Biz Roundup: Three Rivers Land Trust adds Younger as director of development

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 27, 2022

SALISBURY — Three Rivers Land Trust has added Andrew Younger as its director of development, a new position in which he’ll be working directly with individuals and businesses alike to further the mission of Three Rivers in conserving local lands.

“We are thrilled about Andrew joining our team,” Executive Director Travis Morehead said in a news release. “His position is a new role at TRLT, so we are excited to see how he can make an impact in our efforts to conserve land in our 15-county region.”

Based in Salisbury, Three Rivers Land Trust focuses on conserving the most important natural areas, scenic rivers, family farms and historic places in the central Piedmont and Sandhills.

Younger completed his undergraduate degree at Portland State University and graduate school at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. He is Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) accredited and has nearly a decade of experience working as a philanthropic professional. Born in Alaska and raised in Oregon, he spent much of his youth chasing salmon on the Oregon coast and hiking the rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest. His upbringing shaped his passion for the outdoors and his belief in conservation.

Andrew Younger is now the director of development of Three Rivers Land Trust. Photo submitted.

Younger lives in Lexington with his wife and two children. In his free time he enjoys running, fishing, boating, hiking and spending time with his family exploring the beautiful North Carolina countryside.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about joining the TRLT team,” Younger said in a news release. “This role is the perfect blend of what I like to do professionally, and what I care about personally- but more than that, TRLT is a phenomenal organization and I feel privileged to have opportunity to connect people with its mission and vision.”

To learn more about how Three Rivers Land Trust carries out its conservation mission, contact Emily Callicutt, Land Protection Specialist at Three Rivers Land Trust by calling 704-647-0302 or by email at

Rowan Chamber to highlight healthy business practices at April Power in Partnership

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s April Power in Partnership event will highlight ways employers can have a healthier organization.

Tom Loeblein and Tim Norris from Healthcare Management Consultants will present “Three keys to achieving a healthy organization” during the event, which will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 21 at Trinity Oaks.

Loeblein is the president/CEO of Healthcare Management Consultants, joining the company in 1992. He is a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant, a charter member of the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants, a Kolbe Certified Consultant and a Certified Financial Planner professional.  

Norris is vice president and managing partner of Healthcare Management Consultants. He has over 30 years of experience in human resources, organizational development, succession planning and strategic planning at the Fortune 500 corporate level and with small businesses. Norris is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources through the HR Certification Institute, a Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources through the Society For Human Resources Management and is a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant. Norris is also a Kolbe Certified Consultant and completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Coach Master Training program.

Individual reservations are welcome; however, the reservation deadline is Tuesday, April 19 by noon. The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. The price includes the cost of breakfast and the program. Contact the Chamber for information on reservations or sponsorship opportunities at 704-633-4221 or

 The Chamber’s last event of the season will be on May 19 and will feature nationally-recognized leadership speaker Helen Little. The Leadership Rowan class will also graduate during that event.

The Power in Partnership program takes a break in the summer and will resume in September 2022 – May 2023.

Nurse practitioners open new health care clinic in Salisbury

SALISBURY — Two nurse practitioners have opened their own medical clinic in Rowan County with a goal of providing more personalized patient care.

Traci Nixon and Chasity Hammond started Rowan Health and Wellness at 417 N. Main St., Ste. F, because they wanted to practice medicine in a different way.

“I opened the clinic because I was tired of corporate medicine and wanted to provide my patients better care and preserve my own health and wellness,” Nixon said.

The nurse practitioners at Rowan Health and Wellness have 45 years of clinical nursing experience. The clinic will provide primary care, well child visits to monitor a child’s development, sports physicals, care for minor injuries, same day sick care, telehealth visits and routine labs, medicare annual wellness assessments, chronic disease management and palliative care.

Rowan Health and Wellness will host a ribbon-cutting on April 7 at 11 a.m. in conjunction with the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. More information about the clinic is available online at

North Carolina unemployment rate improves slightly in February

North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 3.7%, decreasing 0.2 of a percentage point from January’s revised rate, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

The national rate decreased 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.8%. North Carolina’s unemployment rate decreased 1.7% from a year ago. The number of people employed increased 18,085 over the month to 4.8 million and increased 183,269 over the year.

While the North Carolina Department of Commerce has not yet released unemployment numbers for Rowan County for February, the county’s unemployment rate in January was up 0.6 points from 3.2% to 3.8% from December. Those numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning seasonal hiring patterns were not taken into account. Of Rowan County’s 64,769 person labor force, 2,483 were unemployed in January. The county’s January rate was still much improved from January 2021’s rate of 6.1%.

The county’s unemployment rate had been decreasing for several months prior. Unemployment rates in January increased in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties and in all 15 of the state’s metropolitan areas.

Rowan County’s January rate was higher than that of neighboring counties. Davie had the lowest with 3.2%, followed by Stanly’s 3.3% rate. Cabarrus had a 3.4% unemployment rate and Davidson and Iredell each had 3.5% rates.

