News, Information, Opportunities & Benefits
March 17, 2016


Nearly 200 Attend Annual Meeting
Kelly Messenheimer Named Ambassador of the Year 
Business owner, community leader
To the applause of her fellow volunteers, Kelly Messenheimer steps forward to receive the 2015 Ambassador of the Year Award.
and Chamber champion Kelly Messenheimer was honored as the Burke Chamber’s top volunteer at this year’s Annual Meeting. Kelly’s fellow volunteers selected her as the 2015 Ambassador of the Year, but the honor was kept under wraps until Tiffany Poteat, Manager of Marketing and Sales, made the announcement at the event. Before presenting Kelly with a plaque marking the award, Tiffany noted that Kelly “represented the Chamber at every special event in 2015 and brought a sunny disposition with her every time.” Kelly has served as an Ambassador for more than 15 years.
Chamber Board Chairman Kenneth Geathers, Town Manager of Rutherford College, honored two Board members at the meeting. Lamar Smitherman, publisher of The News Herald and The McDowell News, and Guinn Huffman, owner of Time Saver Storage, just retired from the Board of Directors after completing two terms of service. Mr. Geathers thanked both for their six years of service and presented each with a plaque from the Board.
Mr. Geathers also introduced three new Board members who attended their first meeting on March 14. They are Kolby Watts, chief operating officer of Wendy B’s Embroidery, Screen Printing and Promotional Products; Nina Linens, Sales Leader for BH Media; and Rich DeAugustinis, plant manager for Packaging Corporation of America.
The Burke County Chamber of Commerce welcomed a special visitor last weekwhen Kazuhiro Takami stopped by for a visit, accompanied by several staff members from Viscotec. Takami was in Morganton for a Board of Directors meeting for the company. Back home, but he serves as the Executive Director and Secretary General of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Economic Directors in the Fukui Prefecture in Japan. The Fukui Chamber serves more than 6,000 businesses with a staff of 50. Assisted by an interpreter, Takami and Davis compared notes about their respective Chambers and discovered that, despite the obvious differences, both chambers and their members face similar challenges. Fukui, Japan, is also the corporate headquarters of Seiren Co. Ltd., Viscotec’s parent company.
Acres + Ales and Spring Hike on Tap for this Weekend

As spring beckons us to enjoy and protect the great outdoors, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina invites members, donors, and the community at large to two public events the weekend of March 19-20.

On Saturday, March 19 from 5-10:30 pm, Brown Mountain Bottleworks in downtown Morganton will host the second annual Acres + Ales membership drive for Foothills Conservancy. During the drive Brown Mountain Bottleworks will give a raffle entry and special gift for each conservancy membership purchased or renewed. They will also donate $1 to Foothills Conservancy for every pint of beer sold.

The evening will include live music from Michael Hefner and Friends (6-8 p.m.) and The Clyde’s (8:30-10:30 pm), food from Hunter’s Chicken and Waffles, lots of great beer, and raffle prizes. Acres + Ales is open to the public. For questions or additional information, contact Beth Willard-Patton at 828-437-9930

Then, on Sunday, March 20, Foothills Conservancy will host a day hike in the South Mountains Game Lands. Led by friend of the conservancy Burwell Byers and Land Protection Director Tom Kenney, the four-hour outing takes place on the conservancy’s first completed land protection project, the Rollins South Mountains Game Land tract. The majority of this tract lies in Rutherford County, with a total of 42,000 acres of public, state conservation lands.

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the strenuous loop hike will cover some peaks of the South Mountains range. It begins at Sisk Gap via Roper Hollow Road and will include spectacular cascades along two high-quality streams. Parking and ride-sharing options will be available. Participants should wear hiking boots or sturdy footwear, and bring lunch and water.

The hike is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. For more information, contact Beth Willard-Patton call her at 828-437-9930 or e-mail her

Blue Ridge Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Accredited

Blue Ridge Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Morganton, part of Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, recently received program accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

To receive accreditation for a five-year period, a sleep center must meet or exceed all standards for professional health care as designated by the AASM. These standards include personnel, facility and equipment, policies and procedures, data acquisition, patient care, and quality assurance. Additionally, the sleep center’s goals must be clearly stated and include plans for positively affecting the quality of medical care in the community it serves.

“We’re very proud to earn this accreditation,” said David R. Clark, MD. Dr. Clark works with Thomas Kennedy, MD, and Nancy Cook, NP, to diagnose lung diseases and sleep disorders. The office has a full-service sleep lab

“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine congratulates Blue Ridge Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine on meeting the high standards required for receiving accreditation as a sleep disorders center,” says Nathaniel Watson, MD, AASM president.

