Business Buzz: June 27, 2024

June 27, 2024


  • Hulsey Media has acquired The Laurel of Asheville magazine, with Brett Hulsey taking over as publisher from the retiring Jerry Johnson starting with the July issue. Hulsey, owner of Hulsey Media, brings extensive regional publishing experience and aims to maintain the magazine’s high-quality content and design. The Laurel of Asheville will continue its focus on arts, culture, and local events without changes to its format. Hulsey Media’s other publications include Hendersonville Magazine, Asheville Ale Trail, WNC Business, and The Real Estate Book of Asheville-Hendersonville. The Laurel is widely distributed throughout Western North Carolina and available via direct-mail subscription. Learn more.


  • Kudzu Brands has awarded Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, a Candler-based nonprofit, the $10K Brand Giveaway Prize for 2024. This prize includes brand story development, logo design, and marketing collateral creation. Appalachian Wildlife Refuge received the highest number of votes in a live voting race, with over 11,000 votes cast this year. The nonprofit is the only facility in western NC licensed to work with various species, including the American Black Bear cubs. In response to winning, the nonprofit expressed immense gratitude to the community and Kudzu Brands, emphasizing the impact this branding package will have on their growth and ability to save more wildlife. Kudzu Brands also acknowledged the other finalists, including Katherine Alexander Fine Jewelry, Silver Moon Custom Art & Photography, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Western Carolina Medical Society, and WNC GEMS. Learn more.
  • IFB Solutions has named Joshua Denton as the 2024 Employee of the Year. Denton, a visually impaired sewing machine operator at the Asheville facility, joined IFB in 2022 and has excelled in his role, producing military gear and assisting in other tasks. He previously managed a Walmart but resigned due to vision loss. Denton expressed gratitude for the support and opportunities at IFB Solutions. Other awardees include Easter McCall (Winston-Salem Employee of the Year), Lisandra Chaparro (Puerto Rico Employee of the Year), Ken Mullins (Career Achiever of the Year), Linda Bozarth (Delmar Wall Outstanding Service Award), Linda Heller (Kathryn Garner Volunteer of the Year), and Laura Burrows (Commodore Funderburk Visionary Award). IFB Solutions, founded in 1936, is the largest U.S. employer of people who are blind, focusing on creating employment opportunities and providing job training and community outreach. Learn more.


  • Starting June 28, The Montford Park Players will present “Henry IV, Part 1 & 2” as part of their “Muse of Fire: Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses” season, celebrating nine Shakespearean plays. Performances are on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings at 7:30. Directed by George Brown, Callista Brown, and Elizabeth DeVault, the cast includes Erik Vik as Henry IV, Nick Toner as Prince Hal, and Lucien Hinton as Hotspur. The plays explore themes of power, loyalty, and redemption, and all shows are free to the public. Learn more.