This Week’s Business Buzz: 4/26/19

April 26, 2019

Lots of exciting employment news this week. YWCA of Asheville announced Libby Kyles as its next CEO. Western Carolina University has hired its new Chancellor, Kelli Brown. And as of today, UNC Asheville’s Chancellor Nancy Cable has been formally installed.


  • National Wiper Alliance, a converter and private label manufacturer of nonwoven wipes, was named Top Global Reach Exporter by the 2018 Governor’s Export Awards on January 15th.


  • The passionate force behind Franny’s Distribution Inc. has announced their initiative in becoming the first vertically integrated hemp and CBD company in America to go public.
  • More than 170 students are expected to receive degrees during Mars Hill University’s spring commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Among them will be seven graduate students and the second cohort of nurses to earn the university’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Moore Auditorium.


  • Buncombe County is partnering with Land of Sky to assess broadband access and infrastructure. The initial step of this undertaking is surveying where such efforts will yield the highest results. If you would like to see improved internet access and more reliable connections, please consider taking and sharing a brief survey that will lay the groundwork for the Buncombe Broadband Project. You can take the survey online here.


  • After a three-month search process, the board of directors of the YWCA of Asheville is pleased to announce that they have hired Libby Kyles as their next Chief Executive Officer. YWCA’s outgoing CEO, Beth Maczka, announced in January that she would step down after seven years in the role. Ms. Kyles will begin her tenure on June 17th.
  • Eric M. Wanshop has joined HomeTrust Bank as a Senior Vice President and Director of Loan Review at the bank’s Asheville office at 320 Ridgefield Court. He is responsible for providing management and the Board of Directors with objective and timely assessment of the bank’s commercial loan portfolio credit quality and credit risk management process.
  • Chancellor Cable was formally installed as UNC Asheville’s Eighth Chancellor in a special ceremony in Kimmel Arena on Friday, April 26, at 3 p.m., joined by local legislators, UNC System leaders, higher education colleagues, friends and the campus community. Author, educator and interfaith leader Dr. Eboo Patel gave the invocation, with Dr. John J. DeGioia, 48th President of Georgetown University, giving the installation address, and Dr. John Kuykendall, president emeritus of Davidson College offering the benediction.
  • The University of North Carolina Board of Governors elected Kelli R. Brown, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College & State University, as the new chancellor of Western Carolina University during a special session of the board. Brown will assume her new duties on July 1, 2019.


  • Immedion LLC, a premiere provider of cloud, data center, and managed IT services, today announced the launch of Managed SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), its newest managed security service.


  • Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is seeking six AmeriCorps members for a year-long service opportunity beginning in August. Positions open are Volunteer Services Coordinator, Construction Crew Leader + Family Services Development VISTA. Members will receive a living allowance and other benefits. More info here.
  • Preparations are well underway for ContinuuCon 2019, the fourth annual international Haken Continuum conference, taking place at UNC Asheville from May 30 through June 1. Anyone who plays, aspires to play, or wants to learn more about the Haken Continuum Fingerboard or the new ContinuuMini is invited to attend. Purchasing a ticket before May 1 entitles you to a substantial discount, with full conference tickets priced at $175 during the month of April and $250 during May. Separate tickets are also available to anyone who can attend for only one day. For tickets, videos, and more information, please visit
  • If you join the YWCA Fitness + Aquatics Center this month, they will waive the enrollment fee. The Fitness + Aquatic Center offers an accepting community atmosphere, group fitness classes, indoor pool, onsite childcare while you workout + swim lessons for all ages.
  • Friday Staffing is looking for a Welder, Machine Operator, Production Technician, Assembly Tech, Inventory Control Clerk, HR Intern, Accounting Clerk, Forklift Operator, and more. For more information, email Michelle Fann at or go to


  • In honor of Tax Day on April 15th, Kona Ice hosted its annual “Chill Out Day,” and handed out free shaved ice to the community outside of the Black Mountain Visitor Center. You can view a few photos from the event here:
  • Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos have been a long time partner with Habitat for Humanity, but this year the company is taking on a special project to support a local family in need by providing them with a place to call home. Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos began fundraising for this project in September of last year by selling two-by-four studs to its employees. Employees who purchased the studs were given the opportunity to write a special message to be built into the home. The event proved to be a huge success as it raised $44,000