223: Ken Bernardo – Charlotte Bourbon Society



When your love of bourbon goes beyond just needing a good, stiff drink — to wanting a smooth taste and a history lesson — Charlotte Bourbon Society is the place to go. Ken Bernardo, a banker by trade, and his wife Tracey love a good bourbon — but they go beyond just taste-testing bottled drinks into a full-fledged discovery of flavors and where to find them.

The Charlotte Bourbon Society started 4 years ago as a way to raise money for a cause near and dear to Ken, and has grown to more than 2,300 members. He’s here with us on the BrandBuilders Podcast to share his story, and details about how you can join him.


222: Matt Stavis – Powerhome Solar



We all want to be at least a little bit greener. And you’ve probably seen solar panels popping up on homes and businesses in your neighborhood. Is it right for you? And how does solar even work with Charlotte’s tree-lined streets?

Our next guest is here to help. Matt Stavis is director of utility, commercial, and industrial solutions for Powerhome Solar – and he knows a thing or two about residential solar. And when he’s not busy with solar solutions, he’s probably watching his kids play soccer – we have a lot to talk about!


221: Bo South – Myers & Chapman



You know that when the Realtors Association wants YOU to build their new office, that says something. I mean, these are the folks who sell buildings for a living! Well, the company that built the new Charlotte Regional Realtors building in Midtown Charlotte has been in business for nearly *70 years*.  That’s a long time, and you’ll see their work around the region in Atrium Medical offices, Cannon School, Quail Corners shopping center, the new Charlotte Humane Society Animal Resource Center, and many, many other places.

It takes a special commitment to be part of building a community for 70 years, and Bo South can share what sustains the local construction past, present, and future. He’s the VP of Sales & Marketing at Myers and Chapman, and was once named one of Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.


220: Shawn McIntosh – Charlotte FC



Charlotte’s got Major League Soccer! We got the announcement a couple of years ago, and while the pandemic has delayed the launch of the “Charlotte Football Club” games, the fans have not taken any time off getting ready for the inaugural season. That’s why the club’s “CFO” — which in this case, means “Chief Fan Officer” — is already hard at work.

Shawn McIntosh brings over a decade of pro sports experience to Charlotte, after sales and service jobs with the Norfolk Admirals hockey team, the Houston Dynamo soccer team, and pro basketball teams in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Now he’s building OUR team — the Queen City’s first MLS team — from fan 1 on up.


219: Megan Erber & Annie Schmidt – NAMI Sleep in 4 Good



We’d all like to sleep in once in a while — it’s a great way to “rest up” when your mind or body is exhausted, and it’s something we just don’t do enough (ask any parent of young kids!) Adequate sleep is also important for mental health! How many of us get grouchy or short-tempered when we don’t get enough sleep? That’s most of us. And sleep really goes beyond just daily temperament when it comes to your mental health, too.

So if you throw a fundraiser to benefit the National Association on Mental Illness, or NAMI, but some at the table would rather sleep-in than run…. An idea is born. That’s where the “Sleep in 4 Good” woke up and joined the party. Megan Erber from “Promo Cares” and Annie Schmidt from NAMI of Wake County are here on the BrandBuilders Podcast to talk about mental health and how we can sleep in –on purpose– to benefit NAMI.


218: Tim Rhodes – Novant Health Charlotte Marathon



It’s a race local runners look forward to all year: the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon. In fact, this year, they’ve waited TWO years to run it in person! The pandemic canceled last year’s marathon, just one year after so many people signed up that they exceeded the number of finishers’ medals available. That was a nice problem to have. On Saturday, November 13th, they’re back and better than ever.

Tim Rhodes is the Race Director who has shepherded the last several years’ marathons to the finish line. He’s the owner of RunCharlotte, which organizes the 26.2 mile race, and all of the other races that go with it. And he joins us now on the BrandBuilders Podcast to give us a peek at how they’re bringing the marathon back to Charlotte in style.


217: Brie Chrisman – BC Creative



Starting your own small business can seem like an overwhelming task. First, you know your product — it’s that thing you know you can make money doing or selling. But what about the rest? The details? Those little things that seem to take away so much time from the business *you know you could grow exponentially* if you could just. get. the details. done?

That’s the whole idea behind BC Creative — a service to take the devil out of the details by organizing the tedious time-suckers in your business day. If necessity is the mother of invention, this business was the mother’s helper Brie Chrisman needed in the pandemic. Brie is the founder and owner of BC Creative, and she shares lessons about her first year in business on the BrandBuilders Podcast with us today.


216: Matt Frazier – No Meat Athlete



In the land of fried chicken and juicy pork barbeque, it’s not every day you hear someone extolling the virtues of a meatless diet. I mean, we grew up with the food pyramid that had protein as the top tier, usually as a lean cut of meat like chicken or beef. Our next guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast, though, says you can re-think that top triangle on your food pyramid, and it could be a healthier choice for you — even if you’re an athlete.

Matt Frazier is the author of No Meat Athlete, and writes the basics of being an athlete on a vegan diet. In fact, Matt says your performance will actually improve. He’s perfecting his diet every day, as an athlete and as a dad.


215: Travis Manigan – Gradify



If you have students in middle school, it’s not too early to start looking at college and career options. I know — you’re probably thinking your adorable youngsters just finished preschool (in your mind) — but they are actually closer to the day they graduate from high school than they are to that day they started kindergarten. Yikes! How do you start making the choices about schools, majors, or possible careers?

Leave it to a former teacher to figure out a way to sort it all out. Gradify is a website and program that helps your middle and high school students find a career path they’d like to follow and points them to the tools to get them there. Its founder, Travis Manigan, is with us today on the BrandBuilders Podcast to teach us how to use Gradify to help your kids with their life choices.


214: Autism Strong & Choate Construction – Build Strong



About 1 in 54 children in our country were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder last year, with boys 4 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed. But there is still so much we are learning about Autism — and foremost, is that it can take many shapes and characteristics. In other words, it is a spectrum, not any one thing.

Rudy Thoms’ has spent his career in medical device sales, but the thing he’s passionate about is helping families who are making their way along with a child who is on the autism spectrum. His son Landon was diagnosed in 2009, when he was just a toddler. Rudy is the founder of Autism Strong here in Charlotte, and is joining us along with Stephanie Neuman and Choate Constructions’s Richard Conway to talk about their partnership and upcoming Build Strong event.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AutismStrong

Facebook Buildstrong Event: https://fb.me/e/1xOMJ9azd