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Monthly Archive for August 2011

Elevations: ‘Business & Balance’ approved for CPE, MCLE, & HR recertification credit

Sign up today and take advantage of continuing education opportunities at the second annual Elevations Enrichment & Leadership Academy event.

The half-day program focusing on “Business & Balance” has been approved for 4 credit hours for human resource professionals, 3.0 continuing education credits for accountants, and 2.4 credits for West Virginia attorneys. Last year’s Academy was a sell-out and registrants should RSVP early to secure their attendance.

Charleston native Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families & Work Institute (FWI) in New York City, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon, which will be held 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Embassy Suites.

Registration for the event, which includes continental breakfast, luncheon, two programs, keynote address and admission to expo, is  $85 for Alliance members and $95 for future members. To register, click HERE:

The author of more than 40 books and reports, Galinsky’s work has focused on bringing research on workforce effectiveness into business and community practice. She co-directs the National Study of the Changing Workforce, the most comprehensive nationally representative study of the American workforce.

“Business & Balance” will also showcase best practices and practical guidance from some of West Virginia’s most successful women and is the region’s premier networking event for young professional and female executives. In addition to the luncheon, the event includes two panel programs and an expo. (See sidebar for expo details) Click HERE for Business & Balance brochure.

The first panel, “The Best Advice I (N)ever Got: Business Insights from Women at the Top,” will be moderated by Lois Crichton, Crichton Wealth Management of Wells Fargo Advisors. Speakers include: Ellen Cappellanti, Jackson Kelly PLLC; Nelle Chilton, Dickinson Properties; former WV Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline; Georgette George, Monarch Holdings; former Secretary of State Betty Ireland; and Diana Sole Walko, CEO, MotionMasters.

Linda Arnold of the Arnold Agency will lead a discussion on “Delights and Detours on the Road to Success.” Aila Accad, “The Stress Expert”; Emily Bennington, Professional Studio 365; Deborah Herndon, Riveting Notes; and Grace Vandecruz-heyliger, Grace Global Capital, will share the new and unexpected paths they forged while balancing professional and personal success.

The event’s opening speaker is Sandra Thomas, member, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP.

Summit sponsor is MotionMasters. Ascent sponsors for the event include the Dixon Hughes Goodman, Summit Community Bank, The Property Centre and the Women’s Business & Training Center. Table sponsors will include Arnett & Foster, and BrickStreet Insurance.

A range of exclusive sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, contact JoEllen Zacks, jzacks@charlestonareaalliance.org.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring donations of gently used professional clothing, outerwear, shoes and accessories, which will be collected by Dress for Success and distributed to disadvantaged women entering the workplace.

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admin in Elevations on August 26 2011 » 0 comments

Marcellus Shale and the Charleston Area Alliance

Marcellus and the Charleston Area Alliance

The Charleston Area Alliance is focused on maximizing job creation, economic diversification, building the tax base, and keeping the value of the Marcellus Shale to benefit West Virginia and her citizens.   One of the most interesting parts of the Marcellus discovery is that the deposit is rich (or what some call “wet”) in ethane.  The percentage of the whole that ethane represents of the different types of gases extracted in the Marcellus (others being methane, propane etc) can be as high as 15-20%.  Ethane can be converted into Ethylene which is a building block of many other products we all use on a daily basis. 

You have likely heard about the Charleston Area Alliance efforts to attract an ethane “cracker” to West Virginia and specifically the Kanawha Valley, where ethane would be converted to ethylene.  Such a facility would cost upwards of $1-2 billion dollars to build, creating approximately 2000 construction jobs in the process.  Once operational, the facility would likely employee approximately 750 full time employees.  Additionally, an ethane cracker would create new feedstock for the region which would likely attract more new manufacturing facilities to locate nearby.

In a recent radio interview, Charleston Area Alliance President and CEO Matthew Ballard talks about the Marcellus and the ethane cracker in part one of this radio interview (more to be posted later):

 Ballard Radio Interview on Marcellus Shale Part 1

 

 

 

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West Virginia Exports Jump 43 percent in first half of 2011

Check out this article from the Charleston Daily Mail:

State exports jump 43 percent in first half of 2011
by George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s exports soared 43 percent in the first six months of 2011, led by coal, the state Department of Commerce announced.

Exports for the first half of the year totaled $4.4 billion, up from $3.1 billion during the same period a year ago, according to figures compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

West Virginia outpaced the U.S. growth rate of 18 percent in the period.

The state’s first half results indicate West Virginia is on track to meet or exceed last year’s record level of exports, the state noted. West Virginia’s exports totaled $6.4 billion in 2010.

Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in a prepared statement, “West Virginia businesses large and small are succeeding in worldwide trade. Exporting is essential to our state’s continued economic growth. International sales help to create and retain jobs in West Virginia. We encourage our businesses to explore this potential for growth.”

The state’s top five export sectors and the amount exported in the first half of 2011 were: coal, $2.6 billion; plastics, $575.1 million; machinery, $372.4 million; medical products, $126.9 million; and organic chemicals, $119.6 million.

The fastest-growing sectors were: coal, up from $1.33 billion in the first half of 2010 to $2.56 billion in the first half of 2011 – a 93 percent increase; plastics, up 18 percent; medical products, up 44 percent; and aerospace components, up 18 percent.

Several coal companies with mines in West Virginia have been focusing on metallurgical coal, which is used in steelmaking. It commands a significantly higher price than steam coal, which is used to generate electricity. There have been reports that steam coal exports also have grown.

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said, “We’re shipping coal to India and China, and some countries, including Germany, are closing their nuclear power plants and going back to coal generation. You would think that would be a real message to this country.”

Raney called the export figures “fabulous news for everyone in West Virginia.

“It converts to revenues for the state, keeps the miners working, and the real puzzling thing is all these other countries are wanting our coal and wanting us to mine coal, yet we can’t break the federal permit logjam,” he said.

“One would think that the federal government would try to do everything possible to keep this positive economic activity going forward, when you’re trying to rebuild America.”

West Virginia’s top trading partners, as measured in dollars, during the first half of 2011 were: Canada, Brazil, India, Netherlands, Italy, Japan, China, Ukraine, United Kingdom and South Korea.

The data can be somewhat misleading. For example, the Netherlands is listed as a top trading partner but it has a big port and products that go there often end up somewhere else in Europe.

The state said more than 17 percent of all manufacturing jobs in West Virginia depend on exports. The total number of jobs in West Virginia that rely on exports is hard to estimate.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has estimated that every $1 billion in exports creates 15,000 jobs, but the number may vary widely by industry.

The state has been keen on promoting exports for many years. The state Development Office’s International Division maintains trade offices in Munich, Germany, and Nagoya, Japan. The division provides consulting and other services aimed at helping West Virginia companies build international business relationships.

Additional information about the state’s programs is available by visiting the division’s website at www.worldtradewv.com or by calling Debra Martin at 304-957-2042 or Caitlin Ashley at 304-957-2014.

Contact writer George Hohmann at busin…@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.

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admin in Uncategorized on August 25 2011 » 0 comments

WOWK-TV Creating jobs by moving operations to Charleston

Check out this article from The Charleston Gazette:

WOWK-TV’s move to Charleston may create jobs, owner says
By Eric Eyre

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — WOWK-TV’s decision to move most of its staff out of Huntington and consolidate operations in Charleston won’t lead to any job cuts, said Bray Cary, who heads the company that owns the television station.

“If anything, we’ll probably be expanding our news staff,” said Cary, president and CEO of West Virginia Media Holdings.

By March, WOWK plans to move about 50 employees from its building in Huntington to a 15,000-square-foot office connected to the Charleston Town Center Mall, Cary said Tuesday. The office sits beside BrickStreet Mutual Insurance’s headquarters.

WOWK already has about 50 employees at another office in Charleston, Cary said.

He said he and station staff members spent two months discussing the consolidation.

“We were trying to figure out how can our news organization grow our ratings and deliver the best product,” Cary said. “Everybody said we needed to get under one roof. It’s just more efficient management to have everything in one building.”

Staff members wanted to move to Charleston because it’s the political hub of the state, he said.

“We really believe Charleston is an ideal location,” said Cary. “It’s the crossroads of the region and the state. We wanted to be in the capital city.”

Staff members were notified about the move last week.

Cary said some WOWK-TV employees who live in Huntington — especially those who live west of the city — would likely be disappointed by the move to Charleston because of the long commute. A majority of employees supported the change, he said.

“We’re moving all the studios and everything to Charleston,” Cary said. “We’re just trying to get together so we can create a more robust product.”

WOWK-TV plans to lease the new office space at 400 Quarrier St., beside the mall.

“We can design it to really reflect the new technology and other things that are important,” he said.

The station will close its existing Charleston office at 13 Kanawha Blvd. W. after its lease expires next year, Cary said.

WOWK plans to sell its building in downtown Huntington. The property hasn’t been listed, and the company hasn’t determined an asking price, Cary said Monday.