Blue Ridge Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine is located at 2209 South Sterling St., Suite 600. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 828-580-4577.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited a sleep disorders center for the first time in 1977. Today there are more than 2,500 AASM-accredited sleep centers across the country.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is a professional medical society for clinicians, researchers, and other health care providers in the field of sleep medicine. As the national accrediting body for sleep disorders centers, the AASM is dedicated to setting standards and promoting excellence in sleep medicine health care, education and research.

Energize Your Networking
“When Business Cards Aren’t Enough”
How many times have you gained new business because you did something unusual? Here’s a list of rarely used but very effective networking techniques that will help you boost business.
There comes a time in every small businessperson’s life when common networking practices like handing out business cards, attending various meetings and schmoozing with potential clients only goes so far. Eventually, the same old techniques get overused to the point that they become insufficient.

But how many times have you gained new business created a great relationship or watched your website hits skyrocket because you did something unusual? Or uncommon? Perhaps even unexpected? Maybe you were on the right track.

The following is a list of atypical networking techniques that will help boost business. WARNING: They will stretch your courage. They will test your expertise. And they will challenge your creativity. But when business cards aren’t enough, alternative ways to develop and maintain mutually valuable relationships are your ticket to networking success.

1) What’s Your Story?
How did you get your start in business? Did you “fall” into your line of work? Perhaps there was an interesting anecdote, epiphany or event that caused the birth of your business. If so, this is called “Your Story.” Now, it’s not your Elevator Speech or your 30 Second Commercial. It’s your story. And it’s a fundamental tool for helping people and potential customers get to know you.

Here’s the key: write it out. Practice saying it aloud. Make it funny. And tell it to everybody. Not only does this create a memorable presence, but the more you share it with people, the more they will share Your Story with other people. Why? Because people don’t remember things, they remember stories. And after a while, the word about Your Story will spread.

2) Mix the Medium and Wow People

When I receive an email from an organization or business who has a question, wants to work together or just wants to chat, I do something called Mix the Medium. Here’s how it works:
  • The exact moment I finish reading the email, I obtain the person’s phone number (if I don’t already have it.) If there’s no email signature, I look at their email address or go to their website. If all I know is their company, I call Directory Assistance or look them up on City Search. Basically, I do anything I can to get their phone number within the next two minutes.
  • Then I call them right back.
  •  I then say, “Hi, this is Scott Ginsberg. I was in the office when your email came through and I thought I’d call you back!” I say with a big smile on my face.
People love this. I have never done this without completely blowing the caller away. They respond with such excited phrases as “Wow, that was fast!” or “I’m impressed you called back already!” In fact, I recently received an email from a friend of mine who just changed jobs. He was writing to say hello and wish me a Happy New Year. And since I hadn’t heard from Jake in quite a while, I Mixed the Medium and called him right back. Five minutes later he booked me to do one of my speaking programs for his new organization!
3) Network en Masse
Speaking of speaking, here’s another untapped networking resource: local groups, organizations and associations. But I’m not talking about joining; I’m talking about giving a speech. It’s what I call “Networking en Masse.”

Small businesspeople are successful because they’re experts on something. So whether you’re in sales, printing, tech consulting or retail, find a way to transform your expertise into an informative, concise and entertaining speech that will help other people like yourself boost business.

Contact the meeting coordinator of your local Chamber, Rotary Club, Networking Group or Trade Association. They always need speakers. Offer the group a free 15-20 minute program. Include valuable tips, stories, illustrations and examples from your own business experiences that are of interest to the members. By speaking, you position yourself as an expert, validate your credibility and increase your company’s visibility.

4) Write as an Expert
Another underused networking tactic is writing articles or tip sheets about hot topics in your industry. You don’t even have to be a freelance writer or a journalist – just a business professional who can effectively convey his or her expertise in the form of a short article. Similar to speaking, writing articles in a publication read by your target market is the perfect way to position you and your company.

Here’s how to get started with this tip: Go to Google, type in your topic of expertise and the word “article.” For example, if you work in phone book advertising, type in “phone book advertising article.” (Be sure to use the quotation marks.) Hundreds of hits will come up. Read through a few dozen of them. This will give you an idea of what hot topics other people in your industry are writing articles about. Then, find out which online databases, ezines, newsletters or websites syndicated the articles you just read. By localizing these sources, you can contact the editors and inquire about article submission guidelines. (And if you get the opportunity to publish articles online, you can easily email the article link to other people who would benefit from reading your work.)

5) Don’t Fear the Big Shots
You’d be surprised how approachable some of the so-called “Big Shots” are. Great example: At a National Speakers Association Convention in July of 2004, I had the pleasure of attending a session with Seth Godin, best selling author of Unleashing the Ideavirus and Purple Cow. Now, in addition hearing him speak, I’ve also been a frequent reader of his books and articles for years. And a few months after seeing him live I thought, “What the heck…maybe I’ll just drop him an email.”

