Kirby Hasseman



If you google Kirby Hasseman, the first words that stand out on his website are, “I am a Fan of Happy!” Well, I think we ALL are, Kirby – but the question is HOW. Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing, and good thing he’s joined us on the BrandBuilders Podcast to discuss what he calls, “Marketing Joy,” and his new book, “The Give First Economy” so we can find out more about Happy too. Welcome Kirby! We’re glad you’re here to ‘spread the joy’!


Ground 40



Breaking old bad habits, or worse, is never easy to do. When your habit is drugs and you are addicted… most times, you’ll need some help. Ground 40 is an organization that helps men transition back into their communities after being in the grip of addiction and even the crime, prison, or family separation that comes with it — by providing practical and spiritual guidance through discipleship. Wesley Keziah knows those problems firsthand, as a former 10-year heroin addict who is now Ground 40’s Executive Director. He’s joined by Matthew Davis, Ground 40’s Administration Director.


Charity Parrish – The Elopement Co



If you love weddings — and cry every time — but the thought of planning something for 200 people with a dress and a church and flowers and a sit-down dinner, while working full-time and everything else ALSO makes you want to cry — this next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast is someone you want to meet.

Charity Parrish specializes in “micro-weddings” — tiny but beautiful weddings in gorgeous venues for only a handful of your closest family and friends. And they are really catching on! Welcome Charity Parrish from The Elopement Co.


Jamie Decker – Experience Anatomy



We can absolutely guarantee we have never had a guest like our next one on the BrandBuilders Podcast. She specializes in body parts. Yes, you heard that right. Jamie Decker offers specimen kits of organs and other body parts that are portable, dry, odorless, and non-toxic — and real. In fact, if you ever went to the Body Worlds exhibit at Discovery Place the two times it was in Charlotte, you know what we’re talking about: plastinated human tissues and organs. It’s fascinating and a little creepy — but also a valuable tool for teaching biological sciences.


Carolina Farm Trust



As our metropolitan areas grow, they gobble up the farmland that used to feed them. Our next guests are trying to keep the food you eat local, by supporting the agriculture that can keep farmers growing when cities expand. Zack Wyatt and Tia Wackerhagen work with Carolina Farm Trust, whose goal is to help small, local farmers stay in the business of bringing food to your table.


Dr. Sharon Jones – Dottie Rose Foundation



We all know teaching technology is essential to the future but there is still a tendency for men to way outnumber women in tech careers. How do we change that? Our next guest on the BrandBuilders podcast not only helps implement technology curriculum in our local schools, but created a foundation for girls to learn tech careers. Welcome Dr. Sharon Jones of The Dot Consulting and the Dottie Rose Foundation.


Michael DeVaul – YMCA



As a new year rolls around, and we think about getting in shape and all of our new year’s resolutions, our next guest is working on ways to make personal betterment a global process. Michael DeVaul is a Senior Vice President at YMCA of Greater Charlotte, but also its Chief Social Responsibility Officer.


Cat Francis – American Inno



Innovation is the name of the game in business, and while hard data is good, you have to let everyone know what’s happening. American Inno is a digital media company with offices all over the country, including here in Charlotte. Their work tells the stories of local innovators with newsletters, stories, and other media, to connect new ideas to the people who make them happen. Cat Francis is here to give us a better idea of the work American Inno is doing right here in Charlotte.


Brian Mister & Brittany Yoho – Around the Crown



You may have thought someone had gone mad when you first heard this idea — shut down I-277 for a few hours for a 10k road race. No, not during rush hour, but still – it had never been done! Well, it worked — and the first Around the Crown 10k exceeded expectations. More than 4,500 runners thought it was a great idea to run a loop around uptown with the best view of the skyline you can experience, at a speed you can enjoy because you’re not in a car. It was so successful, in fact, that they’re doing it again this May — also on a Sunday morning when the weather should be perfect. We’ve got the mastermind behind this landmark race with us on BrandBuilders Podcast today, Brian Mister, and a brand new member of the ATC team who will help take the race to the next level, Brittany Yoho.


Joannah Long and Mary Jayne Wilson – Amelie’s



There are few places in Charlotte that evoke the “Yum” response quite like Amelie’s. We have a lot of great restaurants here, but Amelie’s is a French bakery with so much more — the treats, the ambiance, the open-all-night availability in a part of Charlotte that has exploded in growth in the last 15 years. It is an amazing example of building a brand around PASTRIES.

But there are changes coming — after the brand expanded to 5 other popular locations including uptown and Park Road Shopping Center, word came the original and much-beloved location near NoDa would move. Joannah Long and Mary Jayne Wilson join us today on the BrandBuilders podcast to share with us the secrets of a successful brand — and how they keep the momentum going while growing and changing, too.