A small number of employees will remain in Huntington, Cary said.

He said WOWK’s move follows similar consolidations of Huntington and Charleston staff by competing local television stations several years ago.

WOWK-TV employees believe the move to Charleston will help boost ratings, Cary said.

“Our employees are hungry to win,” he said. “The decision was based on how can we be the No. 1 station. Our people believe this move will create that opportunity and give them the tools to win.”

Earlier this month, WOWK-TV announced that longtime news anchor Sandra Cole was leaving her job. Cole had worked for the station for 17 years.

Reach Eric Eyre at erice…@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.

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admin in Uncategorized on August 25 2011 » 0 comments

Experts share tips on determining ‘What’s your business is worth?’ at latest SUCCESStrategies session

During tough economic times, it’s good for business owners to be aware of their overall financial picture in case trouble lies ahead.

On Aug. 18, the latest SUCCESStrategies session titled, “What’s your business worth?” was held at the Alliance offices.

Hosted by the Charleston Area Alliance and Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG), SUCCESStrategies showcases high level speakers addressing issues of real substance to business leaders in the area.

The Aug. 18 program featured prominent tax professionals sharing tips on determining the financial picture of your business and discussing strategies that can be used to avoid potential economic pitfalls.

To view a full Powerpoint presentation from the Aug. 18 session, please click this link.

The roundtable discussion was moderated by Rick Slater, regional managing partner at DHG. Panelists included Reed Spangler and Morgan Winfree, both with the DHG’s Forensic, Litigation Support and Valuation Group.

Topics of discussion included how to define the value of your business and determining the best valuation approaches and methods for your business.

Other issues discussed included:

• Circumstances under which evaluations are performed (transactions, litigation, compliance and planning).
• Determining what standard of value to use (fair market, strategic, and fair value).
• Understanding the Statement on Standards for Valuation Services (SSVS), which is guidance used for valuation services.

SUCCESStrategies showcases high level speakers addressing issues of real substance to business leaders in the area and will be held at the Alliance office every other month through the end of 2011.

“SUCCESStrategies was created in order to bring ideas and information to help both large and small businesses succeed in these challenging economic times. We are excited about future programming,” Slater said.

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admin in SUCCESStrategies on August 24 2011 » 0 comments

Charleston requesting for assistance in downtown redevelopment plan

 REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT PLAN
for the
CITY OF CHARLESTON, WV

The City of Charleston, West Virginia is requesting Consulting Services to update/prepare a comprehensive plan and prepare a downtown redevelopment plan for the City.  Qualifications Submittals are due no later than 2:00 p.m., Monday, September 12, 2011 in the City Manager’s Office, 501 Virginia Street, East, Room 101; Charleston, WV 25301.  Vendors shall print on the outside of the envelope the project name and date due.  RFQ documents may be obtained from the Purchasing Director’s Office by calling 304.348.8014, or emailing bids@cityofcharleston.org.  Bidders must certify they practice equal employment opportunities.  The City reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.

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admin in Uncategorized on August 19 2011 » 0 comments

Join Us For Downtown ArtWalk Tonight!

Downtown ArtWalk continues its 2011 season tonight.

More and more downtown businesses are joining the effort to revitalize and reawaken downtown. ArtWalk brings people downtown, and once they see what it has to offer, they keep coming back.

ArtWalk is the epitome of why more and more people are going downtown – to be part of a rich culture. Charleston offers food, ideas, expressions, shops and customs not found anywhere.

Visit www.CharlestonArtWalk.com for more information. ArtWalk runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

ArtWalk Locations

Art Emporium
Stray Dog Antiques
Gallery Eleven
Annex Gallery Taylor Books
Good News Mountaineer Garage
Chet Lowther Studio
The Purple Moon
Modern by Design
Romano & Associates Law Gallery
Visions Day Spa
Studio 1031
White Oak Photography &
KD Lett Photographic Productions

ArtWalk Highlights

Dog Days of Summer Art Sale at The Purple Moon

The Purple Moon, located at 906 Quarrier Street, will be holding “Dog Days of Summer Art Sale” with all original art in the gallery on sale at 20% off! This sale will run for the evening on ArtWalk only! You won’t want to miss it!

Art Emporium to Feature Nik Botkin and Paul Corbit Brown

The combination of Nik Botkin’s sculptures and Paul Corbit Brown’s photographs produces an indelible image of how poorly we are caring for the very planet that gives us water and thereby, life. Now we know better, but will we do better?

Tiny Dancers at White Oak Photography

Ballerina, you must have seen her – Tiny Dancers at White Oak Photography for the August ArtWalk! White Oak Photography is located at 107 Hale Street Suite 100.