So it came to pass on October 8th, 2004, that I emailed Seth Godin. I told him how much I enjoyed his speech at the convention and that his work was a big influence on my own books and speeches. I also told him to check out my website,, for it was an example of the kind of idea he so passionately supported.

What did I have to lose, right?

To my surprise about a half hour later, he wrote me back. “Thanks for the kind words, Scott! I blogged your site. Good luck.”

Little did I realize that Seth Godin publishes one of the top ten most frequently read blogs in the world. As a result, I received over 70,000 hits on my website in one day! This resulted in some great new contacts, several exciting business opportunities and the birth of my own blog, which is now a critical part of my business! Which brings me to my last networking tip.

6) Blog For Bucks
If you don’t already have a blog for your business – get one. A blog is an online journal on which you can post comments, links, stories and articles. This popular new medium through which to share your feelings, experiences and emotions is a free and fun way to network with other online professionals. After I talked with Seth last year, I started the blog for my business, and it’s become a valuable tool to stimulate personal dialogue with potential customers. It’s also a great way to let your customers know what’s going on in your life.

For more information go to; or do a search for any of the various blog providers.

The commonality of these unusual, uncommon and unexpected networking techniques is this: you must do what nobody else is willing to do. Sure, handing out business cards and attending meetings are all good techniques. But everyone does that. So are you willing to practice telling Your Story? Would you call people right back when they’re expecting you to email them tomorrow? Do you have the courage to give a great speech, write a helpful article or start a blog that shares your expertise? And are you willing to get in contact with a Big Shot?

Hope so – because eventually, business cards just aren’t enough!

Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, “the world’s foremost field expert on nametags” and the author ofHELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He speaks to companies and associations who want to become UNFORGETTABLE communicators – one conversation at a time.
NC Beer Month Celebrates Towering Landscape of Brewcraft

A range of new beer experiences will reward travelers during April’s NC Beer Month celebration.
“The numbers alone are impressive,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina, which sponsors NC Beer Month with the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild. “The state has added more than 25 breweries in the last year to pass the 150 mark. But the real excitement lies in the quality and variety of the beer and the experiences in destinations from the mountains to the coast, in cities and towns and colorful communities. Beer travelers will find new reasons to love North Carolina.”
Burke County’s tourism office just rolled out its Beer, Barbeque and Whisky Tour. The Ridgeline Trolley tour will cover Fonta Flora Brewery, Brown Mountain Bottleworks, Blue Ridge Distilling (Defiant whisky) and JD’s Smokehouse in tours running April 2, 9, 16 and 23.  For more information or to reserve seats, call(828) 437-3021.
“We are excited about all the ways NC Beer Month is connecting the craftsmanship of our breweries with the dining and recreational wealth across the state,” said Margo Knight Metzger, executive director of the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild. “We call North Carolina the ‘state of Southern beer,’ and the beer alone is reason to visit. Combined with everything else, North Carolina is a must-visit state for beer travel.”

Find scores of April events and travel deals at
WPCC Hosts Readers Theatre Presentation
Ms. Lynden Harris

On Tuesday, March 22, Western Piedmont Community College will host a readers theatre presentation of “The Crossing”  by author Lynden Harris . Two shows will be offered at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the Phifer Learning Resources Center, Room 99 on the college’s campus at 1001 Burkemont Avenue. This free presentation is open to the public. A reception will follow the evening performance.

Ms. Lynden Harris is the Founder/Director of Hidden Voices, a non-profit organization based in Durham, NC, dedicated to collaborating with underrepresented communities to create award-winning works that allow for a multiplicity of voices and understandings. She also teaches at Duke University and writes about community voices, the arts, and social justice issues. In 2014, she was named a Founding Cultural Agent for the US Department of Arts and Culture, a people-powered movement mobilizing creativity to build a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination.

“The Crossing” is based on stories shared with Ms. Harris over recent decades through her work with Hidden Voices. It combines many of these accounts into one single narrative, illuminating the struggles and challenges faced by undocumented immigrants. “The Crossing” has been adapted for the readers theatre and directed by Performing Arts Coordinator, Deborah Lonon. Five additional readers representing WPCC’s faculty, staff, and students will also participate.Icard teacher selected for engineering program

