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Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce names new president

CONCORD — The Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce has named Patrick Coughlin as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1.
Coughlin comes to Cabarrus County from Southern Pines, where he currently holds the position of president and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce. 
“Our primary goal has been to find someone who the entire community felt would truly make a positive impact on chamber membership and the business community,” says Diane Honeycutt, chairman of the chamber’s search committee. “Mr. Coughlin has deep experience in chamber leadership, his passion is obvious and he possesses all of the qualities one looks for in a leader.”
Coughlin has led chambers in New York and Virginia. Expanding leadership programs, initiating conferences and summits to encourage collaboration and consensus among regional governments and developing business training programs are a few of his accomplishments.
Tom Earnhardt, CRC Board Chair, said, “There is tremendous opportunity for membership growth and community leadership. These are both areas Patrick has demonstrated measurable success. On behalf of the Chamber and the entire business community, we are thrilled to welcome Patrick to Cabarrus County. We are confident that he will lead the Chamber to great success.”
Joseph Varaksa, regional sales manager for walk-in cooler manufacturer Imperial Brown of Salisbury and Portland, Ore., recently received a “Good Apple” award from Posternak Bauer Aitkenhead Cantamessa (PBAC).
PBAC is Imperial Brown’s independent manufacturer’s rep for New York, working with Varaksa, who manages 16 states in the Northeast. PBAC sells Imperial Brown products to food service dealers.
The award, given at the company’s 25th anniversary celebration in New York by PBAC partner Michael Posternak, honors the individual sales manager who excels in customer service to PBAC, according to Steve Bauer, partner in the company.
Imperial Brown has manufacturing facilities in Portland and Salisbury.
Varaksa joined W.A. Brown & Sons in 2010. Before that, he sold HVAC maintenance contracts for a mechanical contractor.
Varaksa, his wife and three children, Joey, 21, Michael, 16, and Katy, 7, live in Charlottesville, Va.
HIGH POINT —BNC Bancorp, parent company of Bank of North Carolina, plans a merger with South Street Financial Corp., the parent company of Home Savings Bank FSB in Albemarle and Community First Financial Group, Inc., parent company of Harrington Bank FSB in Chapel Hill.
These two transactions provide approximately $275 million and $228 million in assets in the Metro-Charlotte market and the Raleigh-Durham- Chapel Hill market, respectively.

The annual meeting of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation was held Dec. 8-10 at the Sheraton Four Seasons and Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.
Rowan County Farm Bureau President Karlene Doby was recognized among her peers at the Presidents’ and Agents’ Luncheon. Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten presented each winning county president with a limited edition Case knife. Special plaques were also presented to the agents and agencies whose production was superior during the contest period.
SALISBURY — When 200 Food Lion leaders gathered in Asheville recently for an annual meeting, what began as a traditional team-building exercise ended with 26 children from the Salvation Army’s Boys & Girls Club experiencing one of life’s early milestones.
Food Lion leaders split into small groups and each worked together to build a bicycle,
“Seeing the looks on the faces of the children as they walked into the room and saw the bikes lined up was a very special moment,” said Beth Newlands Campbell, president of Food Lion. “I think we can all remember our first bike and learning to ride.
“The experience of being able to give that to these children was a great reminder that supporting our communities is just as important as supporting one another and our customers.”
Smiling faces and squeals of excitement filled the room as the children filed in and ran to their new bikes. Some Food Lion leaders helped the wobbly first-timers balance as they learned to ride their first bike. Others took off and circled the ballroom with their new rides.
Food Lion also donated a $25 gift card to each of the children’s families to help with the purchase of a holiday meal.
“We’re so thankful to Food Lion for this generous donation,” said Molly Dennehy, operations director for the Boys & Girls Club. “The children were very surprised. Some of the kids couldn’t believe that they could take them home.”
Kroger, the largest U.S. grocery-store chain, intends to sell benchmark debt, typically at least $500 million, to fund its acquisition of Matthews, North Carolina-based Harris Teeter, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
The operator of the Kroger and Ralphs supermarkets may sell three-, five- and seven-year fixed-rate notes, a person with knowledge of the transaction told Bloomberg. It may also issue three-year, floating-rate securities.

The Rowan Real Estate Investors and Associates will not be meeting in December.  The next meeting is Jan. 28.
RALEIGH — The N.C. Utilities Commission has approved a new renewable energy program for certain Duke Energy Carolinas customers in North Carolina.
The Green Source Rider, approved by the commission on Dec. 19, is an experimental program designed to give energy-intensive customers such as manufacturers, data centers, college campuses and big-box retailers the option of offsetting some or all of their energy consumption from renewable energy.
The Green Source Rider was filed Nov. 15 in North Carolina by Duke Energy Carolinas.
The program is available to Duke Energy Carolinas customers, who may elect to offset some or all of their new load with energy generated from renewable energy sources.
Submit information about new businesses, honors and management promotions to bizbriefs@salisburypost.com. Include a daytime phone number.

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