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Business roundup: Global Contract Services promotes regional director

Sydney Chmiel, a long-time member of the Global Contract Services team, has been promoted to regional director for the companies southern locations, which includes Salisbury.
“We are very excited about Sydney joining the operations team,” said Jeff Meredith, vice president of Operations. “She brings years of client perspective experience to the team and will no doubt make an immediate impact on our group.”
GCS is a privately held company and a leading provider of integrated customer care and back office processing solutions for companies in the United States.
“Sydney Chmiel’s background and talents are a perfect fit for her new position,” President and Chief Executive officer Greg Alcorn said. “GCS is extremely fortunate to have an industry veteran like Sydney, who is committed to personal growth through new opportunity.”
Previously, Chmiel held the position of client services director and since joining GCS in 2002 has advanced the Client Services Department by bringing an understanding of the market and delivering high results.
“Sydney has played a key role in the growth GCS has experienced in the last seven years, and her continued efforts will certainly help strengthen the team,” Meredith said.
“Although her day will be slightly different in the Operations Department,” Meredith adds, “she’ll still be focused on supporting client performance and growth.”
Chmiel joins Jack Whitt, who recently assumed a similar role over the northern location. The two will work collaboratively to manage and grow GCS’s North American centers.
Chmiel graduated from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in mass communications and marketing.
In her new capacity, she will continue to live in Salisbury with her husband, Andy and their two children, Parker and Sophie.
Global Contact Services is a privately held company and employs more than 2,000 associates in 13 locations in Arizona, Florida, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the Philippines.
The company is a leading provider of integrated customer care solutions for companies in many industries, including the fields of insurance, finance, telecom and political.
GCS provides many of these services to major corporations throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.gcsagents.com
Former BJ’s Bar B Que up for auction
Farmers and Merchants Bank has recently engaged Tranzon Metrolina to auction a Cabarrus County restaurant that most recently was a BJ’s Bar B Que & Seafood.
The restaurant, which has been a Burger King and a Porky’s, is at 1802 S. Cannon Blvd. in Kannapolis. It is a 2,827-square-foot property with a drive-through and is in a shopping center that includes a Food Lion.
“Auction marketing is a proven, effective alternative to traditional real estate methods that rely on the buyer’s timetable to purchase. Auctions offer a clearly defined time line to sell a property with no contingencies,” says Sonny Weeks of Tranzon Metrolina.
The auction process, also referred to as accelerated marketing, includes an intense four- to six-week marketing period that exposes properties to local and national markets.
The auction will be April 23 at noon. For details, visit www.tranzon.com.
Tranzon Metrolina is headquartered in Concord and is a member of Tranzon LLC, which has more than 20 independently owned offices from coast to coast. Member companies auctioned more than 700 properties last year.
Carolina Farm Credit paying $17.4 million
Member-borrowers of Carolina Farm Credit will receive $17.4 million in patronage refund checks for 2008.
Chief Executive Officer Michael R. Morton said borrowers will receive a refund of 20 percent on the interest accrued on their loans in 2008.
A cash refund of $5.2 million will be paid, and the remainder will be placed in allocated capital accounts for future revolvement.
“Carolina Farm Credit had another successful year in 2008, said Tony Ragan, chairman of the Carolina Farm Credit board. “We’re pleased to be able to share our success with our borrowers by putting our profits in their pockets.”
It is the 21st consecutive year that a patronage refund has been paid.
In addition, the board plans to retire in the fall the $10 million allocated surplus issued in 2003.
Since 1988, Carolina Farm Credit has declared patronage totaling more than $304 million to be paid to its member-borrowers through refunds and retirements of allocated surplus.
Carolina Farm Credit, which has service centers in Salisbury, Statesville and 35 other locations, is a farmer-owned cooperative.
Among directors are Ragan, the chairman from Lee County; Thomas E. Porter Jr., vice chairman, Cabarrus County; John M. Barnard, Iredell County; L. Kim Starnes, Rowan County; and W. Rex Bell, Iredell County.
‘Funding Your Business’ seminar
Small businesses interested in learning what funds are available to them are being invited to a free seminar from 9:30-11:30 a.m. April 14 in The Plaza conference room at Downtown Salisbury Inc., 100 W. Innes St.
The “Funding Your Business” seminar is being sponsored by Community Bank of Rowan, the Charlotte district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Small Business Center at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Downtown Salisbury Inc.
“This seminar is being offered to let small businesses know that there are funding opportunities to help them start or expand a business as well as purchasing the building in which they operate,” said Heidi Whitesell, vice president and commercial SBA lender for Community Bank of Rowan.
For more details, contact the Small Business Center at RCCC by calling 704-216-3512, or register online at www.rowancabarrus.edu/sbc and go to “courses and seminars” and click the “reserve a seat” link.
Living will workshops April 16 in Kannapolis
KANNAPOLIS ó The city of Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, will offer two free “Living Will/Healthcare Power of Attorney” workshops April 16 at the Kannapolis Train Station, 201 S. Main St.
The first workshop will be from 10 a.m.-noon and the second workshop from 6ń8 p.m.
The workshops will be hosted by Ric Durham of Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County and are open to the public. Notaries public will be available free of charge to any participant wishing to prepare a living will or health-care power of attorney.
Pre-registration is required. Call Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County at 704-935-9434 to make a reservation.
Apartments for senior citizens complete
The Villas at Forest Park, a new apartment home community for senior citizens, is completed and open for residents to move in.
The community was created by a public-private partnership involving Douglas Development LLC, Halcon Development LLC, Hart Development LLC, the local nonprofit Prosperity Unlimited Inc., the city of Kannapolis and the N.C. Housing Finance Agency.
The partners are holding a grand opening and ribbon-cutting for the new community at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The 64-unit apartment home community was built for seniors 55 and older with incomes less than 60 percent of the median area income. The apartments are located at 300 S. Little Texas Road near Forest Park Elementary.
The one-bedroom units will rent for $252, $417 or $442, and the two-bedroom units will rent for $289, $512 or $607, based on income.
The community was built with an allocation of $220,500 of Kannapolis HOME funds. Additionally, Douglas Development received $1.5 million in loans from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, as well as conventional financing through Churchill Mortgage Investment and Alliant Capital. The total cost of the project was approximately $7.3 million.
“This type of partnership works very well for Kannapolis because it allows us to leverage our funds with other partners to provide affordable senior housing,” said Kannapolis Director of Business and Community Affairs Irene Sacks.
The apartment community features a beauty salon; an exercise room with a treadmill and a Nintendo Wii System; TV rooms; a game room/craft room; a community room with a kitchen for resident events; a library; laundry rooms; an outdoor gazebo and picnic area; and garden plots.
For leasing information, contact site manager, Shelby Jenkins, at 704- 935-1485.
Lia sophia honors sales adviser
ROCKWELL ó Lia sophia has announced that sales adviser Elizabeth Stiltner has earned its Excellent Beginnings Program Achievers award, recognizing outstanding sales accomplishments and professionalism.
Stiltner earned the accomplishment in her first 15 weeks by attaining certain sales levels in fashion jewelry and by sharing lia sophia with other new advisers.
According to Bonni Davis, vice president of lia sophia, “This immediate success is a result of Elizabeth’s hard work and dedication. Lia sophia is fortunate to have her as part of our team.”
All new lia sophia advisers have the opportunity to increase their earnings and earn free jewelry as part of the Excellent Beginnings Program. Lia sophia is a direct sales operation offering fashion jewelry through in-home demonstrations.
Submit information about new businesses, honors and management promotions to bizbriefs@salisburypost.com. Please include a daytime phone number.

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