Business briefs

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Local featured in campaign ads

Established jeans maker FDJ French Dressing, a Montreal, Canada, company, launched an online contest in search of “real women models” that will be featured in its fall 2011 campaign. 

Nominees from across North America entered the contest on the company’s website by submitting a 200-word essay describing how they have helped shape people’s lives.

During a 10-week contest period, the nominees were narrowed down to 20 semi-finalists by public vote. Finally, on Dec. 15, 2010, a panel of judges, including T.J. Reid, Canada’s Jeanne Beker and Hello Magazine fashion editor Wendy Natale, elected the five grand prize winners. Their choices were based on the nominee’s overall contribution in helping others and overall impact at inspiring and motivating others.

Clarice Holden from Sunset Beach has been chosen as one of those five grand prize winners. 

FDJ French Dressing is committed to “giving back” and celebrates Holden’s contributions to her local community and communities around the world. 

A role model for her professional and community efforts, Holden received the 2009 Women of Achievement Award for Entrepreneur and Philanthropist and has received countless other accolades. She is involved in numerous volunteer projects including the American Cancer Society, Communities in Schools, Habitat for Humanity, Providence Home, animal shelters and more. 

Her employees and friends describe her as “such a giving person and it truly comes from the heart.”

Holden will be flown to Montreal, Canada, for a fashion shoot by one of Canada’s most respected photographers. She will receive professional styling tips, be fitted in an FDJ wardrobe and will be pampered by hair and make-up professionals. 

FDJ French Dressing will also donate $1,000 to the charity of her choice.

Achterberg gets HERS rating

Jeff Achterberg of Verity Property Maintenance & Inspections has earned his HERS Rater for Energy Star, version 3.

The building requirements for achieving Energy Star are changing. This will require building contractors, their sub-contractors and homebuyers to understand the new version of Energy Star. HERS Raters are the source of guidance and verification for successfully meeting the program requirements to earn the Energy Star label.

To earn the Energy Star, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes are at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20-30 percent more efficient than standard homes. 

A home energy rating is a recognized tool in the mortgage industry. Since a rating quantifies the energy performance of a home, the HERS Index provides an easily understandable means to compare the relative energy efficiency of different homes.

“As a certified HERS Rater and licensed real estate inspector, partnering with Energy Star provides greater value to my customers,” said Achterberg. “Now, Verity has additional resources available that help our customers save on energy dollars in their homes and commercial buildings.”

Wine competition winners named

Silver Coast Winery announced the winners in its eighth annual Amateur Wine Competition at an awards ceremony on March 19. The competition was a success with more wines entered than in any previous year.

There were 57 entries from eight states of several varieties, including traditional merlot, several fruit varieties and even a port. 

Overall, there were so many excellent wines that winemaker Dana Keeler decided judges should taste the gold medal winners again to find the best wine in the competition, which garnered a “Double Gold.”

The official judges were Keeler and wine guru and connoisseur Al Gomes.

Double Gold Medal         (Best of the Best)

Daniel H. Bender of Norlina, Cabernet Franc Ice Wine.

Gold Medal winners

Tom Lapsley of Calabash, 2010 Chardonnay.

Lynn Valatkas of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Barolo.

Lynn Valatkas of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Montepulciano.

Daniel H. Bender of Norlina, Cabernet Franc Ice Wine.

Charles Fritz/Todd Alexander of Hickory, White Muscadine.

Bruce Pearce of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chocolate Raspberry Port.

Silver Medal winners

Gary Morgan of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Viognier.

Carlo Caramiello of Leland, Thompson/Malvasia.

Jim Wilgus of Mableton, Ga., Pousse Blanc.

Stanley Barwikowski of Ocean Isle Beach, 2008 Shiraz.

Ted Marshall of Woodsboro, Md., Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon.

Michael Walters of Valparaiso, Ind., 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Michael Walters of Valparaiso, Ind., Barolo.

Bruce Pearce of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Montepulciano.

Jim Wilgus of Mableton, Ga., Tempranillo.

Jim Wilgus of Mableton, Ga., Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel.

Gary Morgan of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Amarone.

Howard Cowan of Southport, Muscadine with Mango.

Greg O’Sullivan of Murrels Inlet, S.C., Pineapple, coconut, guava, mango, tangerine, banana and lime.

Bronze Medal winners

Francis Buckley of Ash, 2009 Riesling.

Marty Drennan of Hendersonville, Tenn., 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Gerry O’Sullivan of Murrels Inlet, S.C., Old World Amarone.

Gerry O’Sullivan of Murrels Inlet, S.C., Valpolicella.

Michael Walters of  Valparaiso, Ind., Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah.

Carlo Caramiello of Leland and Roger Persichilli of Bolivia, Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese.

