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The Artist Factory!

 
The Artist Factory is a series of workshops aimed to enrich the professional lives of the valley’s artists by impacting,marketing, networking and building professional identities.  The Arts Council of Kanawha Valley has identified themes that will be covered throughout the year.  Some of the themes include: taxes, basics of contract building, copyright & trademark law, basics of public relations, basic website building and much more.  The workshops are taught by established artists and experts in the fields.  These workshops are open to every artist that works under any genre (music, visual, dance, theatre and literary) to provide necessary networking within the artist community.

If you wish to attend any of the workshops, space is limited and registration is required.  Register to mail@artskv.org.  PayPal is available to pre-pay any event by visiting www.artskv.org and clicking on the Sign Up tab!
 

       
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Women Leaders to Address Future of Energy Sector

Women leaders in the natural gas, coal and related industries will share their insights on opportunities and challenges facing West Virginia’s energy sector and how they will shape the future of the Mountain State at a special Elevations luncheon, to be held Thursday, July 28, at the Charleston Marriott Town Center Pavilion.  

Sharon O. Flanery, a petroleum engineer and attorney who leads the Steptoe & Johnson Energy Team, will moderate  “Women with Energy,” a roundtable discussion with female business executives, lawyers, engineers and other professionals on the front lines of developments in the natural gas and coal fields.

Confirmed speakers to date include:

·          Maribeth Anderson, director, corporate developmentChesapeake Energy Corporation

·         Tania Hotmer, manager of external affairs, AEP

·         Linda Raines Torre, co-founder and senior engineer for Decota Consulting, a mining/environmental consulting firm

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with informal networking (optional), followed by a luncheon and program at 11:45 a.m.. 

Registration is $30 for Alliance members/$40 future members through July 22. Prices increase to $40 Alliance members/$50 future members after that date.  Reserved tables of eight, which include program recognition and signage, are $500 for Alliance members; $600 future members. 

For more information about reserved tables, contact JoEllen Zacks:  jzacks@charlestonareaalliance.org

 Click here to register!

“Women with Energy” is presented with the generous support of Steptoe & Johnson. 

The mission of the 1,700-member Elevations Professional Women’s Network is to “enrich, empower and elevate women to achieve success.”  Through luncheons and other events featuring high-profile speakers, Elevations provides an affirmative network that connects professional women with the information, resources and contacts that helps them, their businesses and their communities succeed. 

Elevations is presented by the Charleston Area Alliance and Title Sponsor DOW. 

The Alliance cannot invoice for groups of fewer than 10 and is unable to issue refunds for cancellations received less than 48 prior to an event.

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admin in Elevations,Events on July 14 2011 » 0 comments

Telling Your Story

In today’s competitive climate, offering a quality product or service at a fair price is only half of the success equation.

What sets the most profitable businesses apart is their ability to connect with customers. And that starts with a persuasive brand story.

For 25 years, MotionMasters, an award-winning multimedia company based in Charleston, has been helping organizations and businesses around the world reach – and connect with – target audiences through compelling videos, DVDs, commercials, print collateral, websites and streaming video.

Stories have the power to galvanize an organization around defined business objectives, says MotionMasters CEO Diana Sole Walko. “They can spark action, transmit values and foster collaboration.

“If you look back through history, the best and most memorable leaders are the ones who can communicate through story. Unfortunately, businesses are often the worst at that,” she observes. “They want to bombard you with facts and statistics about why you should purchase their product or service. But people are justifiably suspicious of that type of approach.

“Instead, tell them a story,” she says, “by explaining what those facts and figures mean and why they should matter to the customer.”

The Charleston Area Alliance is a good channel for sharing your story with potential customers and fellow business owners, says Diana.

“Early in my career as a business owner, I felt very isolated. I had questions about so many things, and didn’t really have someone to bounce issues or ideas around with,” she says.

Membership and active participation in the Alliance gave her the chance to interact with others facing the same challenges. “All these years later, I still have questions — and so do they…. We learn from each other. And that’s made us, and our companies, stronger.”

The Alliance offers a wide range of programs and services that help businesses and our community succeed.

“Membership has very practical, present value, like the ability to send your employees, or yourself, to training seminars, attend Business After Hours to mine new business, participate in Art Walks, etc.,” says Diana, adding that “for me, however, the real value of my membership is its future value — the community we can build by acknowledging no man is an island.”

At the Alliance, we’re proud to provide a forum for businesses to share their story, and we’d love to hear yours.

