Business Buzz: 2/9/21

February 9, 2021


  • Engineering News-Record (ENR) recently named Mission North Tower in Asheville the Best Healthcare Project nationwide. The project was previously recognized as the Best Healthcare Project in the Southeast and has now been recognized as one of the twenty best projects nationally. ENR stated, “The 12-story, 615,000-sq-ft concrete surgical tower is Asheville’s largest-ever construction project, providing more than 200 acute and intensive-care rooms, a 79-bay emergency department, and 10 operating suites.” McGill Associates is honored to be a part of the team who completed this ambitious project that now defines the Mission Hospital campus. McGill worked as the civil engineering firm amongst the team of HDR (lead design firm), Brasfield & Gorrie Construction (general contractor), and Walter P Moore (structural engineering firm). As the largest employer in Asheville (6,900 employees) and the region’s only Level II Trauma Center, this project required the highest level of ingenuity, teamwork, precision, and integrity. In general, the project is a large, complex integration of existing facilities with a new multistory bed tower created to consolidate the patient experience into one central area. Designs focused on multiple new accesses from existing streets, grading, water, sewer, complex construction phasing, pedestrian access and safety, ambulance access, materials handling, and community acceptance. Read more
  • PrideStaff, a national, franchised staffing organization, is pleased to announce for the eighth consecutive year that they have earned one of ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Diamond Awards, after winning the Best of Staffing Client and Talent Awards at least five years in a row for providing superior service to their clients and job seekers. “After one of the most turbulent years in modern history, winners of the 2021 Best of Staffing award have proven their commitment to go above and beyond in support of their clients and placed talent,” said ClearlyRated’s CEO and Founder, Eric Gregg. “These service leaders have demonstrated their capacity to be agile, to be precise, and to prioritize the client and talent experience above all else.”
    To learn more about PrideStaff’s services, contact PrideStaff – Asheville at or call 828-782.3392.
  • Platinum Group is very excited to announce that their HR/Payroll platform, isolved, ranked at the top in SoftwareReviews 2021 Human Capital Management – Enterprise Data Quadrant Awards! isolved received top rankings for: Vendor Support, Ease of Implementation, Breadth of Features, and Learning and Development. To learn more about Platinum Group, visit


  • Buncombe County is the recipient of a $1.75 million grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to continue building on efforts in collaboration with local leaders and the community to rethink the local criminal justice system, safely reduce Buncombe County’s jail population, and eliminate racial inequities. The grant brings the Foundation’s total investment in Buncombe County to $3.55 million to date and is part of the Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC), a $246 million national initiative to reduce over-incarceration and advance racial equity in local criminal justice systems by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. More information about the work underway in Buncombe County can be found on as well as


  • Small businesses looking for help getting through the winter as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to hamper sales can soon apply for local grants. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners recently approved funding to revitalize the One Buncombe Fund, a community-based grant source that can provide much-needed financial support during these difficult times. Worried that your business might not be eligible? The One Buncombe Fund is intentionally seeking out local businesses that do not qualify for PPP funding and other relief options. There is also a focus on single-owner, people of color- and women-owned businesses.Here’s what small businesses need to know:
    • Applications will be accepted Feb. 8-28.
    • Sole proprietorships are eligible for up to $2,500.
    • Small businesses with 2-25 full-time equivalent employees are eligible for up to $5,000.
    • For detailed specifics on eligibility, visit org/1bf.
    • Two upcoming webinars can help you determine if you qualify and answer other questions:
      • Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 2-3 p.m. Register here.
      • Thursday, Feb. 11 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Register here.


  • The Van Winkle Law Firm has promoted three attorneys to partner. Attorneys Koral Alman and Anderson Ellis from Hendersonville and Jonathan Dunlap from Asheville were advanced to partner at the firm’s year-end meeting in January 2021. Mrs. Alman’s practice focuses primarily on trust and estate planning and administration. She works closely with clients to determine their specific goals and develop a customized plan to meet their unique needs. In addition to being licensed in North Carolina, she is also licensed in Florida. Mr. Ellis works with local, regional, and national businesses through all stages of development and growth, including business formation, mergers and acquisitions, and general operations. Mr. Ellis is licensed in North Carolina and Tennessee. Mr. Dunlap handles appeals as well as complex litigation matters involving healthcare, land use, construction, employment, and business law. He holds licenses in both North Carolina and South Carolina. These talented members of the Van Winkle team have made an impact through their work for clients and their dedication to serving the legal needs of their respective communities. “Congratulations to Koral, Anderson, and Jonathan on their advancement to partner” said Steve Grabenstein, President of The Van Winkle Law Firm. “Each attorney exhibits dedication and excellent service to their clients and has been a tremendous asset to the firm.” For additional information, please visit
  • AdventHealth Hendersonville is excited to welcome Andrew Grein, MD, FAAP to its team of providers. Dr. Grein is board-certified in pediatrics and will be joining the team of pediatric hospitalists in The Baby Place at AdventHealth. The Baby Place at AdventHealth Hendersonville offers a comprehensive, whole-person approach to maternity care. Board-certified OB/GYN physicians, expert pediatric providers, and a specialty-trained nursing team help guide and support women through their labor and delivery experiences. AdventHealth Hendersonville also welcomes Sean Snowden, PA-C to its team of Hospitalists caring for patients in its hospital. Snowden is a certified physician assistant with a broad range of clinical training including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Snowden has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla, where he also studied chemistry. He graduated from the Keiser University Physician Assistant Program in December 2019.
  • Mars Hill University announces the hiring of Roger Slagle, MBA, CPA, as its new vice president for finance and administration. Slagle is no stranger to the university, having served as an adjunct professor of business administration since 2003. He begins his new role on February 15, 2021. Slagle has over 20 years of industry experience, working for numerous large corporations. He most recently worked for Hiab USA as the company’s financial planning and analysis manager for North America, and before that as its business controller. Prior to Hiab, he was chief financial officer for Acme Lift Company. He previously served as corporate controller for Genova Diagnostics, and as director of finance for Volvo Construction Equipment Rents. He serves on the advisory boards of the Mars Hill University Department of Business and the Western Carolina University Master of Accountancy Program, as well as the board of directors of OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling in Asheville. He holds membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute of Management Accountants, the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Society of Leadership and Success.


  • The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village has now helped provide 500,000 meals to families facing hunger across the 16 western counties of the state. Since 2012, The Cantina has partnered with MANNA FoodBank on “Skip A Side,” a project that allows customers to forfeit a side item, while The Cantina donates the retail cash equivalent to MANNA. To date, the program has raised over $140,000, which is enough to provide over 500,000 meals. Kelly Schwartz, MANNA FoodBank’s Signature Events Manager, says the unique program is able to leverage Asheville’s strong tourism economy to support local families. With their location just outside the gates of The Biltmore, The Cantina is able to educate diners visiting Asheville to the very real issue of food insecurity in our community, and give them an easy, tangible way to contribute to a solution.