Friday, December 7, 2012

Belk Adds 150 Employees to Corporate Office

Charlotte-based Belk Inc. will add approximately 150 employees to the corporate workforce over the next year, largely as a result of the company's investment in various growth initiatives. The new jobs will be concentrated in IT and eCommerce as part of Belk's overall OmniChannel strategy and will support corporate operations. Belk currently employs more than 1,000 associates at its existing corporate office.

To secure top talent in these areas, Belk plans a phased approach to fill these management-level positions within IT, eCommerce and OmniChannel. As positions become available, they will be posted in the career section of

"This is the fastest growing part of our company," said Adam Orvos, executive vice president of human resources for Belk. "We're investing in the company, and hiring talent to build out these digital capabilities will be a cornerstone of this growth."

To accommodate this growth, the Company also announced it will lease approximately 50,000 square feet of space at the Coliseum Centre office complex adjacent to Belk's current headquarters facility in West Charlotte (pictured). Belk anticipates moving nearly 300 employees to the new facility, beginning in March 2013.

Another integral part of the retailer's ongoing commitment to eCommerce is the 515,000-square-foot eCommerce fulfillment center in Jonesville, S.C. which began operation in June of this year. This new facility represents a $4.5 million investment for Belk and is expected to create more than 120 new jobs in the Union County, S.C. area over the next five years.

About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. ( is the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store company with 301 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. Its website offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, blog, mobile phone text messages or by email, go to: Belk Get Connected.

Friday, November 16, 2012

UNCC's New EPIC Building Displays Unique 'Green' Design

Creech & Associates of Charlotte is the architect of UNC Charlotte's new $76-million Energy Power and Infrastructure Center, or EPIC building, dedicated Friday, November 16.

"The dedication of this building culminates five years of creative planning, design, and construction," said David Creech, AIA, managing principal of the firm. "The EPIC building provided numerous challenges for the design team including the integration of a high-bay testing lab (two-story space with overhead crane) in a building that also houses labs that produce microprocessors. We accomplished this by physically isolating these parts of the building into appropriate zones. The academic programs in EPIC rely on community business partners, and the lobby and adjacent rooms are easily adaptable for events that showcase the mission of the School of Engineering.

"Another significant challenge for the firm was to design a building which was a responsible user of energy, thus leading by example," Creech added. "The building utilizes an advanced mechanical system known as 'chilled beams' which, along with other measures, reduces energy usage by up to 30 percent. Additional conservation measures include less technical systems such as natural day lighting, solar control, gray water recycling, rain gardens and cisterns.

"Creech & Associates places a high level of importance on sustainability, not only because of social responsibility but also to reduce operating expenses," he added. "EPIC is on track to be the University's first LEED Gold building, a rating which is very difficult for a laboratory building to achieve. The firm has designed numerous buildings to LEED standards, including all of the buildings at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis and civic buildings throughout the Southeast."

Learn more at

Burger 21 To Open First Franchise Restaurant in Charlotte

Burger 21®, a new fast casual concept founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., announced today that it has signed a franchise deal to open one restaurant in Charlotte, N.C., and a multi-unit deal to develop four new restaurants throughout Fairfax County, Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland. These latest agreements are part of the brand's aggressive growth strategy to bring its crafted burgers and hand-dipped shakes to more cities across the country. To date, Burger 21 has five units open and 10 franchised restaurants in development along the East Coast.

Current franchisees of The Melting Pot®, Todd Dennis and Brian Neel, plan to initially develop one Burger 21 restaurant in Charlotte, N.C. These business partners have more than two decades of franchising experience with the sister brand and operate two successful Melting Pot locations in the Charlotte area.

"As long-time Melting Pot franchisees, we feel Burger 21 is a natural growth extension for us and we know we'll be successful with the valuable support and experience offered by Front Burner Brands," said Brian Neel. "We also know Charlotte inside and out and believe people will be really excited about this unique concept with its incredibly diverse menu of hand-crafted burgers and more."

As experienced franchisees and operators with Dunkin' Brands, Ray Patel, Joseph Yu, Bubuhai Patel and Nick Patel have signed on to develop four restaurants in the Greater Washington, D.C. area -- including Alexandria, Va., Tysons Corner, Va. and Fair Lakes, Va., as well as one unit in Rockville, Md.
"We have a great deal of franchising experience in the Greater D.C. area and look forward to bringing this fresh, new concept to residents in the surrounding communities," said Ray Patel. "With chef-inspired burgers, shakes, hot dogs, chicken tenders, salads and more, we are confident that Burger 21 will quickly become one of our guests' favorite lunch and dinner destinations."

