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About Jill Watkins: Panel Speaker at June 10 Elevations Luncheon

Jill Watkins Headshot

 

Like father, like daughter! Jill Watkins, principal of Watkins Design Works, explains her passion for interior design was evident early in life through exposure to her father’s architecture firm! Jill says, “My dad is a retired architect, and when I was in high school, I worked summers at the firm he worked with. When I started my company, my first major project was as a consultant with that same firm!” Keep your eyes out for more on Jill Watkins!

Jill Watkins’ love for interior design is evident in her work. Jill is the owner of Watkins Design Works, a commercial interior design and green building consulting firm located in the Charleston Area Alliance’s business incubator. Jill has 22 years of commercial design experience, including 18 specifically related to green building, and worked with architects and engineers for the majority of her career before starting her own firm in 2014. Jill is NCIDQ Certified, a LEED Accredited Professional BD+C, a professional member of ASID, and recently graduated from Leadership Kanawha Valley. She is participating in the Alliance’s GROW entrepreneurship program and is Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council West Virginia Chapter.

Don’t miss your chance to hear more about Jill Watkins and her company,Watkins Design Works, at the Elevation Luncheon on June 10! Register now!

http://charlestonareaalliance.chambermaster.com/Events/details/elevations-professional-women-s-network-luncheon-june-2015-786

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Bernie Deem to moderate June 10 Elevations Luncheon

We are excited to announce that the moderator for the Elevations Professional Women’s Network Luncheon: Own It! will be Bernie Deem!

Bernie Deem brings a new perspective to HR with her fresh insights and unique ideas for solving old problems. These abilities, combined with her extensive expertise and knowledge, led Bernie to be twice honored by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). She is one of only two individuals to have received the Charleston SHRM HR Award of Excellence and recently was named the HR Professional of the Year, an award bestowed by the WV State Council of SHRM.

Bernie is a frequently requested speaker and is best known for her engaging style and high energy. Some of her topics have been: “The Seven Secret Reasons Employees Sue,” “Personnel and Employees from Hell,” “HR Secrets I Only Tell My Friends,” and “Building High Impact Relationships.” Her presentation on “We Don’t Hate You, We Just Want You to Leave” is the result of research she conducted on how to minimize the odds of a lawsuit based on using a technique she developed called “The Graceful Exit.” Bernie is also a published author, having written articles such as “Frequent Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners,” “Five Simple Rules for Dealing With a Marginal Performer,” and “Motivating Without Money.”

Do not miss the chance to hear Bernie speak, go register now!

http://charlestonareaalliance.chambermaster.com/Events/details/elevations-professional-women-s-network-luncheon-june-2015-786

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admin in Announcements,Elevations on May 28 2015 » 0 comments

About Morgan Richards: Panel Speaker at June 10 Elevations Luncheon

Morgan Richards HeadshotNot many people can say they are working in the professional field they dreamed of as a child. Morgan Richards happens to be one of the very few who can! Morgan says, “I have always known that I wanted to be in the fashion industry. When I was in elementary school we had to write down in a journal what we wanted to be when we grew up, I wrote that I wanted to be a fashion designer, but not design shoes and bags especially for men! My parents found this and blew it up on a poster board for me when I graduated SCAD last year. It was pretty funny, because now I am an accessory designer making shoes and handbags and my focus is menswear.”

Morgan Richards has made a name for herself in her industry. Morgan’s company, Morgan Rhea, was launched in 2014 after Morgan graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design. She wanted to get in touch with her Appalachian roots so she opened her studio in her home state of West Virginia.

Morgan Rhea’s current collection “Silently Speaking Gratitude” is dedicated to those who have inspired and impacted her life through their personal journeys. By giving gratitude to those who have struggled and triumphed, this handmade collection was born. She depicts personal journeys by inscribing individual stories onto her one of a kind tailored accessories that can be passed down for generations.

Everything is hand assembled to create timeless pieces with personalized designs and superb craftsmanship. Designed for the individual who wants to express their personal journey through an accessory that is a conversation in itself. Each accessory is hand made from a buffalo hide and is hand stitched to create a timeless piece.

