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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 » Comments are closed

Summer Is Here … And So Is Live on the Levee!

Live on the Levee begins tonight! Be there!

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admin in Member Posts on May 27 2011 » Comments are closed

Tonight’s ArtWalk to Feature Sidewalk Art

Downtown ArtWalk continues its 2011 season Thursday.

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.

Before the May 19 ArtWalk, Charleston Catholic High School students will be creating sidewalk art in front of ArtWalk venues for viewing this evening.

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 else, and we identify with the charm.

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

 
Art Walk Highlights

White Oak Photography
& K.D. Lett Photographic Productions

New work by K.D. Lett & Michelle Krompecher will be shown in the front gallery and the permanent exhibit will be on display in the back gallery. 
 

Art Emporium 

Art Emporium presents Traci Higginbotham’s “Visual Navigations,” original acrylic paintings on canvas. The exhibit runs through June 11. An artist reception is scheduled during ArtWalk.  
 

Modern by Design

Modern by Design will feature works from California artist Leo Possillico and Charleston artist Joe Bolyard.

Leo Possillico, a native of Long Island, New York, has been a successful, award-winning artist for more than 30 years. His work is known and praised nationally and internationally and is widely recognizable through his signature brush stroke characters. He works in series.

The “Gallery” series, from which the pieces showing at Modern by Design have been chosen, expresses the various art works that one can be exposed to while in the gallery, or museum and is both humorous and serious.

Joe Bolyard is a West Virginia artist who moved back to Charleston in 1998. Joe works in acrylics, mixed media, ink and also produces pieces with metals, such as pewter, brass and aluminum. Joe’s work varies from small gallery pieces to large commission pieces for peoples’ homes and offices. Joe’s work usually explores depths of colour and texture, with styles ranging from the abstract to ethereal and even spiritual.

Taylor Books

The Annex Gallery will present “Modus Operandi: New works on paper by Natalie Gibbs Burdette and Kristen Zammiello.” This show features dry point etchings, graphite drawings, linoleum block prints by two talented young women from the Marshall Graduate program.

Purple Moon

The Purple Moon is pleased to present new works by Sharon Lyn Stackpole in a show opening during ArtWalk.Born in 1969, Sharon is a native West Virginian who studied painting and art history at Fairmont State and West Virginia University. After art school, she worked for some time as a newspaper reporter and columnist in West Virginia, and still maintains a daily blog. She is a strong supporter of arts in education and lobbies for the restoration of art instruction at the primary grade levels in West Virginia.

Romano and Associates

Miranda Fields, a West Virginia-based artist who specializes in photography, will be the featured artist at Romano and Associates. She is teaching Beginning Photography at Marshall University, where she graduated with her Masters in Art in 2010. She has displayed images from her series Six in numerous local galleries, as well as the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and, most recently, was chosen as one of ten international students to exhibit in the third annual Breaking Boundaries exhibition in Pingyao, China.

Gallery Eleven

Cross Lanes artist Gloria Jean Pennnington will be the featured artist for the May ArtWalk at Gallery Eleven, 1033 Quarrier Street, Charleston. Her eclectic style will be evident in this show which features an new genre of paintings and collages of fish, corral, sponges and anything “Under the Sea”. Also included are some fish made of clay, Pennington’s love of the ocean was renewed following a snorkeling trip to the Virgin Islands and several of the new works reflect a Caribbean theme.

Good News Mountaineer Garage

Good News is pleased to present “Works by Kate Long.”Kate Long likes to paint pictures that tell stories with titles such as “Giant squashes barricade Capitol. Legislators flee,” and “Outraged sunflower.” In her photographs, she finds ways to frame ordinary details of life – a butterfly’s tail, an ice puddle – in an extraordinary way.

“I try to take pictures that make me – and other people – see ordinary things in new ways’,” she says. Long, a Charleston resident, writes for The Charleston Gazette and produces for public radio. This is her first public showing of her paintings and photos.

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admin in Community Development,Downtown ArtWalk,Events on May 19 2011 » Comments are closed

ReStore to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

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admin in Member Posts on April 20 2011 » Comments are closed

Charleston Alliance Outlines New Plans

This story aired this morning on WCHS Radio.

The Charleston Area Alliance presented its plans for downtown development at Charleston City Council Monday.

The group’s chair of the Community Development Committee, John Ruddick, says it’s time for something fresh downtown.