Join us at upcoming event and help create “happily ever afters” for you, your business and our region.

To see how the Alliance tells its story through video (many produced with the help of MotionMasters), visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/CharlestonArea.

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Power Park to Host GC Night June 17

Generation Charleston is asking the region’s employers to send their summer interns and emerging leaders to Generation Charleston Night at Power Park June 17.

Let’s show them why Charleston is a great place for living, working and playing!

Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and the Power take on the Lakewood Blueclaws at 7:05 p.m.

Tickets are $15. The price includes admission, food (hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, pulled pork and more) and beverages (keg beer, soda and water).

Click here to pre-register. Tickets also are available at the gate.

Fireworks follow the game.

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Geico to Host Grand Opening Wednesday

GEICO is hosting a grand opening from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8 for its new office at 3806 MacCorkle Ave. SE. The event is open to the public.

“We are really excited about being a part of the local community and serving the residents of Charleston,” said Matt Bischof, the field representative opening the office.  “It’s our goal to provide the best possible service to the community by offering longer hours and Saturday service. A lot of people connect with GEICO through our television commercials and advertising.  We also want them to identify us by the great personal customer experience we offer.”

Matt Bischof and his staff can be reached at (304) 344-0555, mbischof@geico.com or online at www.geico.com/local/mbischof.

The GEICO team is involved in numerous community activities including the Charleston Area Alliance, the Chambers of Commerce for Beckley, Huntington and Putnam Counties and the BNI-Power Chapter. Bischof also is actively involved in fundraising efforts for several local schools and is a participant in The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

“We are pleased that Matt will be working with our customers in West Virginia,” said Robin Burdick, GEICO vice president. “GEICO has a lot to offer in terms of community outreach and support as well as our professional services.”

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States. The company is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. GEICO handles auto insurance coverage for 10 million private passenger auto policies and insures more than 16 million vehicles.

In addition to auto insurance, GEICO offers customers insurance products for their motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and mobile homes.  Coverage for life, boats, homes and apartments is available through the GEICO Insurance Agency.  Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

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admin in Events,Member Posts on June 07 2011 » 0 comments

First Friday on the Levee!

Join us from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 3 at Live on the Levee for Generation Charleston’s First Friday!

Live on the Levee happens at Haddad Riverfront Park, and GC has an area sectioned off at the overlook near Court Street, which resembles the shape of a boat’s bow. Look for the GC banner!

The concert will feature Mother’s Nature, a variety band whose tunes includes dance, pop, classic rock, blues, funk, R&B and Motown. In addition, a Special Olympics Ceremony will kick off the 2011 Summer Games.

First Friday is a great networking opportunity that gives you the opportunity to meet new people and socialize, all while enjoying a cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres. Admission is free and open to the public. Let’s show everyone why Charleston is such a great place to live, work and play!

Please note that while First Friday ends at 7:30 p.m., Live on the Levee continues until 10 p.m.

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admin in Events,Generation Charleston on June 03 2011 » 0 comments

Learn How to Reduce Your State & Local Tax Burden

During challenging economic times, business owners and individual taxpayers alike must be aware of the bottom line. The Charleston Area Alliance and Dixon Hughes Goodman have teamed together to bring you expert analysis and insight on critical issues that impact the region’s businesses. 

 “Reduce Your State & Local Tax Burden,” the next session of a new professional development initiative called SUCCESStrategies, is scheduled from noon to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 at the Alliance offices, 1116 Smith Street.

Registration is $15 for Alliance members and $25 for future members and increases to $25 and $35 starting June 6. Register here.

The program will feature prominent tax professionals who will share tips about tax strategies, tax credits, filing and avoiding penalties at the state level. The roundtable will be moderated by Rick Slater, Managing Partner at Dixon Hughes Goodman. Speakers include:

  • Craig Griffith, West Virginia Tax Commissioner
  • Bob Kiss, Partner with Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love, and
  • Lydia McKee, Senior Manager with Dixon Hughes Goodman

“This major education initiative is a great benefit to local businesses –both small and large. It is critically important that we keep current in this ever changing environment,” says Rick Slater, Regional Managing Partner at Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP.

SUCCESStrategies is raising the bar for professional development programming in the Charleston region as evidenced by the first program, which focused on health care reform and what it means to West Virginia employers. This new series 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.

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admin in Events,SUCCESStrategies on June 01 2011 » 0 comments

Alliance Honors Leadership Class

The story below appeared in Thursday’s Charleston Daily Mail.

