Business Buzz: 2/14/24

February 14, 2024


  • The Great Smoky Mountains Association, a long-standing partner of GSMNP, has rebranded as ‘Smokies Life,’ effective February 1. With a 70-year history of supporting the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the organization has contributed over $50 million and operates 11 visitor centers. The rebranding reflects the organization’s evolving role and mission in promoting deeper connections to life in the Smokies. The decision follows an intensive planning process and aims to encompass the park’s diverse history, landscape, and visitors. Smokies Life recently opened the Great Smokies Welcome Center in Townsend, Tennessee, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the unveiling of the new name and the center. The organization remains committed to preserving the Smokies and depends on member support. Learn more at


  • DMJPS PLLC, a U.S. Top 200 CPA and business advisory firm based in Greensboro, NC, has been honored with ClearlyRated’s 2024 Best of Accounting Award for Service Excellence. This prestigious award recognizes firms that excel in service quality based on client ratings. DMJPS received outstanding satisfaction scores, with 83.7% of clients rating them 9 or 10 out of 10, surpassing the industry average of 56% in 2023. Additionally, 92.2% of clients acknowledged DMJPS’s thorough understanding of their needs, and the firm achieved high scores in responsiveness and delivering high-quality, error-free work. CEO Mike Gillis expressed gratitude to clients for their trust and emphasized the firm’s commitment to being greater in providing exceptional service. ClearlyRated’s CEO, Eric Gregg, commended the 2024 Best of Accounting winners for raising the bar of excellence in the face of challenges. ClearlyRated’s Best of Accounting Award distinguishes firms through statistically valid benchmarks, showcasing those that deliver the highest quality client experiences. DMJPS PLLC serves clients locally, regionally, or internationally, with offices across North Carolina. Learn more at


  • Mars Hill University Theatre Arts Department presents “A…My Name Is Alice,” a captivating musical revue celebrating women’s experiences. Written by Joan Micklin Silver and Julianne Boyd, the production explores various themes through witty songs and sketches. Directed by Chelsey Lee Gaddy, the dynamic show runs from February 29th to March 3rd, 2024, at Owen Theatre, Mars Hill University campus. Showtimes: Feb 29th at 7:30 PM, Mar 1st at 7:30 PM, Mar 2nd at 7:30 PM, and Mar 3rd at 2:30 PM. Tickets are $25 for general admission, free for Mars Hill University students and staff. Recommended for ages 13 and up due to adult content. Purchase tickets at or contact the box office at (828) 689-1377. The Mars Hill University Theatre Arts Department aims to provide students with creative exploration and engaging theatrical experiences under experienced faculty guidance.
  • The DIY Tourism Marketing Conference by JB Media Institute, now in its 8th year, offers the latest digital marketing strategies for the tourism, travel, and hospitality industries. This two-day event, set in Asheville, North Carolina, covers evolving trends, tools, and tactics to help businesses effectively reach and engage visitors. Introducing the DIY 365: A Year-Round Learning Community, the program provides comprehensive online training, monthly coaching sessions, and a ticket to the conference. Led by industry experts, the conference covers diverse topics such as video, AI, ethical marketing, social media, local SEO, and Google Ads. Additionally, DIY Tourism 365 offers ongoing, deeply personalized support for professionals in the travel and tourism industry. Discounts are available for group tickets, and the conference’s full schedule will be announced in the summer of 2024. Note that cancellations after October 11, 2024, will not be refunded. Get tickets here.


  • Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont (GSCP2P) is currently hosting its 2024 Girl Scout Cookie Program in western and central North Carolina. You can find your favorite Girl Scout cookies at booths throughout the council’s footprint. The 2024 cookie lineup includes Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, and more. Use the cookie booth locator on the GSCP2P website to find the closest one to you. Additionally, if you want to support the program but don’t need cookies, you can donate packages to the annual Cookies for a Cause service project. This year’s cause is first responders, and donated cookies will be distributed to local heroes and food banks after the program ends on March 3. For more information or to find cookies, visit Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont serves nearly 7,000 girls and 4,500 adult volunteers across 40 counties in North Carolina, delivering unique experiences through camps and service centers.