“We’ve had plans previously that have been done, and they’ve kind of run their course.  They’re done,” Ruddick said.  “We need a new plan, a new blueprint for the next 10 years that we can follow.”

Ruddick says the Alliance has been successful in implementing many previous plans.  He says Capital Market, Capital Street redesign, Haddad Riverfront Park and the Clay Center are all examples of the group’s hard work.

Now it’s time to focus on new initiatives like Slack Plaza, Ruddick said.

Other priorities for the Alliance include improving East End and West Side housing possibilities.

“We want to dig into what we’re calling urban housing,” Ruddick said.  “There’s a whole host of problems on the West Side.”

Ruddick says he expects to frequent Council over the coming weeks and months to formulate more specifics.

“We want to work together,” Ruddick said.  “I think the city is committed to the plans.”

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admin in Community Development,Economic Development,In the News on April 05 2011 » Comments are closed

Capitol Street Undergoes Changes

The story below appeared in Sunday’s Gazette-Mail.

by George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

There have been lots of changes from one end of Capitol Street to the other over the last year and some big changes are in the works.

The most noticeable change occurred near the south end of the street, where a retractable canopy was installed over a portion of Haddad Riverfront Park. The project was paid for in large measure with a $2 million federal grant secured by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

The canopy wasn’t the only improvement:

* A concert stage, the Schoenbaum Stage, was built.

* Kanawha Boulevard between the park and the Charleston House Hotel was given a makeover with colored pavers laid out to form the City of Charleston’s logo.

* An observation deck with canopy was completed overlooking the Kanawha River at the end of Court Street.

The improvements to what Mayor Danny Jones likes to call “Charleston’s front porch” added life to the area. The park hosted numerous events, ranging from a free Labor Day weekend concert by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra to an October rally for Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Raese that featured former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and gun advocate and rocker Ted Nugent.

During the summer the park also hosted Live on the Levee, a series of free Friday night concerts, and in August The Belle of Cincinnati, a sternwheeler, offered cruises that departed from the dock.

Susie Salisbury, the Charleston Area Alliance’s vice president of community development, believes the city will reap even more benefits from the upgraded park this summer. “It’s going to be a great anchor,” she said.

A big change that has not yet happened but looms is the sale of the Charleston House Hotel, which overlooks the park.

A deal to sell the 12-story, 256-room hotel to a Florida-based company fell through in December. Earlier this month Mayor Jones told the Sunday Gazette-Mail he has been talking to two prospective buyers.

CWCapital Asset Management, a holding company that owns the hotel, is asking $6 million for the property, which includes a 258-space parking garage. It was previously reported that consultants have estimated it would cost $12 million to $15 million to renovate the hotel. The property carried the Holiday Inn logo until November.

Several bars, clubs and restaurants form a nucleus of nightspots on Capitol Street north of the riverfront.

An upscale bar, the Sky Lounge, has opened at 26 Capitol St., and the building’s owner, John Smallridge, has put the structure on the market for $645,000. He claims the building dates back to the end of the Civil War and is the oldest building in downtown Charleston.

Smallridge also has listed 16 Capitol St., the former home of Ernie’s Esquire, for sale. The asking price is $300,000.

One change at the Security Building, 100 Capitol St., occurred at the end of January when Capitol Fitness closed. The gym had opened in 2004.

On the northwest corner of Capitol and Quarrier streets, the space last occupied by the Cafe de Paris is for rent. The cafe closed about two years ago.

On up the street, new life was brought to the ground floor of 222 Capitol St. in December when Kimberly Shingledecker and David Bailey opened Pies and Pints. The pizzeria offers hand-stretched pizzas and premium beers.

Across the street, there have been several changes at the Lowenstein Building, 225 Capitol St., since Bill Turner bought it in 2009:

* Ellen’s Ice Cream was remodeled.

* A new entrance was cut into the Brawley Walkway side of the building and Maple Creative moved into a 3,000-square-foot space behind Ellen’s. Maple Creative is a marketing, advertising, public relations and lobbying company.

Big changes are in store for Brawley Walkway, the pedestrian thoroughfare formerly known as Fife Street.

Salisbury said the city has obtained the services of Origin 4 Design, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based design team, to come up with a re-design of the walkway and Slack Plaza.

