Business briefs

-A A +A

ATMC upgrades wireless services
ATMC Wireless has upgraded its Bald Head Island wireless transmission site to 4G with HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access) technology, completing its tower upgrade project and making the ATMC Wireless network now 100 percent 2G/3G/4G compatible in Brunswick County.
“The greatest benefit of this technology is that AT&T users will have not only excellent voice capabilities, but also vastly increased wireless data speeds,” said Roger Cox, executive vice president, ATMC Wireless Operations. “This will allow users to utilize more of the Internet from their wireless devices.”
Other benefits of this technology include better voice quality and clarity; faster Internet surfing; the ability to download files and access emails faster; quicker access and viewing of high quality video clips; and the ability to multi-task while on a call. These benefits will be experienced by users of 3G and 4G iPhones, Tablet computers, Blackberrys, Mobile Hotspots, and other 3G and 4G phones and devices.
ATMC Wireless is an authorized retailer of wireless services from AT&T and is part of the nationwide AT&T wireless network. ATMC Wireless coverage blankets Brunswick County with 52 wireless tower sites. The upgrade to 4G with HSPA+ technology provides wireless data speeds up to four times faster than 3G on wireless phones and data devices which are 3G and 4G capable.
ATMC Wireless is a subsidiary of Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation. It was selected as the Best Wireless provider in the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Best of Brunswick Awards, and was voted to be the area’s best wireless provider in a 2011 television poll.

Intracoastal Realty has new Oak Island office
Intracoastal Realty Corporation, the largest independent and locally owned real estate brokerage firm in southeastern North Carolina, has expanded its property management division onto Oak Island in Brunswick County.
The new office offers long-term and vacation rentals and operates out of Intracoastal Realty’s existing sales office at 128 Country Club Drive. Allen Phillips will manage the office.
According to JoAnne Fox, chief operating officer for Intracoastal Realty, the rental market on Oak Island is strong and growing stronger.
“We opened the Oak Island rental office to accommodate the growing demand for rental properties, both in long-term and vacation rentals,” Fox said. “In New Hanover County, our vacation rental business is up 20 percent over 2011, and we anticipate a similar level of interest in Brunswick County. The demand for long-term rentals in coastal communities is skyrocketing.”
For its vacation rental inventory, Intracoastal Realty’s Oak Island office will specialize in managing high-end properties, with most on the oceanfront or Intracoastal Waterway.
At 12.6 miles long and one-mile wide, Oak Island is Brunswick County’s largest and most populated area. It features two piers, a marina, two public boat launch facilities, 52 public beach access points and a 169-foot tall lighthouse with a beacon that can be seen for 19 miles.
For more information, visit www.intracoastalrealty.com or www.intracoastalrentals.com.

Viera receives training
The Institute for Organization Management (IOM), the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has announced that Shannon Viera, president of the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, has recently completed her second year at the Institute for Organization Management, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
“Institute participants are recognized across the country as leaders in their communities,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. chamber’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”
Since its commencement in 1921, the institute program has been educating tens of thousands of association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members and become strong business advocates. The institute’s curriculum consists of four weeklong sessions at five different university locations throughout the country.
Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively.
Graduates of the institute receive the IOM recognition, signifying completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management. In addition, participants can earn credit hours toward the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) or Certified Association Executive (CAE) certifications. Nearly 1,000 individuals attend Institute annually.
The Institute for Organization Management is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is the premier nonprofit professional development program for nonprofit professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