One of Four Teachers in NC
Icard Teacher Selected for Engineering Program
Icard Elementary School teacher Andrea Gladden never throws away a toilet paper tube. Since introducing engineering in her classroom at Icard Elementary School, she has found too many good uses for them. “My classroom has a reuse bin full of recycled materials ready to be devoured by students when they are engineering,” Gladden said. “In fact, I have never found so many ways to reuse toilet paper tubes.”
At first, engineering was a new subject for Gladden, and she wasn’t comfortable or prepared to teach it. Her journey to change that started four summers ago when she was selected for the Mickelson Exxon program and met Exxon Mobile engineers. Two years ago she become part of a study that looks at how elementary students learn about engineering through design challenges. And in January she was chosen for the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) scholarship through the Museum of Science, Boston.
As one of five teachers in North Carolina to participate in the E4 Study (Exploring the Efficacy of Engineering is Elementary), Gladden’s lessons on civil engineering and environmental engineering were videoed and analyzed for two years. She said that study concluded engineering helps students, including exceptional children, learn science. Gladden said EC students respond well to exposure to engineering in the classroom. “It is the engineering…the problem solving. It is the communication and collaboration that those students need to help them be successful. If we are to compete globally to solve the world’s problems, we need to expose our kids to engineering at a young age.”
Now as one of 100 elementary school teachers
Icard Elementary School fifth-grade students in Andrea Gladden’s class weigh “red blood cells” (Red Hots candy) before mixing them with “plasma” (cornstarch), “white blood cells” (marshmallows) and “blood platelets” (sprinkles) during a science lesson.
from 24 states to earn the EiE scholarship, Gladden will receive a complete classroom set of EiE curriculum materials plus tuition and travel to a two-day, hands-on workshop at the Museum in Boston this summer. She also will be able to bring back professional development opportunities for others.
She said, “I have a feeling that there are many teachers who have little or no experience teaching engineering. If they were like me, they know teaching engineering is important and want to try to teach engineering, but they really do not know where to begin.”
Incorporating engineering into her curriculum has renewed Gladden’s love for teaching. She said, “After the E4 Study concluded, I had transformed from a teacher who knew very little about engineering, to a teacher who wanted to teach engineering every day.”
Gladden said the ultimate goal is to introduce her students to engineering and inspire them to consider fields in science and engineering.
Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam said, “I have observed first hand in Ms. Gladden’s classroom. During one lesson, students were simulating an actual oil spill and which materials would absorb oil better than others. The students were so engaged because it was a ‘real world’ problem to solve.”
All returning guests zip for $39 each!
March Madness
During the Month of March

Zip Season is here!
The spring birds are singing and the zips are soaring! Call and mention you are a return guests and save $20 off each persons zip. Minimum 2 guests required.
For more info, go to the
Zip for Only
$39 each
Reservations Required
Month of March only
NC Chamber Signs on to Support 
the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act
All job creators need a health care system that gives them reasonable levels of predictability and flexibility in order to manage the costs of a job, and that’s especially true for owners of small businesses. In an effort to give our small businesses the health care predictability and flexibility they need at the federal level, the NC Chamber recently joined with 167 aligned organizations, including 47 state and local chambers representing 36 different states, to sign on to a letter in support of the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (S. 1697/H.R. 2911).
This important piece of federal legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last June. If passed by the House and Senate and ratified by the President, the bill would allow small businesses that are not subject to a shared responsibility provision to provide Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA’s) to their employees with health coverage. This allowance would give small employers – who often do not have the luxury of human resource departments or benefits specialists – the additional flexibility they need to help their employees with rising medical costs and better manage and predict their own health care costs.

The Burke County Chamber of Commerce and the NC Chamber believes small businesses comprise a cornerstone of North Carolina’s competitive state economy, and we join the undersigned businesses and national, state and local trade associations in urging federal leaders in both the legislative and executive branches to move promptly to secure this vital pro-jobs legislation.

Timely Topics from the Small Business Center
Market Your Business by Networking in Your Local Community
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Topic: Marketing and Sales
Emily Ballance.
Speaker: Emily Ballance
If you’re spending lots of time on internet marketing
and social networking, you may be missing the customers, benefits, connections and potential sales within your local community. Successful small business owners must devote time to both to be profitable. Come find out how you can reach potential customers in your local community and gain their trust. This seminar includes tips on face-to-face networking, a powerful and virtually free form of marketing.
WPCC’s Small Business Center has a library of full-length courses provided by SmallBizU, the first online academy created especially for the education and training needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs. SmallBizU teaches entrepreneurs about the “3Ms” – Money, Marketing, and Management. It achieves this objective through the delivery of 20 core courses that teach the “language of business” and important trade-skills. Each course is online and full of animated slides accompanied by voice-over narration, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, toolsets, and access to a comprehensive knowledgebase. You can access your course anytime and anywhere.
If you have any questions, please contact Eddie McGimsey or 828-448-6719 or visit WPCC’s Small Business Center web page.

32nd Annual Golf Classic

Monday, May 2, 2016
Mimosa Hills

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