Levert C. Miller of Hampstead, Norton.

Teresa Roggina of Wilmington, Concord.

Francis Buckley of Ash, Cranberry/Lime.

Francis Buckley of Ash, 2009 Blueberry.

Honorable mentions

Marty Drennan of Hendersonville, Tenn., Viognier.

Roger Persichilli of  Bolivia, Muscat/Viognier.

Marty Drennan of Hendersonville, Tenn., 2007 Sangiovese.

Marty Drennan of Hendersonville, Tenn., 2008 Petite Syrah.

Bruce Pearce of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Beaujolais.

Bruce Pearce of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Carlos.

Gerry O’Sullivan of Murrels Inlet, S.C., Blueberry.

Patrick Henry of Raleigh, Peach/White Grape.

Bruce Pearce of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jalapeno/Celery.

Business Expo coming April 28

The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce will host a Business Expo on April 28 at Sea Trail Resort & Convention Center. This event will begin at 4 p.m. with the Business After Hours following the expo from 5:30-7 p.m.

The overall theme for both the Business Expo and After Hours will be Cinco de Mayo.

The After Hours event will feature a “create your own taco” bar. There will also be lots of door prizes.

For exhibitors, the cost per booth is $50. There will be a random drawing with the winner receiving a full-page ad in the upcoming Brunswick Bulletin Newsletter, valued at $100.

Sponsorships are also available for $250 and include: advertising, internal and external PR, recognition in the new 2011 Business Expo Highlights brochure and signage. Deadline for sponsorship is April 8. Exhibitors are encouraged to provide giveaways, games and contests during the expo.

For additional information, contact Reggie Smith at 754-6644 or e-mail rsmith@brunswickcountychamber.org.

Cape Fear RC&D gets honor

Cape Fear Resource Conservation and Development Inc. (Cape Fear RC&D) has been reauthorized as a member of the national RC&D Circle of Diamonds, a program designation of the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils.

As a standing member of the Circle of Diamonds, Cape Fear RC&D has demonstrated its positive impact on the quality of life within the local area and its accountability to the community it serves through its organizational structure, the processes it uses, and the outcomes it attains. The organization serves Bladen, Columbus, Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties.

In Brunswick County, Cape Fear RC&D recently helped complete the purchase of a key parcel on Eagles Island, across the Cape Fear River from Wilmington, bringing the island’s future as an ecotourism destination to closer fruition. The organization has also been a partner in the development of Brunswick Nature Park and is providing technical assistance to the Alganomics “Algae to Biofuels” business endeavor.

In earning reauthorization of its Circle of Diamonds membership, Cape Fear RC&D promises to continue to maintain the specific benchmarks set forth in the program guidelines. This mark of excellence shows its honesty, integrity, and strong commitment to the RC&D mission.

RC&D councils lead community action to sustain and improve the quality of natural resources and community life in their council areas. Councils are composed of volunteers who serve their communities in all 50 states and U.S. territories. The Circle of Diamonds program acknowledges that RC&D councils are fulfilling the requirements laid out for the RC&D program and adhering to good management guidelines.

For more information on Cape Fear RC&D or to see if a community project may fit within the organization’s mission, contact Nancy Buckingham at 763-6611.

Sunset Slush expands again

Sunset Slush Classic Italian Ice of Ocean Isle Beach continues to expand. 

Stephen and Catherine Saia opened Sunset Slush in January 2003 as a pushcart vending operation and opened their first shop in April 2008. A second shop operated by the Saias will open April 2011 at the pier at Ocean Isle Beach. 

The signature arbor/pergola is up and a new deck has been built. Colorful picnic tables will be next and the shop will open with two walk-up windows on Friday, April 1.

Chris and Ronda Holloway, Sunset Slush of Oak Island, have been vending on the beach on Oak Island since 2009 and will open a shop at 8316 East Oak Island Drive on April 1. Their operation is serving eastern Brunswick County, from Oak Island to Leland. 

Residents of Oak Island, the Hollaways have extensive global business experience; however, they now enjoy running small businesses and supporting their local communities. Chris also owns and operates CertaPro Painters, a residential and commercial painting company. Ronda is the executive director of Ward Black Law, one of the largest women-owned law firms in the state of North Carolina. Sunset Slush has allowed their family to work as a team to provide a product to other families from all over the world. 

They can be reached at oakisland@sunsetslush.com or by calling 398-7793.

The Saias are excited about the growth of Sunset Slush. There are 13 independent operators serving the Carolinas and six shops: Ocean Isle Beach, the pier at Ocean Isle Beach, Raleigh, Holden Beach, Mount Airy and Oak Island.

For more information, call 575-2020. The redesigned website is available at www.sunsetslush.com.