“They’ll do this through a public input process very similar to the process we went through with Sasaki Associates for Haddad Riverfront Park,” she said. Stakeholders like the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority and businesses in the vicinity of the project will be consulted. One part of the process will involve a 6 p.m. March 28 public hearing at the Civic Center.

Salisbury said the Charleston Area Alliance formed a task force to work on the application for the design work and the city filed the application. “This is through the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Greening America’s Capitals’ program,” she said. “The program only targeted state capitals. I think they had over 30 applicants. They only chose five. We were one of the five.”

After the design work is complete the city will have to seek a way to finance the project. Asked to guess the cost, Salisbury said, “The reality is you’re probably at least going to be looking at a million dollars to do it right – and so far I haven’t talked to anyone who does not want to do it right.”

Several changes have occurred recently near Capitol Street. They include:

* The Blossom, at 904 Quarrier St., reopened under new ownership in December after the previous owner shut it down in late August. The restaurant currently serves lunch but there’s talk of expanding to include dinner hours.

* A company formed by real estate agent Anna Pollitt purchased The Quarrier Diner last year. The diner closed in 1999. Pollitt and her son, Tim, plan to remodel and reopen the restaurant at 1022 Quarrier St.

* Gallery Eleven moved from 1033 Quarrier St. to 1035 Quarrier St., as did Studio 1031.

Salisbury said the Charleston Area Alliance’s Art Walk will include two new stops this year: Studio 1031, which moved in above Gallery Eleven, and the Marshall University Graduate Humanities Program at the Blue Door Art Studio, which is behind the Good News Mountaineer Garage Gallery on Hale Street.

The Art Walk season begins March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. Art Walk is held the third Thursday of the month, March through December, except in June, when there’s a special edition held to coincide with FestivALL, and in November when we take advantage of ‘Black Friday.'”

On the topic of Art Walk stops: Stray Dog Antiques, 219 Hale St., expanded last year. The shop now features furniture and large items on the third floor and vintage clothing on the mezzanine. (more…)

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admin in Community Development,Economic Development,In the News on March 04 2011 » Comments are closed

Take Advantage of the Trade Winds Webinar Series

The Trade Winds 2011: Mexico and The Americas – Webinar Series is a must-take opportunity for new and experienced exporters to gain knowledge of the export opportunities in the region with an emphasis on Mexico. 

Companies will learn about the best prospects, financial and legal considerations as well as marketing strategies to enter any market in the Western Hemisphere. Participants will also understand and appreciate the cultural differences, economic conditions and technological capabilities of potential partners. This five-part webinar series is also a venue to prepare participating U.S. companies for a more successful experience at the upcoming Trade Winds Forum event which will be held on April 6-12, 2011 in Mexico City, Mexico.

You can register for the entire series or for any of the series’ five webinars.
Venue:
Your Computer!
Date:
November 17; December 17, 2010 and January 18; February 17; March 17, 2011
Time:
11:00AM-12:15PM EST
Cost:
$150 per company
Register:
https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/newWebinarRegistration.jsp?SmartCode=1Q2J
More Information:
http://www.buyusa.gov/westvirginia/twws.html
Venue:
Your Computer!
Date:
December 17, 2010
Time:
11:00AM-12:15PM EST
Cost:
$40 per company
Register:
https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/newWebinarRegistration.jsp?SmartCode=1Q2G

Event: Financial and Legal Considerations when Exporting to Mexico
Venue:
Your Computer!
Date:
January 18, 2011
Time:
11:00AM-12:15PM EST
Cost:
$40 per company
Register:
https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/newWebinarRegistration.jsp?SmartCode=1Q2F
Venue:
Your Computer!
Date:
February 17, 2011
Time:
11:00AM-12:15PM EST
Cost:
$40 per company
Register:
https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/newWebinarRegistration.jsp?SmartCode=1Q2E
Venue:
Your Computer!
Date:
March 17, 2011
Time:
11:00AM-12:15PM EST
Cost:
$40 per company
Register:
https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/newWebinarRegistration.jsp?SmartCode=1Q2D

Event: Trade Winds 2011: “Mexico and the Americas” – Webinar Series

Event: Explore your export opportunities in Central America

Event: Explore your export opportunities in the Caribbean Region

Event: Logistics, Incoterms and FTAs considerations when Exporting to Mexico

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admin in Member Posts on December 23 2010 » Comments are closed

ArtWalk to Make Encore Following Snowstorm

Last week’s snowstorm made it tough for many to go downtown for ArtWalk. So we’re doing it one more time in 2010!

