Hawkins takes on the general manager
The Winston-Salem Warthogs,
affiliated with the Chicago White Sox, open away vs. Kinston April 8 and at
home April 11 vs. Myrtle Beach. They finished 74-66 last year, making it to
the playoffs where they stalled in the first two games.
The Carolina Mudcats,
the state’s only Double A team, open April 7 against the Hunstville
Stars in Five County Stadium, Zebulon, where they draw from 2,000 to 6,000
fans. Affiliated with the Florida Marlins, this year the Mudcats open a new
fine dining restaurant called Cattails.
The Burlington Indians
open June 21 on the road against the Princeton Devil Rays. Affiliated with
the Cleveland Indians, the Rookie League team celebrates its 20th anniversary
this year and averages a league-topping 1,400 fans. Team President Miles
owned the Durham Bulls, which he sold in 1990.
— Allan Maurer