"The signing of these new franchise agreements is a true testament to the strength of our growing brand, attracting both experienced Melting Pot franchisees as well as successful, multi-unit owners with major brands like Dunkin'," said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. "Our franchisees recognize the extensive training and support provided by Front Burner Brands, which has given them the ability to further develop their portfolios with our company."

These new franchise agreements come as Burger 21 opens its first franchised restaurant today in Orlando at 4192 Conroy Rd., Suite 109 in Orlando's Shoppes at Millenia.

Since February 2012, the burger franchise has signed six agreements to develop a total of 11 franchised units in the Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C. and Washington. D.C. markets, for a total of 15 franchised and company-owned units on the East Coast.

To further fuel expansion in North Carolina, Virginia and other markets throughout the U.S., Burger 21 is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. (EST). To register, or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit or contact Ashley Pollard, franchise sales associate for Burger 21 at 813-425-6252 or

Burger 21 is seeking single and multi-unit operators with restaurant experience along the East Coast and throughout the country to join its upscale fast casual dining concept. Franchisee candidates should have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $200,000 per unit. Burger 21 will be developed through both single-unit agreements and Area Development Agreements. Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total cost of investment for one restaurant to be approximately $525,495 - $750,995. The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, a 10 percent discount is applied to all franchises sold by Dec. 21, 2012. Reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.

To learn more about ownership opportunities with Burger 21, contact Dan Stone, vice president of franchise development for Front Burner Brands, at 813-425-6208 and or visit

About Burger 21

With five locations open in Tampa Bay and Orlando, Fla., and 10 in development in Orlando, Atlanta, Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C., Burger 21 is a "beyond the better burger" fast-casual franchise concept founded in 2010. Burger 21 is a chef-inspired brand with offerings including 21 unique burger and slider creations ranging from hand-crafted, freshly ground beef to chicken, turkey, shrimp and tuna burgers, made-to-order salads, Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs, hand-breaded chicken tenders and an extensive shake bar including hand-dipped shakes, floats and sundaes. Burger 21 is an affiliate of Front Burner Brands, a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. For more information, visit

About Front Burner Brands

Front Burner Brands (formerly known as TGS Restaurant Management) is a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. It is affiliated with the corporate owners of and its management services extended to The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., founded in 1975 with more than 140 locations in North America and more than 20 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with five locations open in Tampa Bay and Orlando, Fla., and 10 in development in Orlando, Atlanta, Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C., GrillSmith with six locations in the Tampa Bay area and other new franchise concepts in development. For more information, visit

Friday, November 9, 2012

Robinson Bradshaw Included Among U.S. News & World Report's Best Law Firms

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® has named Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A as a Tier 1 law firm in 35 practice areas in the Charlotte metropolitan area in their annual ranking of "Best Law Firms" for 2013. Robinson Bradshaw also ranked nationally as a Tier 2 firm for its corporate law practice and was in Tier 3 in four additional practice areas.
Rankings are compiled annually through client and attorney evaluations, peer review, and information provided by law firms. The complete listing of Robinson Bradshaw's rankings includes:

National Rankings – Tier 2:
· Corporate Law

National Rankings – Tier 3:
· Commercial Litigation

· Private Equity Law

· Securities/Capital Markets Law

· Venture Capital Law

Charlotte Metropolitan Rankings – Tier 1:
· Antitrust Law

· Appellate Practice

· Banking and Finance Law

· Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law

· Commercial Litigation

· Construction Law

· Corporate Governance Law

· Corporate Law

· Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation

· Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

· Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

· Employment Law – Management

· Environmental Law

· Health Care Law

· International Trade and Finance Law

· Labor Law – Management

· Litigation – Antitrust

· Litigation – Eminent Domain & Condemnation

· Litigation – Intellectual Property

· Litigation – Labor & Employment

· Litigation – Land Use & Zoning

· Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions

· Litigation – Municipal

· Litigation – Real Estate

· Litigation – Securities

· Mergers & Acquisitions Law

· Private Equity Law

· Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law

· Public Finance Law

· Real Estate Law

· Securities/Capital Markets Law

· Securities Regulation

· Sports Law

· Trusts & Estates Law

· Venture Capital Law

Charlotte Metropolitan Rankings – Tier 2:
· Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Governmental Investigations

· Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures & Television

· Financial Services Regulation Law

· Land Use & Zoning Law

· Litigation – Banking & Finance

· Litigation – Tax

· Litigation – Trusts & Estates

· Natural Resources Law

· Tax Law

Raleigh Metropolitan Rankings – Tier 2:
· Securities/Capital Markets Law

· Venture Capital Law

Charlotte Metropolitan Rankings – Tier 3:
· Corporate Compliance Law

· Litigation – Construction

· Litigation – Environmental

· Litigation – Patent

The annual U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® ranking assesses more than 10,000 firms in the United States across more than 80 practice areas nationally and in 118 practice areas regionally.
Robinson Bradshaw is a corporate and commercial law firm with more than 130 attorneys. For more than 50 years the firm has provided clients with comprehensive legal services of the highest quality. The firm has offices in Charlotte, the Research Triangle and Rock Hill, South Carolina. On the Web at

