Community briefs

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Pope joins firm

O. Richard Wright Jr., Dennis T. Worley, Paul J. Ekster and Kenneth R. Moss, principals of Wright, Worley, Moss & Ekster, PLLC, have announced that Harold G. “Butch” Pope has joined the firm and announce the formation of Wright,  Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC for the general practice of law with offices in Tabor City, Whiteville and Shallotte in North Carolina and in Little River and Myrtle Beach in Horry County, S.C. 

The firm continues the tradition established in 1932 and is engaged in the general practice of law with the principals and associates having combined legal experience of more than 130 years.

Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC, combines this legal tradition and the combined legal experience with the newest in technology as it strives to meet the needs of its clients throughout southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina as a full-service, local legal team.

The newest member of the firm, Pope maintains the WWPEM office in Whiteville at 706 North Madison St. Pope, who had practiced for 28 years, is a native of Columbus County and licensed to practice in North Carolina. He received his A.A. from Wingate University in 1967, his B.S. degree from Appalachian State University in 1970 and his J.D. from North Carolina Central University in 1983. He serves as the elected councilor for the N.C. State Bar representing Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen counties and serves on the ethics, publications and authorized practice committees of the N.C. State Bar. He is also a former president of the Columbus County Bar Association and of the Greater Whiteville Chamber of Commerce.

New Redbox location opens

Redbox, the fully automated DVD rental kiosk, has announced the opening of a new location at Walgreens, 1138 Sabbath Home Road SW in Holden Beach.

Redbox delivers access to new release DVDs and catalog titles. With a rent and return anywhere policy, consumers can now rent DVDs from the Redbox kiosk at Walgreens in Holden Beach and return them to any of the more than 27,000 Redbox locations nationwide, including select McDonald’s restaurants, grocery, drug and convenience stores, select Walmart locations and Walgreens locations in select markets.

“By placing our Redbox kiosks where consumers already shop, we make it easy for movie lovers and people on the go to rent the latest new release DVDs at an affordable price,” said Gary Cohen, Redbox senior vice president marketing and customer experience.

Redbox rents movies for a nightly cost, and new users are invited to register their email address at www.redbox.com to receive a free one-night rental code. 

Also, as part of the Free Movie Monday promotion, every Redbox consumer can register their mobile phone at www.redbox.com to receive a free one-night rental the first Monday of every month. 

Each Redbox kiosk holds 630 DVDs, representing up to 200 of the newest movie releases. Consumers use a touchscreen to select their favorite movies, swipe a valid credit or debit card and go. 

Redbox users have the flexibility to keep the DVD for as long as they like and are charged a fee for each night they keep the movie. Consumers also can visit www.redbox.com to reserve their DVD online or via the iPhone or Android app from Redbox and pick it up immediately at the redbox location of their choice.

Realtor open houses June 4-5

As the spring home buying season kicks off, Realtors will host thousands of open houses in neighborhoods across the country during Realtor Nationwide Open House Weekend June 4-5. Realtors in all areas of Brunswick County invite buyers to visit some of the many open homes throughout the area where they can learn more about home ownership.

“This nationwide event not only brings buyers and sellers together, but also it provides an opportunity for Realtors to connect with consumers in their community about the housing issues that matter most to them,” said Pete Frandano, 2011 president of the Brunswick County Association of Realtors. “Realtors will be on hand to answer any questions consumers have about the buying process and local market conditions.”

There will be plenty of open houses in Brunswick County that can be identified by signs and balloons.

As the country continues to feel the effects of the recession and unemployment rates, many have pointed to housing as a key economic driver. It is estimated that for every two homes sold, one private-sector job is created. In addition, each home sale at the median price pumps a total of $60,000 into the economy over time. 

“Home ownership creates jobs and is essential to a full economic recovery,” Frandano said. “Every time a home is built, bought or sold, jobs are created and money is pumped into the economy. Housing isn’t the only thing that will restore our nation’s economy, but it will play a critical role.”

