Biz roundup: Patterson joins Rowan-Cabarrus board of trustees

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 26, 2020

Michelle Patterson, of Patterson Farm & Market Tours, has been named to the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees.

Patterson oversees daily operations, marketing, educational tours and event planning for Patterson Farm Market & Tours. She also is a member of numerous community development initiatives and organizations.

“I believe that Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is an essential and relevant element of our community’s success, and I am looking forward to contributing to its mission as a member of the board of trustees,” Patterson said.

Among other things, Patterson serves as chair of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee and is a member of the Rowan County Tourism Development Board, Rowan County Tourism Development Marketing Committee, Novant Health Board of Trustees, West Rowan High School FFA Alumni Association and N.C. State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Foundation Board. She also serves as regional director of the North Carolina Agritourism Networking Association and is co-chair of the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee. She has received the Rowan County United Way Helping Hand Award and was a 2019 nominee for the agency’s Purpose Prize.

Patterson holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the College of Charleston and worked in banking before beginning her career with Patterson Farm more than 25 years ago.

“I am proud to welcome Michelle Patterson to our board, and I am confident that she will provide valuable support as we carry out the College’s stated mission to build sustainable futures through the power of learning,” said Carl M. Short, chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees.

Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees members are responsible for attending board meetings and key Rowan-Cabarrus events, in addition to advising on policy issues and participating in trustee education programs. Appointed trustees objectively fulfill duties as established by the General Statutes of North Carolina and the board’s bylaws and policies, independent of concern for any group, organization, appointing board, or political entity other than the students, citizens of the service area and the College.


County government gets top honors for healthiest employer

Rowan County was ranked No. 1 in its size category (500-1,499 full-time employees) by the Charlotte Business Journal.

This is the second straight year Rowan County has been selected as a winner of the Healthiest Employers of Greater Charlotte Award. Last year, Rowan County was ranked No. 6.

County Manager Aaron Church said, “The Board of Commissioners have supported the wellness program year after year and we are honored to be ranked No. 1. Without the continued hard work and dedication of Aldrea Speight and Debbie Holshouser, under the leadership of Human Resources Director Kelly Natoli, this would not be possible.”

Church also commended and thanked the Rowan County Wellness Committee members for their contributions. Committee members include: Aldrea Speight, Amy Smith, Ashley Duncan, Beverly Gaston, Tracy Speaks, Carrie Leonard, Daphanie Florence, Heather White, Jan Simpson, Jennifer Curlee, Lee Barney, Lloyd Pace, Peggy Brandon, Scott Duffell, Tamera Kesler, Teresa Sharpless, Terri Powlas and Toi Degree.

Over the previous several years, Rowan County has implemented various employee wellness initiatives such as providing Fitbit devices to County employees, biometric screenings, a nurse practitioner clinic, employee assistance program, diabetes management and various wellness challenges. These efforts are aimed at keeping health insurance costs for employees manageable.

Chairman Greg Edds said, “Hard work and good leadership pays off. We have some of the brightest human resource professionals in the country right here in Rowan County. It’s just another reason why we’re experiencing strong growth and new opportunities. We’re proud to say that Rowan County is open for business.”


Rowan Chamber of Commerce schedules total resource campaign kickoff for Aug. 10

The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce will kick off its 2020 total resource campaign at 5 p.m. August 10 in a virtual format that features a “Local Super Heroes” campaign theme.


“This year’s campaign will feature our Local Super Heroes who have helped us through the COVID-19 crisis the past few months,” said Bob Honeycutt, of F&M Bank and Chamber of Commerce chair-elect and campaign chair. “There are many people who have gone above and beyond to serve our community and we want to honor and recognize them. Team Captains will be dressed as their favorite Super Hero and highlight others who have provided exemplary leadership.”

Honeycutt has selected a group of team captains that include: Alisha Byrd-Clark (Gemstones); Eric Hake (Catawba College); Jim Mitchell (Novant Health Rowan Medical Center); Elia Gegorek (Gegorek & Associates Realty LLC/ Minority Business Council); Donna Groce (Trinity Oaks); Ken Ingle (Rowan-Cabarrus Community College); Joyce Caron-Mercier (American Cancer Society/Joanie’s Team); Taylor Shive (AllState); and Pete Teague (Livingstone College).

After the kickoff, all campaign volunteers will participate in sales training sessions to learn about new benefits and services. The training sessions are 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 11. or 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 12. Both sessions will be held virtually.

The campaign runs through Sept. 18, with prizes being awarded at the chamber’s Sept. 21 board meeting. The goals are: 50 new members; 90% retention of first year renewals; 10% tiered benefit members for 2021 investments; and $5,000 in non-dues revenue. Each team captain has recruited 10 team members to assist them. Great prizes will be awarded for all the volunteers participating. The top producer will win a “Home Town Heroes” package valued at over $2,500. In addition, there are perks for all new members who join during the campaign.

The Rowan Chamber’s mixer and campaign kick-off is free and open to members and interested business people who are thinking about joining. Register at and you will be sent the participant link. For more information contact the Rowan Chamber at (704) 633-4221 or


Rowan, Cabarrus vocational opportunities reaccredited 

Rowan Vocational Opportunities has earned national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. This accreditation applies to its facilities located in Rowan County and Cabarrus County.

The commission grants three types of accreditations: provisional, one-year and three-year. The Rowan and Cabarrus County facilities received the three-year accreditation for successfully obtaining the highest compliance rating.

The Rowan and Cabarrus facilities have both been deemed essential mental health services and are continuing to operate effectively, a news release said.

“We are extremely pleased with the accreditation of both facilities in Rowan County and Cabarrus County,” said Gary Yelton, executive director of Rowan and Cabarrus vocational opportunities. “The three year accreditation substantiates our commitment, accountability and responsibility to our consumers, staff, many community businesses and organizations who support our important work.”

Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc. was founded in 1966 to provide vocational and life skills training for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. For additional information, contact Wilson Cherry, director of community affairs, at 704-633-6223, ext. 113.


North Carolina Railroad Company picks next president

The North Carolina Railroad Company has announced Carl M. Warren will assume the role as the next president on August 17.


“Carl brings extensive industry expertise in both the public and private sector to the NC Railroad Company, which will be instrumental as we usher in the next phase of growth and development,” said William V. Bell, Chairman of the North Carolina Railroad Company. “I am excited to welcome Carl to the team and have great confidence in the future of the company under his leadership.”

During his tenure at CSX, Carl led industrial, port and commercial development across 23 states, two Canadian provinces and Mexico. His most recent role focused on driving growth to CSX by aligning business development efforts around short lines, port authorities, site selection consultants and new customers. He also has public and private sector experience from previous assignments at CSX; the Port of Portland, Oregon; and BNSF Railway.

“I have seen firsthand how the North Carolina Railroad Company is a unique asset to North Carolina, providing a strategic advantage in economic development,” Warren said. “I look forward to joining the NCRR team to work with stakeholders across the state, large and small, public and private, to help attract transformational industry and jobs to the state.”