The Charleston Area Alliance recognized members of the 2010-2011 class of Leadership Kanawha Valley at its annual celebration at the Clay Center. Leadership Kanawha Valley is a leadership-development program affiliated with the Alliance.

Members of the class: Steve Burton of 1-800-Gambler/First Choice Health Systems; Patrick Snyder and Colt Sandoro of the Kanawha County Commission; Raymond Dodson of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Jason Golden and Daniel Vickers of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield; Joe Hager of Arnett & Foster; Tania Hotmer of Appalachian Power Co.; Jeff Sikorovsky of Hospice Care; Kelly Whitlock and Christopher Erlewine of BB&T; Michelle Taylor of First Choice Services; Almeda Tincher of Columbia Gas/NiSource; and Bruce Deal of Security America.

Also: John Bupp of Kay Casto and Chaney; Erin Brewster of Foster Law Firm; Trip Showen of Triad Engineering; Beth Maley of Fifth Third Bank; Mark Drennan of Children’s Home Society of West Virginia; Cartney McCracken of Rain Maker Inc.; Sheila Dickens of City National Bank; Jared Burdette of Summit Community Bank; Zach Cowan of Ernst & Young; Susan Blake of West Virginia American Water; and Andrew Beckner of Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s office.

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Businesswoman Lives Entrepreneurial Dream

The story below ran in yesterday’s Charleston Daily Mail. Progressity Inc. is a success story from the Charleston Area Alliance’s Small Business Incubator.

By George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

Kathleen DuBois contemplated the breathtaking views from her fourth-floor office at One Bridge Place with wide-eyed wonder.

She is amazed at how far Progressity Inc., her marketing business, has come in 10 years.

“I grew up on the West Side,” she said. “I was the chief fundraiser for West Virginia University’s College of Engineering, working with entrepreneurial alumni every day. One of the alumni said, ‘You ought to start your own business.’ That conversation was in September 2001. I incorporated on Oct. 5, 2001, and left a wonderful job. I thought I needed to do this totally full-on.

“It was a jumping-off-a-diving-board leap of faith,” she said. “The day I left I landed a client. That was a sign to me I had made the right decision.

“We were getting hired to do marketing strategy, marketing plans,” she said. “Clients also wanted creative work. That’s where Michael Teel comes in. He started working part-time weeks after I started the firm. He’s a native of the Elkview area. He’s my brother-in-law. He was working in D.C., doing creative work for a global company, and he was our graphic designer on nights and weekends. Our creative business grew and his employment situation there was changing. He and his family packed up in 2005 and came here so he could work on site.

“We have changed and evolved so much in 10 years,” she said.

The company now has three employees at One Bridge Place – DuBois, Teel and Director of Operations Liz Hereford. Communications Strategist Melissa Macki works remotely from Virginia. The firm hires others, from videographers and photographers to direct-mail specialists, as needed.

“We do our own creative work,” DuBois said. “We developed a new website for our firm last September (it’s at www.progressity.com). We’ve evolved so much this year we will roll out another site in July. That’s two new websites in one year. We know our website needs to convey our abilities. It has to be fresh content. It has to be leading edge. We’re constantly looking at the landscape of the market. We have to change and adjust accordingly or we’re not going to be in business.

“From the beginning, somebody said, ‘Do you want to be a sole practitioner or a company?’ I was working out of my spare bedroom in Morgantown with particleboard office furniture. I said, ‘I want to be a company one day.’ It’s pretty surreal for me to walk in here and see what we’ve grown into.”

Progressity first set up shop in the Charleston Area Alliance’s business incubator on Smith Street. Then it built space on the Alliance’s fourth floor. “Then we needed more space and decided to shake things up and move to a new location,” DuBois said. (more…)

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admin in In the News on May 27 2011 » 0 comments

BB&T CEO Predicts Steady Growth

This story appears in this morning’s Charleston Gazette.

By Eric Eyre
Charleston Gazette

The U.S. economy is “kind of sputtering along,” but that’s not a bad thing, BB&T CEO Kelly King told Charleston business leaders Wednesday night.

“That’s the way an economy has to rebuild itself during recovery, especially after a recession that was so deep and so broad,” said King, who heads the nation’s eighth-largest commercial bank.

Speaking at the Charleston Area Alliance’s “Annual Celebration” at the Clay Center, King said Americans shouldn’t expect a robust or “boomerang” economy during the next three to five years. Instead, he said, they’ll see slow, steady growth.

“What we need is jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said. “The recession is over. We are in recovery.” (more…)

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