According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, nearly eight out of 10 Americans believe buying a home is a good financial decision. Two-thirds of survey respondents said they believe now is still a good time to buy. A majority of renters also said that owning a home is a priority in their future.

“Home ownership is an investment in your future,” Frandano continued, “and Realtors know what matters most to buyers and sellers in this area. They have the expertise and experience to help sellers protect their investment and help buyers build theirs.”

To find open houses in your area, visit http://www.bcarnc.rapmls.com and click on Open Houses.

Brunswick Chamber events

Business After Hours is from 5:30-7 p.m. May 26 at Freedom Boat Club, 606 West St. in Southport.

It is a time to meet and do business with fellow chamber members. Enjoy food and refreshments, win door prizes and have a networking opportunity. Please be courteous to the host and RSVP by noon May 24. Register online or call the Chamber office to RSVP at 754-6644.

Don’t forget your nametag and business cards.

Business Blue Plate is from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. June 15 at the Holiday Inn Express, 3670 Express Drive in Shallotte.

Lunch includes sandwiches and soft drinks for $10. The speaker is Mark Holland with ECM Insurance on Workers’ Compensation. To sign up, contact Kelly Mathews by June 10 at 754-6644.

Coldwell Banker gets ranking

Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty’s Shallotte office was ranked in the Top 10 in Adjusted Gross Commission Income among offices with one to 10 associates for the first quarter of 2011 for the Southern Region of the Coldwell Banker franchise system.

The office ranked No. 4 out of approximately 240 similarly sized offices in the Southern region.

“Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty exemplifies the standards of excellence for which Coldwell Banker affiliate offices are known,” said Frank Lindsay, southern regional director for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “It is an honor to recognize Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty with this exceptional award.”

Comfort Suites names manager

Comfort Suites Magnolia Greens has named Lee Ann Bolton as its new general manager. Bolton was the previous sales manager for the property. Operated by Crown Hotel and Travel Management, the 105-room hotel is at 1020 Grandfloria Drive in Leland.

As general manager, Bolton will direct all areas of the hotel’s operations, including guest services, sales and marketing efforts and hotel administration.

“We are extremely proud of Lee Ann and know that she will do an outstanding job of leading our team members,” said Barry Eagle, director of operations and finance of Crown Hotel and Travel Management.

Comfort Suites Magnolia Greens also announced the addition of Jennifer Reaves as sales manager, who will lead all sales efforts for the property.

Comfort Suites Magnolia Greens was recently announced as a recipient of a prestigious 2011 Gold Hospitality Award from world lodging leader Choice Hotels International Inc.

As a top-performing property among the company’s more than 4,900 U.S. franchised hotels, the Comfort Suites Magnolia Greens hotel is among the top 10 percent of properties within the Comfort Suites brand. As one of the company’s top franchised hotels operating under the Comfort Suites flag, the hotel has demonstrated an exceptional focus on guest satisfaction and dedication to providing superior service. Additional award criteria are evaluated by Choice Hotels through its official property ranking reports.

For more information or to make your reservation for the Comfort Suites Magnolia Greens hotel today, call the Choice Hotels toll-free reservation line at 1-800-4CHOICE or visit choicehotels.com.

Table Top Expo

Several local businesses recently participated in the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s Table Top Expo and Business After Hours at Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center. 

The event was sponsored by Steffie’s Photography LLC, Holden Beach; K&M Speed Networking Events of Cape Fear Business Consulting Services; Via Mexico; and SummerHome Furniture.

Lisa Glass of Glass Electric won a chair from SummerHome Furniture and Donna Bryd won a grill package donated by Lowe’s, Planet Fun and Starz Grille and Our State Magazine. Chris Frey finally was able to open the piñata.

