Biz briefs: March 10

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 10, 2019

IDEA Center to host workshop Tuesday

The Rowan IDEA Center will hold its March workshop for regional entrepreneurs at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Tavern, 113 E. Fisher St.

The workshop, titled “Market Assessment,” aims to help entrepreneurs learn to navigate the marketplace. D. Jennifer Yurchisin, a visiting professor of marketing at Catawba College, will be the guest facilitator.

Future workshops are “Entrepreneurial Marketing” on April 9; “The 4 Ps: Price, Product, Placement and Promotion” on May 14; and “Entrepreneurial Finance” on June 11.

To register for the free workshops, visit For more information, contact the IDEA Center

Rowan Chamber to welcome Disney Institute

Disney Institute is bringing its professional development course, “Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence,” to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College on May 2.

Sponsored by the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, the course is designed to help area professionals understand the power of leadership values, discover how to establish customer loyalty, and gain insight into how organizational culture is strengthened. 

The Disney Institute training uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to inspire individuals and organizations to enhance the customer experience using Disney principles as their guide.

Early-bird pricing is $249 for chamber members and $349 for nonmembers and ends March 29. Regular registration pricing is $349 for chamber members and $449 for nonmembers.

The last day to register is April 25. The price includes all course materials, lunch and parking. 

For more information or to register, call 704-633-4221, email or visit

Paula Bird to lead behavioral health services for Novant Health

Novant Health has named Paula Bird vice president of behavioral health services.

Bird will be responsible for nursing care provided in Novant Health’s five inpatient psychiatric units, as well as integration for behavioral health in all Novant Health facilities, standardizing behavioral health across the system.

“I am excited to welcome Paula Bird to the Novant Health team,” said Denise Mihal, executive vice president and chief nursing and clinical operations officer of Novant. “She brings more than 30 years of experience as a psychiatric and mental health nurse, leader and teacher to Novant Health.”

Bird comes to Novant Health from WakeMed in Raleigh, where she was director of behavioral health services. Bird has also held a variety of management positions, including campus administrator for UNC Health Care at WakeBrook and director of acute nursing for WakeMed Cary Hospital and Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh.

Bird will report to Mihal.

OpenBroadband representatives to speak at Broadband Task Force meeting

Kent Winrich and Alan Fitzpatrick of OpenBroadband will discuss how their services could be used to expand broadband coverage to priority areas in the county that are unserved and underserved from 9 to 11 a.m. March 20.

The meeting will be at 2727 Old Concord Road in the large community room.

OpenBroadband will make a presentation for the task force and general education for the public on challenges with broadband expansion into rural and specific areas. 

They have researched the areas within Rowan County that could benefit from an alternative broadband internet service that would meet or exceed the FCC definition of broadband at the 25 MB/s download and 3 MB/s upload speeds with no data caps using fixed wireless service.   

OpenBroadband has also committed to work on the USDA Broadband Grant known as ReConnect with Rowan County’s assistance for GIS mapping, support from the community and task force members, as well as on-staff grant writing capabilities and guidance focusing on areas defined on the Broadband Map.

Dr. Erin Grey to teach girlology in April

Dr. Erin Grey, an obstetrician-gynecologist and girlologist, will teach a program about puberty for girls ages 8 to 11 with a parent.

The program is designed to help girls face puberty and help parents start a conversation about puberty.

The program will be from 1 to 3 p.m. April 28 at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, 612 Mocksville Ave.

The cost is $50 per parent-child pair. Pre-registration is required.

For more information or to register, visit

For scholarship opportunities, email or call 704-384-7512.

Novant Health receives $75,000 for colon cancer support programs

The Colon Cancer Coalition recently awarded Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation a grant to pay for colonoscopy screenings, patient living expenses, colon cancer rehabilitation and wellness services for low-income colorectal cancer patients.

The grant is made possible through money raised during the “Get Your Rear in Gear” Charlotte 5K, held each year in March. Novant Health grants director Randy Brantley and grants manager Kerri Polce accepted a $75,000 check on behalf of the foundation from local Phillip Sanford.

“Through the years, Colon Cancer Coalition funding has made education and early detection of colorectal cancers possible for the uninsured community,” said Maria Kuklinski-Long, Novant Health prevention, education and early detection manager. “Novant Health oncologists are diagnosing more colorectal cancers among patients under 50, many of whom are uninsured. The Colon Cancer Coalition has stepped up to fund colonoscopy screenings to assist those most in need and help save lives.”

Since 2011, the foundation has been a primary beneficiary of money raised at the 5K. Money underwrites patient care and staff development, including colonoscopy screenings, financial support, psychosocial support, genetic testing, rehabilitation services and colorectal nurse navigation to local colorectal cancer patients.
Colon Cancer Coalition funding, supported by local Get Your Rear in Gear fundraisers, has provided vital services for more than 2,600 colorectal cancer patients in the Charlotte region since 2011.
Registration for this year’s 5K run/walk and Kids’ Fun Run, to be held March 30 at Charlotte’s Independence Park, is open. Money raised supports cancer services locally.
Visit to learn more or register.

Charlotte Regional Business Alliance announces new CEO

Janet LaBar, a seasoned regional economic development leader known for strong communications, strategy and operations skills, has been named the new president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. 

LaBar currently holds the same position at Greater Portland Inc., a regional public-private partnership that markets the Portland metropolitan area and helps companies expand and relocate to the region. 

“Janet is a talented charismatic leader and will provide executive leadership, passion and vision for our new Charlotte Regional Business Alliance,” said Jesse Cureton, Alliance chairman and executive vice president and chief consumer officer at Novant Health. “She will help grow and build the most powerful, community relevant and business ready region in the country.” 

LaBar augmented Greater Portland’s capabilities to provide its clients, investors and communities with more turn-key, professional economic development services. In addition, she led the planning process for Greater Portland 2020, the region’s five-year economic development strategy. 

“The Charlotte region has long been a leader in regional economic development, and I’m elated to shape the future of a market with an incredible appetite to be the best and where everyone can benefit from a prosperous economy” said LaBar. “My experience in the Portland and Phoenix metros promises that I’ll bring grit, passion and know-how to the alliance and the greater Charlotte region.”

Food Lion to remodel 93 stores in South Carolina

Food Lion will remodel 92 stores in the greater Myrtle Beach, Florence, Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, markets in 2019.

The $158 million capital investment will go toward remodeling stores, lowering prices, and expanding the product lineup at each store. Food Lion is also expecting to hire nearly 2,000 new associates at these stores.

“Food Lion is proud to have been a part of the many towns and cities we serve throughout South Carolina for 43 years, and we are even more excited to bring exciting new offerings, services and a new look to these markets,” said Food Lion President Meg Ham. “We look forward to making significant investments in our stores, our associates and our communities to offer a new grocery shopping experience.

“Our mission is to ensure our customers can easily find fresh, quality products to nourish their families at affordable prices every day, delivered with caring, friendly service every time they shop. We look forward to reintroducing our renovated stores later this summer,” Ham said.

The expanded variety of products will be relevant to customers in each store and each community, including more local, natural, organic and gluten-free products. The stores will also feature enhanced deli-bakery service and enhanced customer service, which is the result of new customer-centric training for associates.

Each of the 92 stores will remain open for normal operating hours during the remodeling process.