Local company DeFeet International was recently named NC Small Business of the Year by BusinessNC and BDI congratulated them with a Celebrate Burke Business event.

Quarterly BDI, along with the BDI Board and Burke Chamber of Commerce, recognizes a local business with a celebration service known as “Celebrate Burke Business”. “We provide plenty of large Domino’s pizzas, complete with drinks and dessert, for all company employees to congratulate them on their successes and thank them for their commitment to Burke County,” adds Project Manager Misti Humphries.

At the December 21 Celebrate Burke Business event, DeFeet President Shane Cooper addressed his employees thanking them each and everyone for their dedication and diligent efforts. Cooper stated, “Your dedication and hard work have helped fulfill the dreams that Hope (my wife) and I had for this company.” Burke County Commission Chair, Wayne Abele and Hildebran Mayor, Karen Robinson congratulated Cooper and the employees on their recent award and their continued success in Burke County. BDI President Scott Darnell expressed how proud the County is of their accomplishment in being named NC Small Business of the Year.

“This is a great achievement for DeFeet, and also for Burke County,” said Darnell. “The management and staff at DeFeet have worked very hard for this and it is good to see them receive some recognition. It is wonderful to say that Burke County is home to North Carolina’s Small Business of the Year.”

DeFeet received the award, which is given by business magazine BusinessNC and BB&T, on December 9 at an awards luncheon in Winston Salem.

For more on the award and the obstacles that the company has overcome, check out the BusinessNC article.

###

Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

October 14, 2010 – Burke Development Incorporated (BDI) recently launched “Celebrate Burke Business” as a way to support and promote existing business and industry in Burke County. A key parameter of BDI’s overall strategy is to partner with existing businesses and industries to ensure continued success and longevity in Burke County. In the past six months, BDI team members have been on the ground meeting with local business leaders and have discovered many success stories and many great reasons to celebrate their achievements and accomplishments!

BDI is partnering with the Burke County Chamber, Domino’s Pizza, and Pepsi to cater in lunch and deliver a short program to say “Thank You” to the business leaders and their associates. On October 12, Michael McNally and Dorothea Jolly from Burke Chamber, Eric Baird of Assurance Sign (maker of banner shown in the picture), as well as Hope Hopkins and Misti Humphries from BDI joined the owners and staff of Catawba Creations for the first “Celebrate Burke Business”.

Catawba Creations has recently gained additional sales and increased their number of employees. Celebrating their 40th year in business, the locally owned company is a complete cut and sew manufacturer with sales in four states and sixteen employees. Their product line includes a full line of cheerleading uniforms and sportswear, camisoles designed for mastectomy patients, and specialty boxer shorts. They have recently added a new account in which they make toboggans and scarves from the leg portion of socks; initial results show that this will continue to be a very popular item and a successful new product line for the company. From all of us in Burke County, THANK YOU Catawba Creations for doing business in Burke County and for making a positive impact on our community!

###

Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

Recently, BDI Project Manager Misti Humphries completed an intensive course in sustainability and received certification as an Accredited Professional. The course is an ?industry first? developed in conjunction with the Sustainable Furnishings Council and approved by ranking staff of Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund and one of the co-founders of USGBC/LEED. The program was written by a LEED Accredited Professional and is designed to pick up where LEED leaves off, focusing specifically on the home furnishing industry.

The coursework provided a ton of detailed information on the environmental issues affecting choices in the furniture industry and the wide range of product options, most of which don’t cost any more than ordinary ones. It’s simply a matter of knowing the right places to look and the right questions to ask. Humphries commented, ?I had no idea how important all of this is, and I look forward to being able to share what I have learned!”

BDI plans to host a one-hour class, “Sustainability Essentials”, to provide a brief overview of the longer certification course and to encourage those employed in the local furniture industry to ?Go Green?. More information on this initiative will be available soon.

###

Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.

(August 24, 2010) – Burke County is now a “Certified Entrepreneurial Community” (CEC). This is an exceptional honor, as Burke is only the sixth county out of the 23-county Western North Carolina region to receive this designation.

This designation attests to the county’s vibrant and active entrepreneur environment. CEC is administered by AdvantageWest, the regional economic development group for Western North Carolina. Chuck Moseley, team leader of the committee instrumental in this certification, acknowledged that the purpose of the CEC program is to develop a business atmosphere that offers entrepreneurs enhanced resources along with a wide-range support system.

To obtain certification, team members from Burke County completed a rigorous five step process. These steps include assessing the community’s current entrepreneurial landscape, creating a comprehensive strategy for entrepreneurial growth, marshaling the community’s entrepreneurial resources, and identifying and nurturing the community’s most promising entrepreneurial talents.

As a result of this certification process, a key networking group named BeBo, Burke Entrepreneurs & Business Owners, evolved. BeBo provides ongoing networking opportunities. “People already involved or who want to become involved in the business community have a chance to exchange ideas and expertise; this in turn fosters a culture of entrepreneurship,” Moseley said. Quarterly networking events are held at different locations across the county to encourage attendance and participation.

“Burke County led the region in developing this entrepreneurial network,” says Pam Lewis, Senior Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development at AdvantageWest. “One of the keys to success for a CEC is developing ways to connect your entrepreneurs, creating a peer-to-peer network. When entrepreneurs get together they learn from each other’s successes and failures. They form strategic partnerships. It energizes the whole CEC program.”

Achieving the status of a “Certified Entrepreneurial Community” lets the local, regional, and national community know Burke County is entrepreneur-ready! Scott Darnell, President of Burke Development Inc. stated “job growth occurs at different levels in a community, we have to be conscious of those who have the passion and innovation to take an idea and develop it into a business plan. CEC is the venue we have in Burke County to encourage and promote this initiative.”

Sources: Advantage West and Chuck Moseley

###

Burke Development Incorporated, BDI, is a nonprofit 501c3 organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, existing businesses, government agencies and other entities to promote growth, innovation and sustainability in Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.