Expo exhibitors this year included: A Frame or Two, Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning, Al Fulford Heating & Air, All About Coastal Comfort, Always & Forever Weddings, Arbor Landing, ATMC Wireless, Bald Head Island Limited, BCC Small Business Center, Beach Butler LLC, Brunswick County Chamber, Carillon Assisted Living, Coastal Printing, Digital Glitch Solutions, East Carolina Bank, Family First Chiropractic, First Citizens Bank, Floor Coverings International, Glass Electrical, Gold’s Gym, Hatteras, Embroidery & Apparel, K&M Speed Networking, Mary Kay, More Space Place, National Property Inspections, Next Generation, Our State Magazine, Patriot Business Coaching, Planet Fun, Southern Signs & Banners, Strand Termite & Pest Control, Sunset Properties, Tastefully Simple, TBS Blinds, The Printing Shoppe, The Sunset Inn, Tom Shoaf & Associates/Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty and Unifirst Corp. 

For more information about the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, call 754-6644 or visit its website at www.brunswickcountychamber.org.

BCH gets national award

Brunswick Community Hospital and its parent company Novant Health recently received the 2011 President’s Award from Professional Research Consultants (PRC), a nationally known healthcare research company. Each year, PRC presents its top award to one organization or individual that has made an extraordinary contribution to healthcare.  

Brunswick Community Hospital and Novant were honored for their success in permeating a customer-focused culture of service excellence throughout the organization, according to hospital spokesperson Amy Meyers.   

Joe Inguanzo, Ph.D., president and CEO of PRC explained why Brunswick Community Hospital and Novant Health were honored with his organization’s top award.

“I’ve worked with hundreds of hospitals across the country and never have I witnessed such ease and success in incorporating new facilities into a culture like I observed with Novant Health,” Inguanzo said.    

“Even for high performing organizations such as Novant, when bringing new facilities into the fold, there are always indicators of misalignment and stress. The first indicator I often witness is that the patient, employee and physician loyalty scores at the new facilities are not as high as the rest of the system. This wasn’t the case with Novant. The success spreading their ‘Remarkable Experience’ culture is evident in how quickly the newest facilities provided excellent experiences.”  

“When hospitals and health systems consider joining another organization, they often consider culture as a top priority,” Paul Wiles, president and CEO of Novant Health, said.

“The organizations that have joined Novant over the past few years share our deep commitment to providing service excellence to our patients, physicians and employees.  We relentlessly focus on this commitment and an award such as this one helps validate our staff’s effort to provide remarkable service to all who entrust their care to us.”

Novant also received the PRC President’s Award in 2006, making the health system the only organization to be honored twice with this prestigious award.  

In his comments about Novant at the 2006 conference, Inguanzo stated, “There is a commitment to excellence in every arena that begins with the health system president, continues with all leaders and ultimately benefits the patient, physician and employee.  Novant Health received this award for extraordinary efforts focused on putting the care back in healthcare.”

Since 2006, Novant has doubled the size of its physician medical group to 359 clinics and welcomed five new hospitals to the health system, including Brunswick Community Hospital; Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury; Prince William Health System in Manassas, Va.; Franklin Regional Medical Center in Louisburg, and Upstate Carolina Medical Center in Gaffney, S.C.   

The health system also opened a new hospital, Kernersville Medical Center in Kernersville in March 2011.

Novant Health leaders received the President’s Award at PRC’s Excellence in Healthcare Conference held in Nebraska May 1-4. The event included hospital leaders from across the United States who gathered to participate in the 2011 educational conference on healthcare service excellence.

Parker gets accreditation

Anne W. Parker, owner of Parker Property Management, has become an accredited member of the National Home Watch Association. She is also a Blue Star Mother of Capt. Leigh Swafford, Lt. William Swafford and Capt. Andrew Lechanski of the U.S. Army.

Parker Property Management serves Brunswick County and Horry County, S.C. Call (843) 390-1444.

 The National Home Watch Association was formed in order to establish and maintain the highest industry standards for Home Watch businesses throughout the United States and Canada. Visit www.nationalhomewatchassociation.org.    