Join us from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23 as nine businesses open their doors to showcase the best of Charleston!

And get last-minute holiday shopping done while you’re at it.

Participating businesses include:

Art Emporium
Stray Dog Antiques
Gallery Eleven
Annex Gallery Taylor Books      
Good News Mountaineer Garage
Chet Lowther Studio
The Purple Moon
Romano & Associates Law Gallery
Visions Day Spa

Visit www.CharlestonArtWalk.com for more information.

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admin in Downtown ArtWalk,Events on December 22 2010 » Comments are closed

The Future is Now

West Virginia’s future as a leader in technology and innovation took a leap forward last Wednesday with the transfer of the former Dow Tech Park to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

It’s an important step in the Charleston Area Alliance’s technology-based economic development strategy. The creation of the new West Virginia Education, Research and Technology Park (WVERTP) is the culmination of the work of many partners over the past decade and represents a tremendous opportunity for our region and the nation. 

Dow’s donation to the state has saved about 500 high-paying jobs with benefits. The average salary at the park is $81,900.

“The Technology Park employs citizens from 16 counties in West Virginia and two bordering states,” said Matt Ballard, the Alliance’s president and CEO. “The impact will only increase as the vision is realized over the next decade. That vision is to fully develop a diversified, multi-tenant research, development and commercialization park focused on energy, chemicals and related technologies for the advancement of education and economic development in West Virginia and the surrounding region.”

The WVERTP also offers the state a chance to build on the region’s unique competitive advantages through the promotion of collaborative innovation and entrepreneurial activity. 

“The park, combined with other important assets stretching from Morgantown to Huntington, embodies a regional innovation cluster across the state,” Alliance Chairman Pat Bond said.

A regional innovation cluster (RIC), as defined by the Federal Economic Development Authority, is a “geographic concentration of firms and industries that do business with each other and have common needs for talent, technology, and infrastructure.” 

“Being at the forefront of solving national issues, like energy independence, will create a more unique niche for our region and state, grow existing businesses and create new jobs and educational opportunities,” Bond said.

A new report conducted by Battelle, a multi-billion dollar organization with experience in similar projects around the globe, has confirmed the park’s possibilities. Battelle’s recommendations include using the inherent, indigenous strengths of the local region to capitalize on new opportunities.

“Leaders such as Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the Chemical Alliance Zone, the Higher Education Policy Commission, MATRIC, the Kanawha County Commission and others had the vision and courage to back our mission and gather support for West Virginia’s future,” Ballard said. “They know advancing technology leads to job creation, and with the Technology Park, we have a fantastic opportunity to boost West Virginia’s technology economy.”

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admin in Economic Development,Education on December 21 2010 » Comments are closed

Company Seeks Financial Manager

A Kanawha Valley chemical company is looking for a financial manager.

The individual selected for this position will report directly to the Plant Manager and should be able to plan, direct, organize, evaluate and be responsible for executing supportive services of the plant which include accounting, financial forecasting and budget preparation, resolving human resources issues and other supportive duties. The candidate selected will have a strong background in Accounting with a basic understanding of human resources. The expectation is that s/he will be a strong “Executor” since internal and external resources are limited.

The successful candidate should have the following minimum qualifications:

  • 10 years working in an administrative, financial, or accounting role in a manufacturing environment with a working knowledge of Production Cost Accounting methods for process industries (like chemical).
  • Knowledge of ERP system operation.
  • A proven track record of success in his/her career path.
  • Knowledge of the field of purchasing and business contracts with material suppliers, etc. (project management).
  • Knowledge of the field of human resources (i.e. compliance with employment/labor laws, hiring/selection, discipline/termination, motivation/retention, performance management).
  • BS-Accounting, Master Degree preferred
  • Individual should be a licensed CPA or willing to work toward earning a certification.

This position comes with a competitive benefits package which includes health, dental, vision, life, 401(K), Paid Time Off and paid holidays. The salary range for this position is $70-$90K depending upon experience and qualifications.

To apply for this position, please log on to our web site at www.workplacesolutionswv.com and click on Recruiting/Jobs, and then on Accounting/Financial Manager. You may also mail your resume to Workplace Solutions, PO Box 449, Hurricane, WV 25526-0449. EEO employer.

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admin in Job Postings on December 16 2010 » Comments are closed

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