Funds available for nonprofit programs from the city of Kannapolis

KANNAPOLIS — The city of Kannapolis is accepting applications from nonprofits with programs that would qualify for its 2022-23 Community Development Block Grant fund allocation.

Funds are designated for activities that benefit low and moderate income residents in the city.

The deadline for submitting applications is 5 p.m. on April 29.

Eligible activities include:

  • Employment services and job training.
  • Crime prevention and public safety.
  • Child care.
  • Health services.
  • Substance abuse services such as counseling and treatment.
  • Fair housing counseling.
  • Education programs.
  • Energy conservation.
  • Services for senior citizens.
  • Services for homeless persons.
  • Welfare services excluding income payments.
  • Homebuyer down payment assistance.
  • Recreational services.

Applications will be reviewed by the Community Improvement Commission and city staff. This year the total grant allocation is estimated at $50,000. Multiple small grants up to $5,000 will be awarded to support existing program operations.  One or two larger grants of $15,000 will be awarded for new programs and new agencies. Applicants may apply for both types of grant but will only be awarded one type.

For more information or to request an application, please contact the city’s Community Development Program Administrator Sherry Gordon at or 704-920-4332.  Applications are available to download on the city of Kannapolis’ website in the community development section under the government and departments tab.

Carolina Mall launches search for greatest pop-up shop

CONCORD — The Carolina Mall has launched a search for Concord’s next great pop-up shop.

Open to businesses of all types, the search will grant one lucky winner a pop-up space in the Carolina Mall this holiday season.

The search is a partnership with the American Dream Project which is an initiative that connects entrepreneurs with brick-and-mortar spaces by working with property owners to facilitate the vision of new and expanding American businesses.

Past winners include:

• The Band Attic

• Lovely Lines Boutique

• Concord’s Best Dressed Kids.

“There are so many wonderful businesses and talented entrepreneurs in the Concord area, and this is a unique opportunity for someone to pilot a storefront during the busiest time of the year. We are thrilled to be able to support someone with a passion for growing their business,” Lindsey Mueller, director of the American Dream Project, said in a news release. “Whether you are a new business, or an existing business looking to expand or try something different, there is so much potential for this space to be something truly exceptional.”

The winner will be awarded a retail space in the mall for 12 weeks during the holiday season as well as a cash prize to be used toward the design and build-out of their dream pop-up space. Rent will be covered by the Carolina Mall. For more details about the space and to apply, applicants can visit

The application deadline is Saturday, May 7. The winner will be selected by the Carolina Mall and announced this summer. The new pop-up shop will be open from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.

North Carolina program recognizes companies for hiring, retaining and training veterans

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders are encouraging North Carolina employers to hire veterans and to apply by April 30 for recognition with a HIRE Vets Medallion Award.

“North Carolina is America’s most military-friendly state and the HIRE Vets program is one way for companies to signal their strong support for our nation’s heroes,” Cooper said in a news release. “Veterans add value to the businesses that employ them while also enriching our communities.”

These awards are the only federal-level veterans’ employment awards that recognize an organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention and professional development. In 2021, 22 North Carolina companies received a HIRE Vets Medallion Award.

In 2020 and 2021, the N.C. Department of Commerce implemented a first-in-the-nation online feature that highlights North Carolina employers that have received the HIRE Vets medallion award on the state’s job search portal and on the NCWorks Veterans Portal, located at This tool helps veterans find jobs that the recognized companies are currently advertising. The U.S. Department of Labor recognized the N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions staff for their innovative work.

“In today’s tight labor market, it is more important than ever for employers to actively recruit military veterans, and to recognize the unique combination of skills and experience that they can bring as employees,” Sanders said in a news release. “The HIRE Vets program provides an opportunity for North Carolina employers to be honored for valuing our veterans and this recognition can give businesses a leg up in attracting military talent.”

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is based on several criteria, ranging from veteran hiring and retention to providing veteran-specific resources, leadership programming, dedicated human resources and compensation and tuition assistance programs. There is a fee to apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program which is used to cover the costs associated with carrying out the HIRE Vets Act. The fee for large employers is $495 per applicant, the fee for medium employers is $190 per applicant and the fee for small employers is $90 per applicant.

Eastern Carolina Vocational Center, a private nonprofit corporation based in Pitt County, is one of many North Carolina employers that has been recognized by the program in the past.

“ECVC was honored to receive the Gold-level HIRE Vets Medallion Award in 2019, 2020 and 2021. This year, we will try to make it four in a row,” Darone Dancy, vice president of workforce operations for ECVC, and a U.S. Navy veteran, said in a news release. “This award is very meaningful to us because we value the qualities that veterans bring to their roles as members of our team. We are proud to support veterans by proactively recruiting them and advancing them in their post-service careers.”

The N.C. Department of Commerce works in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and employs 70 NCWorks Veterans Services professionals whom are veterans themselves. These professionals, located at NCWorks Career Centers across the state, help connect veterans to employers. The department also partners with North Carolina For Military Employment on special hiring events.

To learn more and apply for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award Program, go to

Employers and veterans may also visit or contact an NCWorks Career Center for assistance. Contact information for each career center is found at