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Howdy folks,

Hope you had a great week and are ready for the weekend. We have our winner for the best motto in the state! As you may recall, last month, I sent a shoutout soliciting the best mottos from a North Carolina, county, town or city. We gathered an all-star panel of judges to pare down the top five of the roughly 20 suggestions we received. (I don’t want to hear any complaining from those who didn’t send anything in. Hear that, big cities?)

Our all-star judges were Jennifer Appleby, president and chief creative officer of Charlotte-based communications firm Wray Ward; Albert Eckel, partner and co-founder of Raleigh-based communications firm Eckel & Vaughan; and Winn Maddrey, senior vice-president, marketing & corporate communications of Charlotte-based technology company TKXS. 

And now, in the words of the late-great disc jockey (and voice of Scooby Doo’s Shaggy) Casey Kasem, “On with the countdown.”

5. Sanford: “Well-centered”

4. Person County: “Everything is better in Person”

3. Apex: "The Peak of Good Living”

2. Asheville: “Let Your Spirit Run Free” 

1. Lenoir: “Together We Create” 

Congrats Lenoir! To be honest, all of these were great. Jennifer Appleby put it best: “A tagline should be unique, authentic and memorable. Some of these towns are tourist destinations, so that plays into their language, but what struck me was the overall theme (of all of these places) of hospitality, comradery and good, kind people. This is what we all know and love about North Carolina, from our urban to rural areas to the mountains to our beaches.”

Ben Kinney 
Click here to subscribe to Business North Carolina magazine

Today’s number: 99%

North Carolinians who don’t use public transportation to travel to and from work, according to a report from the John Locke Foundation. 

Movie quote of the week: 

“I know I'm human. And if you were all these things, then you'd just attack me right now, so some of you are still human. This thing doesn't want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it's won.”

Kurt Russell in John Carpenter’s The Thing (my personal favorite horror/ sci-fi movie). Watch a scary movie this weekend, and Happy Halloween!


N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein backs $48B opioid settlement

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has backed a proposed $48 billion settlement with five companies over the nationwide opioid epidemic, which claims manufacturers misled patients and doctors about the addictive effects of their painkillers. Stein says the settlement would ensure the funds are used to abate the crisis, and the state can allocate funds where harm is the greatest. Stein says he opposes settlements for individual counties because it would liquidate the involved pharmaceutical distributors, which move nearly 95% of all pharmaceuticals in the country, and jeopardize the nation’s health care system.

Carolina Financial earnings beat third quarter estimates
(NC Biz News Wire)

Charleston, S.C.’s Carolina Financial Corp., the holding company for CresCom Bank and financial service provider for North and South Carolina, reported operating earnings of $18.6 million for the third quarter, beating analyst estimates of $16.3 million. The company reported earnings of $0.83 per diluted share, compared to earnings of $0.67 per diluted share recorded during the same period last year. Loans receivable grew by $70.9 million for Carolina Financial.

Charlotte airport plans $50M in updates
(Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is making changes to its traffic pattern, adding five new public lanes to its terminal with new Uber and Lyft pickup areas for its ride-sharing zones. The $50 million roadway project is part of the airport’s $2.5 billion to $3.1 billion renovation and expansion program called “Destination CLT.”

Honeywell hires Amazon robotics director for new effort
(WRAL TechWire)

Charlotte-based tech giant Honeywell is launching a new robotics effort to improve its supply chain operations at its warehouse and distribution centers and has hired an Amazon executive to lead the initiative. Joseph Lui, former director of Industrial Internet of Things and Robotics Automation Technologies at Amazon, will lead the effort, which includes a new robotics center based in Pittsburgh. It’s unknown how many jobs the initiative will produce.

WeWork to lay off thousands nationwide
(WRAL TechWire)

New York-based WeWork, the commercial real estate and coworking company, could lay off 4,000 of its 15,000 employee workforce to help save the falling value of the business. WeWork has a major presence in the Triangle and Charlotte region, but the local impact is unknown. Japanese telecom giant SoftBank Group Corp. bailed out WeWork with a $9.5 billion buyout, which included a $1.7 billion exit for co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann.

Fayetteville Public Works Commission unveils community solar farm
(Fayetteville Public Works Commission)

The Fayetteville Public Works Commission, the city’s municipal public works department, has launched North Carolina’s first municipal community solar project. The $1.6 million project called Community Solar will allow residents to benefit from solar energy without having to install panels on their homes, apartments or businesses. Those who opt to participate will pay a one-time enrollment fee and monthly subscription fees while receiving monthly credit for the solar energy generated by the panel. Community Solar is expected to produce enough energy to power 100 homes after the first year.

Winston-Salem to consolidate chamber of commerce, Winston-Salem Business Inc.
(Triad Business Journal)

The board of directors for both the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and Winston-Salem Business Inc. have voted to consolidate the two Triad business-recruitment organizations. The move will boost economic development and job growth in Forsyth County by leveraging resources through a unified vision, coordinated efforts and having a single point of contact for companies, according to a release. A committee will be formed to oversee integration of the organizations and determining a new name, with the goal of being operational sometime next year.

Lowe’s chief accounting officer to retire
(Business North Carolina)

Mooresville-based Lowe’s Cos. announced Matthew Hollifield, chief accounting officer and senior vice president, will retire effective Dec. 13. Following his retirement, Hollifield will provide consulting services to the company until February 2020. Lowe’s did not name a replacement in the announcement. Hollifield, a 30-year finance veteran, joined the home retailer in 2002 and assumed his current position in 2005. A graduate of Appalachian State University who earned a MBA at Duke University, Hollifield previously served as chief financial officer at Hickory’s Century Furniture LLC before joining Lowe’s.

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