This Week’s Business Buzz: 3/1/19

March 1, 2019

It must be nearly spring! So many businesses are blossoming with achievement. Craft Centric was voted Best Beer Bar in the state, FASTSIGNS was recognized as a top performing center, Duke Energy was named to Fortune magazine’s 2019 list of World’s Most Admired Companies, and The Market Place is celebrating its 40th anniversary!


  • A-B Tech’s student culinary team members received their trophy for winning the American Culinary Federation’s 2019 Southeast Regional competition. The regional winners will compete at the ACF National Convention in Orlando this August. Members are Jamie Canton, Susan Wiley, Cheyane Verran, Abigail Coniguliaro, and Brandon Kastelic.
  • Craft Centric is excited to announce that once again they have been voted Best Beer Bar in the state of North Carolina. Every year, a website published by Brewers Association, creates the Great American Beer Bar list to highlight outstanding beer bars all over the country. Only one bar per state is recognized.
  • Congratulations to The Market Place Restaurant, Asheville’s original farm-to-table establishment, on its 40th anniversary. Keep an eye out for our newsletters and follow them on social media for the latest updates on anniversary events. 
  • FASTSIGNS® of Asheville, a local sign and visual graphics provider, was recognized as a top performing center at the 2019 FASTSIGNS Convention held in Orlando, Florida. Owned by Ric Davenport, FASTSIGNS of Asheville received the Pinnacle Club Award, which is given to centers ranked 26 to 125 in sales volume between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018. 
  • AdventHealth invites the community to join in congratulating its newest winner of the DAISY Award Kelli Stike, RN, BSN. Kelli is part of the Surgery Nurse Navigator team.  Her clinical skill and dedication to patient safety was noticed by her co-workers and the patients that she cares for every day.
  • Duke Energy has been named to Fortune magazine’s 2019 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies for the second year in a row. Duke Energy was ranked 5th among gas and electric utilities. In determining the industry rankings, approximately 3,750 executives, directors and industry analysts are independently surveyed and companies are rated on nine attributes: innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products/services and global competitiveness. 


  • HomeTrust Bank announced that Paula C. Labian assumed the position of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of both the Company and the Bank effective January 30, 2019.  Ms. Labian will lead the HTB team responsible for employee relations, benefits and compensation, talent management, recruiting and training. She will serve as a member of the Strategic Operating Committee (SOC) and report directly to Dana Stonestreet, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. 


  • Commissioners are inviting members of the community to help shape the future of Buncombe County’s early childhood education opportunities. The newly established Early Childhood Education and Development Fund will be a major driver in ensuring every child in Buncombe County has an equal opportunity to thrive during their first 2,000 days. As such, the Early Childhood Education and Development Committee, featuring three County Commissioners, is being formed to guide how the fund will be utilized, and Buncombe County is actively seeking applications for those interested in joining the Early Childhood Committee. To apply, you can download an application at
    Applications are due by March 15, 2019.
  • RATP Dev USA is hosting two job fairs on Saturday 3/16 & Saturday 3/23 10am-2pm for the ART Asheville Transit System. There will be on the spot interviews and offer for qualified and quality CDL bus operators. Paid training will offer $11.25 an hour and $17.02 an hour after training.  
  • GE Aviation is hiring over a hundred candidates in 2019. Don’t miss this chance to be part of GE Aviation’s success story in Asheville, helping make ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components and shrouds for commercial jet engines. Entry-level positions start at $16.17/hour, with benefits. If interested, please review the GE listing and look for Asheville jobs here.
  • Friday Staffing is looking for a Machine Maintenance Apprentice, Collections Rep, Finishing Technician, Manufacturing Operator, Culinary Support Consultant, Executive Assistant, Order Picker, and Warehouse Laborer. For more information, call Angela Paskus at 828-684-8700 or go to


  • Pardee UNC Health Care delivered four hands-only CPR training kits to West Henderson High School on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The kits included mannequins and replacement supplies for student CPR training. Since the 2014-2015 school year, North Carolina has mandated that all students must complete first aid and CPR training before graduating from high school. The training is provided through their health education program. In partnership with the American Heart Association, Pardee supports this initiative in Henderson County Public Schools by providing training equipment necessary for students to gain this lifesaving skill.
  • This past week, Champion Credit Union hosted Mad City Money™, a hands-on financial simulation designed to give youth a taste of the real world, at Tuscola High School. During this all-day event, sophomore students were provided a persona, complete with an occupation, salary, spouse and child, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments, and instructed to determine their monthly expenditures based on these assigned attributes. This experiential learning process provided the students with valuable insight into balancing their financial needs, budgeting, and differentiating between wants and needs, that they can take with them into adulthood.