In this short time, Morgan has had many accomplishments. She was named the winner of the 2014 Independent Handbag Designer Award for “Best Student Made Handbag” where she was featured in the September Issue of InStyle Magazine. She has had the pleasure to meet with top celebrities in her industry such as Zac Posen and Alexander Wang. She has had the pleasure of designing for singers John Legend and Brett Dennen. Morgan is looking forward to growing her business in the state of West Virginia and beyond.

Don’t miss your chance to hear more about Morgan Richard’s and her company Morgan Rhea at the Elevation Luncheon on June 10. Register now!

http://charlestonareaalliance.chambermaster.com/Events/details/elevations-professional-women-s-network-luncheon-june-2015-786

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Announcing a New Member to the Charleston Area Alliance!

Walk Fiercely logo

The Charleston Area Alliance is excited to welcome an inspiring new member to the network, Walk Fiercely!

Walk Fiercely is a blog written by West Virginia native, Christa Hamra. Christa uses this bog to share her personal journey as a woman who is driven to become a healthier individual. What makes Christa’s journey unique is that her she reaches all of her health goals by walking; she completed a marathon (26.2 miles) earlier this month, solely through walking. Christa has come to believe that the only way she can continue to live a healthy lifestyle is by continually setting goals. That is exactly what she does, and we are lucky enough to experience the journey with her through Walk Fiercely. Her determination is inspiring to the Charleston Area Alliance and we know our community will support and welcome her with open arms.

Christa encourages others to join her on her quest to live a healthier lifestyle by keeping up with her and her great blog. You can check out Christa’s blog, Walk Fiercely, by clicking here!

Contact (304) 340-4253 or visit www.CharlestonAreaAlliance.org for more information about an Alliance membership.

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admin in Announcements,Member Posts on May 22 2015 » 0 comments

Announcing a new member to the Charleston Area Alliance!

HealthNet logoWelcome HealthNet Aeromedical Services!

HealthNet Aeromedical Services is a leading provider of critical care transport in West Virginia. It is one of the few statewide-based air medical services in the United States. HealthNet Aeromedical Services has base locations all over the state of West Virginia including Morgantown, Ripley, Huntington, Beckley, Buckhannon and Martinsburg.

We are thrilled HealthNet Aeromedical Services has decided to join our network here at the Alliance and we are eager to support them as they continue to lead the state in aeromedical transportation.

Contact (304) 340-4253 or visit www.CharlestonAreaAlliance.org for more information about an Alliance membership.

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admin in Announcements,Member Posts on May 22 2015 » 0 comments

Charleston Area Alliance Excited to Announce Newest Member!

!Babst Calland Color Logo JPG (B0550097xAB63C)

We would like to send out a warm welcome to our newest member of the Alliance, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir, P.C.

Babst Calland is one of the most respected top-tier law firms in the mid-Atlantic United States. Their attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to solve complex legal problems for corporations, private companies and organizations of all types. Babst Calland attorneys deliver a broad range of quality legal services, responding quickly and efficiently to answer questions and solve problems and litigate issues in federal state courts and before administrative tribunals. Babst Calland’s Charleston, WV office handles a wide range of legal issues that include a particular focus on natural gas and other energy related issues, as well as environmental, business services, title, litigation, land use, construction, and employment and labor law. Babst Calland just moved to their new office centrally located in the BB&T building in Downtown Charleston.

Babst Calland now has access to the many benefits and services that the Alliance provides. They are part of a network of more than 600 members who are devoted to building and improving our community.

We are excited to welcome Babst Calland as a new member of the Charleston Area Alliance.

Contact (304) 340-4253 or visit www.CharlestonAreaAlliance.org for more information about an Alliance membership.

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admin in Announcements,Member Posts on May 22 2015 » 0 comments

Join Us for a Ribbon Cutting with All Seasons Self Storage!

The Charleston Area Alliance welcomes another new business to our community! We hope you can join us in welcoming All Seasons Self Storage and JD Gandee to the Kanawha Valley!

all seasons

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Member Market: Real estate auction on Feb. 18

Member Market:
By Alliance Members for Alliance Members

This “Member Market” is a paid announcement sent by the Alliance on behalf of a member to business and community leaders and young professionals.

State journal ad2

 

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admin in Announcements,Member Market on January 26 2015 » 0 comments

Study underway to examine Charleston’s downtown housing market

ALLIANCE_color~verticalThe Charleston Area Alliance has hired a national consulting firm to examine the viability of expanding downtown housing opportunities in the heart of West Virginia’s capitol.

