Business

Durham startup raises $13M

July 28, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based startup Baebies completed a $13 million financing that included Rex Health Ventures and Duke Angel Network. The company is developing technology to expand newborn health screenings. Baebies employs 40 people; co-founder Richard West expects that number to grow now that the financing round is complete.

Sonic Automotive promotes Scott Smith to CEO

July 28, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Scott Smith, 47, will replace his father Bruton Smith as CEO of Sonic Automotive. Bruton Smith, 88, will become executive chairman of the Charlotte-based auto dealership. The younger Smith was named CEO of Speedway Motorsports earlier this year.

Zoo director announces retirement

July 28, 2015

(High Point Enterprise)

David Jones will retire later this year after 21 years as director of the North Carolina Zoo. Chief Operating Officer Pat Simmons, who was previously president and CEO of the Akron, Ohio Zoo, will take over as director on Sept. 1.
Related: "Animal magnetism," a behind-the-scenes look at the N.C. Zoo, from BNC's July issue

Reynolds' e-cig slips in market share report

July 28, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Market share of Vuse, the electronic cigarette produced by Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American, has slipped from 35.7% to 34.2%, according to Nielsen data as of July 11. Blu eCigs, now owned by ITG Brands, was second with a 24.1% market share.
Related: Reynolds American beats 2Q profit forecasts

Second wood-pellet storage dome going up at Port of Wilmington

July 28, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wood-pellet producer Enviva plans to inflate a second storage dome at Port of Wilmington as early as Wednesday, depending on weather conditions. The first dome was erected on June 15.

Bojangles' names new VP of IT and strategic planning

July 28, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bojangles' named Jayson Romeo vice president of IT and strategic planning. Romeo, who brings nearly three decades of quick-service restaurant experience, was hired in 2014 as senior director of strategic management.

Catawbas in talks with Hard Rock for NC casino

July 27, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Catawba Indian Nation Chief Bill Harris says the tribe is negotiating with Hard Rock International for branding of its proposed $600 million casino near Kings Mountain. Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials have said they oppose the casino and hotel project, which the South Carolina-based tribe says could employ up to 4,000 people.

Scandals aside, UNC fundraising rebounds in 2014-15

July 27, 2015

(Durham Herald-Sun)

UNC Chapel Hill raised $447 million in fiscal 2014-15, the first year of a seven-year fundraising campaign, a 44% increase over the previous year. The campaign was boosted by Fred Eshelman's $100 million gift to the pharmacy school.
Related: "The Carolina way," July 2014

Projects will help transform downtown Durham

July 27, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Two new developments on about 18 acres near the American Tobacco Campus will add much-needed office space in downtown Durham, where the occupancy rate is 93%. Apartments, retail shops and hotels are also planned.

Asheville petition to restrict chain stores gains momentum

July 27, 2015

(Mountain Xpress)

An online petition calling for the city of Asheville to regulate or put a moratorium on corporate chain stores in the downtown area collected 2,000 signatures within a week. A local salon owner started the petition after retailer Anthropologie expressed interest in opening a store there.