Art Association plans sale

Waterway Art Association will present its 20th annual art exhibit and sale from 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. May 20-30 at the historic Sunnyside Schoolhouse, built in 1915, on Village Road (N.C. 179) in Shallotte.

Artist J.R. Baldini, executive director and founder of the International Plein Air Painters (IPAP), will judge the varying media. There will be cash awards, merchandise and ribbons. Visitors will have a chance at winning an original mini-painting from a daily drawing.

For more information, visit waterwayart@groups.facebook.com or www.waterwayart.org.

Museum seeks artists for exhibit

The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is calling on artists to exhibit and sell art work this summer as part of the Department of Cultural Resources 2nd Saturdays: History, Heritage, Arts and Fun events scheduled for June 11, July 9 and Aug. 13. 

Second Saturdays combine the unique power of the arts and heritage with lots of hands-on fun each second Saturday during the peak summertime vacation months of June, July and August. For families on a budget looking for exciting things to do, for a “staycation” or a local weekend getaway, this program of the Department of Cultural Resources (www.ncculture.com) has an answer with 2nd Saturdays. 

The museum will offer three unique programs: “Plantations of the Cape Fear,” “Blockade Runners and River Pilots” and “Shoals and Shipwrecks.” They seek jewelers, quilters, painters, potters, weavers, musicians, photographers, ironworkers, crafters and other creative artists. There is no fee to participate, but you must supply your own table and tent, and any other materials you may need

Farmers of high-value products such as honey, soy candles, cheeses, or herbs are also encouraged to participate. The “locavore” movement is growing, and the sale of organic foods would be a welcome addition to any of the 2nd Saturday festivals. 

“Each 2nd Saturday program will reflect the unique character of place, and we have a lot of fun planned for you at all of our historic sites and museums,” said Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle. “Following the pilot project at Duke Homestead, 87 percent of the artist vendors said they would like to return.”

The museum is currently closed for renovations, but continues to offer public programs. For more information visit, www.ncmaritimemuseums.com or call 457-0003.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is at 204 E. Moore St. The three North Carolina Maritime Museums are the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort and the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport. All three museums are part of the Division of State History Museums in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on cultural resources is available at www.ncculture.com.

Homebuyer workshops set

Brunswick Housing Opportunities Inc. Homebuyer workshops planned Brunswick Housing Opportunities Inc., will conduct homebuyer workshops May 21 and 28 at its office at 3972 Old Ocean Hwy. (U.S. 17 E) Suite H in Bolivia. Build your financial plan for homeownership.

Workshops will be from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Cost is $25 and includes all materials. Scholarships are available to the workshops. Call 253-0699.

Hospice plans conference

Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter will present “Live Well–Every Moment Matters,” a free community conference for caregivers, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 1 at Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium.

The conference keynote presenter will be author and professional speaker Mike Collins, president of The Perfect Workday Company, who will present “Take Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Others.” 

Jason L. Benton, certified funeral service practitioner from Brunswick Funeral Service, will discuss “The Power of Presence.” Alyce Kemp-Dewitt, award-winning motivational speaker, will talk about “Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards.” Strategies to meet caregiving needs and to enhance the quality of life will be offered, as well as caregiving tips and resources.

This free program is appropriate for the general public, family and professional caregivers, students, volunteers, faith community members, and anyone who is currently caring for someone or anticipates doing so. A complimentary lunch and educational materials will be provided. A certificate of attendance will be available.

For information and registration, visit the events page at hospiceandlifecarecenter.org or call 796-7943 or (800) 733-2476. 

Production planned at OWA

Techmoja Dance and Theatre Company will present the musical ‘The House that Gordy Built’ at 8 p.m. May 27 at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the Campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

The musical is directed and choreograph by Kevin Lee-y Green.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for student and seniors. Call 755-7416 or (800) 754-1050, ext. 7416.