City and Country Photographs and Studio Sale by Jesse Rivard and Betty Rivard

As a location manager for films, TV, and commercials, Jesse Rivard travels throughout Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. The job includes taking many photographs. Now he has built a collection of fine art photographs from his travels.

Based in Braxton County, Betty Rivard has won many awards for her work. Her photos of landscapes and cityscapes were taken in West Virginia, New York City, and Quebec. A broad sample of her framed and unframed work will be available in a studio sale with reduced prices.

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admin in Downtown ArtWalk on August 18 2011 » 0 comments

Fascinating Comparison of US Metro Areas Compared to Countries related to size of GDP

Fascinating Comparison of US Metropolitan Statistical Areas Compared to Countries related to size of GDP

a post by Matthew Ballard of the Charleston Area Alliance

Ever wondered how US Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) stack up in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to countries around the world?  Now you know… check out this posting on the www.creativeclass.com web site from new data from the United States Conference of Mayors and The Council for the New American City annual U.S. Metro Economies Report

http://www.creativeclass.com/creative_class/2011/07/21/if-metros-were-countries/

Bottom line, if you want the quick results, 37 of the worlds top 100 economies are US Metro’s.

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admin in Uncategorized on August 18 2011 » 0 comments

“What’s your business worth?” Find out this Thursday!

The next session of SUCCESStrategies, the ongoing professional development initative hosted by the Charleston Area Alliance and Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG), will be held this Thursday. “What’s your business worth?” will feature prominent tax professionals sharing tips on determining the overall financial picture of your business and discussing strategies that can be used to avoid potential economic pitfalls.

It will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. at the Alliance offices, 1116 Smith Street. Registration is $25 for Alliance members and $35 for future members. Space is limited.

The roundtable discussion will be moderated by Rick Slater, Regional Managing Partner at DHG. Speakers will include Reed Spangler and Morgan Winfree, both with the DHG’s Forensic, Litigation Support and Valuation Group.

SUCCESStrategies showcases high level speakers addressing issues of real substance to business leaders in the area. The sessions feature expert analysis and insight on critical issues that impact the region’s businesses. The series will be held at the Alliance office every other month through the end of 2011.

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admin in SUCCESStrategies,Uncategorized on August 16 2011 » 0 comments

Charleston Area Alliance and City of Charleston Team to Improve Slack Plaza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Alliance  & City Team Up To Improve Slack Plaza After EPA Report Release

 

CHARLESTON, W.VA (August 8, 2011) – The Charleston Area Alliance and the City of Charleston will join forces after the release of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report outlining strategies for redesigning and improving Slack Plaza. 

Released Aug. 4, the report titled, “Greening Slack Plaza,” details various strategies to revamp the area. Alliance and city officials say they are eager to combine efforts and find resources to redevelop the downtown thoroughfare.

“The Slack Plaza area is the main transportation hub for the region and serves as a connector for the mall and the central business district,” said Susie Salisbury, vice president of community development for the Charleston Area Alliance. “This report will be used as a template for improving the plaza.”

In September 2010, Charleston was selected as one of five cities to participate in Greening America’s Capitals, a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities between the EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The project helps state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative, green building and infrastructure strategies.

“Slack Plaza, as a public space, presents us with unique challenges that the original design either failed to contemplate or adequately address in a manner that could withstand the test of time,” said Charleston City Manager David Molgaard.  

“This report proffers a vision and strategies to advance multiple social, economic and environmental considerations relevant to our present circumstances and points the way forward to revitalizing this pivotal civic space in a viable and sustainable manner.”

In the report, three key strategies are outlined to improve Slack Plaza. They include: creating a lively and active space that appeals to a broad range of users and reflects Charleston’s character; making the space more comfortable and easier to use by defining paths, individual zones of activity, and increasing areas of shade; and decreasing stormwater runoff that enters the local combined storm/sanitary sewer system.

 

The report is available at www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/greencapitals.htm.

 

About the Charleston Area Alliance

With more than 600 members representing 40,000 employees, the Charleston Area Alliance is a multi-faceted economic, business and community development organization, as well the largest regional Chamber of Commerce in West Virginia. The Alliance works to attract new jobs and investments, helps businesses accelerate profitability, launches visionary community and cultural enhancements and develops the talent and resources that promote success and opportunity for all. Through these innovative programs, services and policy leadership, the Alliance and its members are driving the destiny of our region.

 

 

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admin in Uncategorized on August 08 2011 » 0 comments

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