In December, the Alliance awarded the project to Bowen National Research, a firm specializing in real estate and market analysis. Bowen will complete a three-month residential feasibility study on downtown Charleston, formally referred to as the “Central Business District.”

“There have been small attempts to gauge Charleston’s downtown housing market, but nothing on this level,” said Susie Salisbury, the Alliance’s vice president of community development.

“The Alliance understands that affordable housing in our downtown is desired, but any potential developer is going to have to be convinced that Charleston has the market for downtown housing. The feasibility study is our effort to have the very first tool in our toolbox to help attract and convince developers.”

Bowen representatives will partner with various community leaders and realtors to accurately assess the downtown’s current housing market as well as its potential for future growth.

The study will analyze the area physically bound north by the railroad tracks, south by the Kanawha River, east by Morris Street and west by the Elk River.

Due March 30, 2015, the report will provide the Alliance with the following information:

A full assessment of the downtown’s current housing market; including location, price and forms of existing rental and owner-occupied homes

An assessment of the demand for additional residential housing in the downtown area broken down by type of housing (e.g. multi-family, single-family, etc.), price point

and the demand for rental and/or owner-occupied homes

An inventory of available housing development sites and the identification of the types of residents anticipated to demand downtown housing

In addition, the study will recommend an implementation plan for the Alliance and the City of Charleston to use in recruitment of developers to produce market rate and mixed-use housing. It will identify any barriers to meeting housing gap needs as well as establish a timeline for implementation.

“There is no one panacea for urban development, but if there were, for Charleston, it would be housing,” said Alliance President/CEO Matthew Ballard.

“To create more vibrancy in the core retail area of downtown, it will take a mutual crescendo. We can’t ask businesses to stay open after 5 p.m. or on the weekends if no one is there to support them.

“We can’t ask people to live downtown if it isn’t a place with the amenities people want. It all has to happen together. We have to strike while the iron is hot and encourage developers and individuals to advance the right type of housing.”

The study is primarily funded by the West Virginia Community Participation Program, which was successfully acquired by the Alliance.

“We’re doing our homework. This study is something we want to be able to turnover and use in the community immediately,” Salisbury said.

The Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the community, improving the economy and creating more jobs in the Kanawha Valley. To learn more about the Charleston Area Alliance, please visit www.CharlestonAreaAlliance.org.

 

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admin in Announcements on January 23 2015 » 0 comments

Charleston Area Alliance welcomes Bridgeport Equipment & Tool

ALLIANCE_color~verticalIn January 2013, the Charleston Area Alliance began a journey with Bridgeport Equipment and Tool, as the company sought to grow their business in the Kanawha Valley.

Bridgeport Equipment & Tool began in 1995 and have seven successful locations. The Alliance began its work with the company by visiting their Marietta, Ohio location.

Once the Alliance staff had a grasp on the size of facility desired, along with other business needs, we identified and showed the company several sites throughout Kanawha County.

As with any site selection, the company narrowed their search to a few key locations and ultimately, as was reported in the Charleston Gazette earlier this week, they selected the former IGA grocery store site off the Davis Creek exit of Corridor G.

The site provides perfect visibility for the business. The company offers products like John Deere tractors, Stihl chain saws, footwear, clothing, mine gear and John Deere toys and collectibles. The company also offers a full line of equipment rentals.

Bridgeport Equipment & Tool operates stores in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.

“What struck me about the facility upon my first visit to their Marietta store was the variety of products offered,” said Matt Ballard, president and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance.

“The equipment is there, but added to that, it’s a shop with boots, gear, trimmers, tillers, gun cabinets, chain saws, brush cutters, augers… you name it they have it. They even have equipment related toys for kids. You want a die cast tractor, they’ve got it.”

As the company narrowed their search, the Alliance was pleased to work with South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens, local real estate brokers, construction businesses and many others.

The Alliance is the economic development organization for the Kanawha Valley. We work to bring new businesses to the area, like Bridgeport Equipment and Tool, and to help businesses already in the Valley to sustain and expand.  The Alliance helps grow jobs, incent new capital investment, and diversify the tax base of our region.

The Alliance will continue to work with this company and many others to help them thrive and grow.

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