Business roundup: Music teacher, artist open new studios downtown

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 10, 2011

SALISBURY — Artist Mark Stephenson and music teacher Caroline Firczak have opened two new downtown studios.
Located at 110 S. Main St. Suite A, the studios are Mark Stephenson Painting: Portraiture and Fine Art, and Music With Caroline: Instruction in Piano and Voice.
Stephenson, an established artist, is a Salisbury native but lived and studied in New York City. Specializing in portraiture, his works can be seen in homes, galleries and businesses throughout the United States.
Paintings by Stephenson have been selected for various regional and national juried shows. His Salisbury studio will be a permanent workspace and display gallery.
Firczak is an experienced teacher who is also adjunct instructor of music at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. She previously maintained a large studio of voice and piano students in South Carolina where she earned M.M. and B.M. degrees in music performance at Winthrop University.
She will be accepting new students for private lessons at the new location.
Stephenson’s studio and gallery will be available for viewing by appointment through the holiday season.
Go to and or contact Stephenson at and Firczak at ncmusicteacher@ to learn more.
Williams’ Snapshots Photographic open
SALISBURY — Salisbury native Jason Williams has opened Snapshots Photographic in downtown Salisbury.
Specializing in portraits and weddings, Williams launched his studio in October at 114 1/2 W. Innes St. Originally self-taught, Williams attended Randolph County Community College and graduated with an associates degree in photography.
Williams’ work is showing throughout December at the Tapps Art Gallery in Columbia, S.C. After the show, Williams will sell his photographs in the Salisbury studio.
The studio is open by appointment only. To reach Williams or set up an appointment, email or call 704-267-6474.
Hospital’s ICU open house Friday
SALISBURY — Rowan Regional Medical Center will host an open house for the newly renovated Intensive Care Unit at 12:30 p.m. Friday.
The team leading the renovation project will be on hand during the event, as well as hospital leaders. The new ICU is a place of safe healing for the hospital’s most critically ill patients, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Everhart at Lexington insurance agency
Jim Everhart has joined Mountcastle Insurance in Lexington as a commercial insurance agent.
Everhart, a lifelong Lexington area resident now living in Tyro, has four years of insurance sales experience. He is a 1976 graduate of Central Davidson High School and a 1980 graduate of Appalachian State University. He is licensed in property and casualty as well as life and health insurance. He successfully completed the State Auto Insurance Pace Setter program. Everhart has served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon, and attends Rich Fork Baptist Church in Thomasville.
Mountcastle Insurance is located at 307 W. Center St. in Lexington.
Brady at Thrivent’s allocation retreat
MINNEAPOLIS — Eric Brady, a financial representative for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Salisbury, recently completed an asset allocation workshop for 80 of Thrivent Financial’s approximately 2,500 financial representatives nationwide.
Brady learned about the latest portfolio construction and asset allocation models from Thrivent Asset Management. He was able to learn from and interact with investment leadership, portfolio managers, analysts and product experts.
Brady was invited to attend the workshop as a result of achieving selected sales production goals.
Delhaize details plans for 2012
During its Dec. 1 analyst meeting, Brussels-based retail conglomerate Delhaize Group revealed plans to ramp up store openings and reach group annual revenue growth of 5 percent to 7 percent within three years.
Further cost savings will be generated and used to invest in the many sales-building initiatives that will support increasing growth, according to the company.
“We are making a lot of progress in a difficult environment,” noted Pierre-Olivier Beckers, Delhaize Group president and CEO, at the meeting in Raleigh. “We are strengthening our brands, stepping up price investments at all our operating companies, further developing our formats and generating the means to fund these initiatives through structural changes in the way we operate.”
Delhaize’s newer operations, combining new markets in southeastern Europe and Asia, and new formats such as Bottom Dollar Food in the United States and Red Market in Europe, have contributed considerably to the company’s revenue and operating profit growth.
Additionally, the encouraging results of Bottom Dollar Food in the Philadelphia market support plans for expansion in more markets presenting the same growth profile. This will lead to “hundreds” of new Bottom Dollar Food locations over the next five years, Delhaize said.
Food Lion holiday recipes, tips
SALISBURY — Food Lion is now offering its MVP customers Southern Living magazine recipes and useful tips to help shoppers prepare treats for the holiday season.
Customers may take advantage of the guide by presenting their MVP card to the cashier at checkout. Shoppers also must spend at least $35 and purchase one Kraft Foods or ConAgra Foods product.
These products are identifiable with specially marked tags throughout the store. Customers can get their guide at the Southern Living Holiday Chimney display located near the front of each Food Lion store.
The holiday guide, which will be available through Dec. 27, is entitled, “Our Best Holiday Desserts.” This 48-page publication is packed with delicious ideas for preparing cakes, pies, cookies and many other special desserts for the holiday. The guide also includes special Food Lion coupons.
The holiday recipe and tips guide is available at all Food Lion locations while supplies last. Customers are limited to one guide per shopping visit. For more information, go to
EnergyUnited refunds $3 million
EnergyUnited is refunding $3 million in capital credits to its customers or its member-owners throughout December.
Every customer who receives electricity from EnergyUnited is a member-owner of the cooperative and is entitled to receive a capital credits allocation. Capital credits are member-owners’ share of EnergyUnited’s margins from the prior years and is considered a major benefit of being a member of an electric cooperative.
“Members have the right to share in any excess margins, which are called ‘profits’ in the for-profit world,” said H. Wayne Wilkins, chief executive officer of EnergyUnited. “As a not-for-profit cooperative, a member’s share of the excess is called a ‘capital credit.’ We distribute capital credits after the cooperative pays its operating expenses, debt obligations, and sets aside a reasonable allowance of capital to accommodate emergencies, such as severe storms, that could cause unexpected damages.”
Returns are being issued to customers who received electric service from EnergyUnited in 2010 and in 1986 from either Crescent Electric Membership Corp. (EMC) or Davidson EMC, which consolidated to form Energy-United in 1998. Current members will be issued these returns in the form of credits on their December bills, while former members will receive checks.
The total amount of individual capital credits in a member’s account depends on the length of time the member has been served by EnergyUnited and the amount of the member’s electric bills.
For more information, call 800-522-3793 or visit
Submit information about new businesses, honors and management promotions to Include a daytime phone number.