STATEWIDE Western Region
Synthesizing an expo
Not only will next month’s Moogfest, an electronic-music festival held in Asheville since 2008, run five days rather than its usual three, but it will add a technology conference. Attendance is expected to stay about the same as in recent years — between 20,000 and 30,000 — but the event’s organizers say its economic impact will double, reaching $30 million. Moog Music, founded by the inventor of the Moog synthesizer and headquartered in Asheville, will partner with Raleigh-based North Carolina Technology Association to hold the two-day Synthesis@Moogfest expo. In addition to presentations, film screenings and workshops, it will showcase products from tech companies that have a presence in North Carolina. The festival will run April 23-27.
EAST FLAT ROCK — ASG (AGI-Shorewood Group) will expand its plant here, investing $8.5 million and adding 50 jobs to the 160 it has now. The global company makes packaging for household products. Average annual wage will be about $40,000, almost 16% higher than Henderson County’s $34,528.
ENKA — Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing, which is building a brewery in Asheville, will construct an East Coast distribution center here and create 30 jobs. It will be 100,000 square feet, and there is room for a 40,000-square-foot expansion on the site. It will open in fall 2015.
ASHEVILLE — UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder will retire July 31 after nine years in the job and 37 years in higher education. Only William Highsmith, the school’s first chancellor, served longer. Her successor has not been named.
ASHEVILLE — HomeTrust Bancshares will acquire Morristown, Tenn.-based Jefferson Bancshares, which has 12 branches in eastern Tennessee and $498 million of assets. Pending regulatory and shareholder approval, the merger will close this spring, increasing HomeTrust’s assets to about $2.1 billion.
HIGHLANDS — Highlands-Cashiers Hospital joined Asheville-based Mission Health Jan. 31. One goal is improved physician recruitment and retention. The health-care system will name three directors to the hospital’s 12-member board.
ASHEVILLE — Greenville, S.C.-based The Iron Yard will open a business-accelerator program here this fall. It will provide green-tech software startups with seed money and mentoring from experts and investors.