Boatsman Gillmore and Wagner Noble & Company Merging Practices

Wagner Noble & Company and Boatsman Gillmore, PLLC, two of the region's most prominent accounting, tax, and financial advisory practices are merging their firms. The evolved practice will be known as Boatsman Gillmore Wagner, PLLC and will have offices in Charlotte and the Huntersville-Lake Norman area.

Larry Wagner, managing partner for the practice, noted that the firms were a great complement to each other. "Our business approaches and client values are both completely aligned. This merger allows our partners to focus on what each does best, whether that is consulting, tax, development of financial strategies or assurance," shared Wagner.

"We are focused on two main goals: making a tangible difference in our clients' businesses and growing our firm to be one of the most respected CPA practices in the region," said Dale Gillmore, firm principal and a founding partner. "This merger provides us a tremendous team and the ability to address client needs in a manner that helps them maximize the value of their businesses," added Gillmore.

Wagner Noble, founded in 1983, provides expertise in tax, assurance, and business consulting. Boatsman Gillmore, established in 2006, provides similar expertise as to Wagner Noble as well as a shared commitment to building long term client relationships. Clients for the combined firm include manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and healthcare providers, as well as real estate and construction, professional services, technology, sports and entertainment organizations. While most of the clientele are closely held businesses, the firm also serves numerous international and not-for-profit organizations.

Community Blood Center Kicks off 2012 Holiday Season with Puppies for Patients

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is recruiting blood donors to take part in the Eighth Annual 'Puppies for Patients' program that runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2012.

Donors who give blood in November and December will be able to sign a tag that will then be attached to a stuffed animal puppy and delivered to children in area hospitals and care facilities during the holidays.

"Throughout the past seven years, our donors, supporters and community partners have gone above and beyond to be a part of 'Puppies for Patients'," said Martin Grable, president and CEO of Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. "Together, we are bringing joy and comfort to children during their hospital stay this holiday season while saving local lives through each blood donation."

As the primary blood supplier to 21 hospitals in the region, CBCC relies on volunteer blood donors and local organizations to help fulfill the need for blood for local patients. In fact, one local children's hospital alone requires nearly 300 red blood cells and more than 200 platelet units each month. CBCC is asking anyone in generally good health, over the age of 16 and who weighs at least 120 pounds to donate blood this holiday season and help save the lives of local patients, many of them children.

Businesses, churches, organizations and schools interested in hosting a blood drive in November and December, can call Kim Jones 704-972-4727. In addition, area high school and college students can qualify for a "Holiday Heroes Scholarship" by hosting a blood drive between Nov. 18-25 or between Dec. 22, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013. CBCC will award a $1,000 scholarship to the student who collects the most units.

Individuals interested in donating blood can do so at a community blood drive. There are also CBCC donor centers located at: 4447 South Boulevard inCharlotte; 363 Church Street North Suite 170 in Concord; 2524 East Franklin Blvd Suite E in Gastonia; 2217 Highway 70 SE in Hickory; and 600 Hospital Drive in Monroe. To sign up, visit or call 704-972-4700.

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 21 regional hospitals, serving 16 North Carolina and three South Carolina counties. CBCC focuses exclusively on gathering red blood cells, platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives – every drop of blood collected remains here to help people in the Carolinas. CBCC is a member ofAmerica's Blood Centers, North America's largest network of community-based, independent blood centers providing more than 50% of the nation's blood supply.

For more information on hosting a blood drive or donating blood in your area, visit or call 704-972-4700.

Follow the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas on Facebook and on Twitter

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Managing Mobile Initiative Free Panel Set For Nov. 14

Digital Intelligence Systems, LLC (DISYS), a certified IT at the Charlotte Marriott City Center, Charlotte, NC, on Wed., Nov. 14.

The panel, Ahmar Abbas, VP of Global Services, DISYS, Danny Hunt, Regional Director, Windstream Hosted Solutions and Mehmet Karakus, Project Manager, TIAA-Cref, will discuss topics that affect the management of mobile initiatives, including:

-Security and policy

-Smartphones and Tablets - BYOD


-Revenue generation and supporting costs

Time: Free Food & Refreshments at 5:30 PM; Speakers begin at 6:00 PM EST

Location: Charlotte Marriott City Center - 100 West Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202