CoastalCare now open
On July 1, the merging of Onslow Carteret Behavioral Healthcare Services and Southeastern Center for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services was final, and CoastalCare opened its doors.
CoastalCare will oversee services for mental health and substance use disorders, and intellectual and other developmental disabilities for citizens in Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties.
According to Foster Norman, Southeastern Center area director and CEO for CoastalCare, the merger is bittersweet.
“It means the end of two organizations that have served their communities for more than 40 years. However, this is the beginning of a new enterprise that has great potential to improve the public mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance use system.”
The merger is a result of a change in state law (North Carolina Statute 122-C) that increases the minimum population requirements for area authorities. This merger is also a part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services expansion of the Medicaid 1915 (b) (c) Waiver program to all 100 counties. The selection of CoastalCare to become a Medicaid Waiver site was announced in November 2011, following an extensive application process, site review, and staff and consumer interviews.
Norman says the merger is the first step toward managing both state-funded and Medicaid mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance use services.
“The two organizations will live on and continue to serve our communities through the new organization, CoastalCare. We look forward to a successful partnership and future,” he said.
Throughout the first two weeks of June, area directors for both agencies wrap up the last order of business, appearing before the boards of commissioners for all five counties. This was to fulfill the requirement of a vote of approval by each board of commissioners before the merger took place on July 1.
Before making the motion to approve the merger, New Hanover County Commissioner and Southeastern Center area board member Rick Catlin commended Norman for the work both agencies have completed so far.
“To have two separate entities that have been operating for a long time come together, cooperate and put together a merger in this amount of time is truly amazing,” he said.
CoastalCare will authorize and manage Medicaid dollars for services in mental health and substance use disorders, and intellectual and other developmental disabilities beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
Currently, a statewide vendor authorizes Medicaid-funded services for consumers of mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Becoming a Medicaid 1915 (b) (c) Waiver site will allow these authorizations to happen locally. This model has shown success in increasing access to services, improving quality of care, and has increased savings for both state and Medicaid dollars.
As a Medicaid 1915 (b) (c) Waiver site, annual funding will increase substantially. Operating as a Medicaid Waiver site for half the year, next year’s estimated budget will go from about $40 million to just under $102 million. This will increase by an estimated additional $60 million the following year.
For access to care and crisis services, CoastalCare can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (866) 875-1757. Customer services can be reached from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at (855) 250-1539.
For more information on CoastalCare or the Medicaid 1915 (b) (c) Waiver, contact Rebbecca Basden at (910) 219-8028 or email rebbecca_basden@ocbhs.org or Kate Murphy at (910) 332-6888 or email kate.murphy@secmh.org.

Architects open Bolivia office
Shremshock Architects Inc., a Columbus, Ohio-based architecture and engineering firm, has announced the opening of a satellite office at 2991 Ripley Drive SE in Bolivia.
Managed by recently registered architect Shayne Hawn of Boiling Spring Lakes, the Shremshock office will serve multiple market types, including residential, financial, restaurant, retail, corporate and industrial.
Hawn received his degree in architecture in 2002 from Kent State University and joined the Shremshock organization as project manager in 2005, working on many different projects around the country. He moved to North Carolina in 2007 to work in its drafting office while he studied for his architectural registration exams. Since moving to Boiling Spring Lakes, he has worked on several local projects, including a dental office, a speculative office building in Southport, a First Citizens Bank in Charleston, S.C., as well as several residences.
Hawn is currently serving his third term on the planning board for Boiling Spring Lakes, is a member of the local chapters of Business Networking International and the American Institute of Architects, and is certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Shremshock Architects Inc., was founded by Gerald S. Shremshock, AIA, NCARB, IIDA, RAIC in 1976 in Columbus, Ohio, and employs more than 100 people. The organization provides architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering design services to clients both large and small throughout the world. A general practice firm, the organization has specialty studios for several markets, including healthcare, retail, banking, restaurant, criminal justice and building envelope.
Shremshock is a part-time North Carolina resident, where he and his wife Mary Lou have a residence in Bolivia. Three of his five sons help manage the firm in the Columbus, Ohio, location.

ATMC begins phone directory recycling
ATMC’s new 2012 telephone directories are being delivered throughout the month of July to ATMC customers across the county. To encourage everyone to recycle old telephone directories, ATMC is having its annual directory recycling drive in conjunction with Data Publishing, BB&T and Brunswick County Solid Waste & Recycling.
From now until Aug. 10, anyone wishing to dispose of obsolete directories (any directories, not just those from ATMC) may do so by dropping them off at any BB&T branch in Brunswick County or at ATMC offices at 640 Whiteville Road NW in Shallotte or at The Village at Sunset Beach.
In addition, they may be dropped off at any ATMC Wireless location, including the Southport store at Tidewater Plaza (the Super Walmart Shopping Center), the Shallotte store at 4924 Main Street (Shallotte Plaza) or the Leland location at Westgate Shopping Center near Magnolia Greens. ATMC encourages everyone to recycle to help protect the environment.