Category Archives: BrandBuilders

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.


Reed Gaskin – Red Dynamics



For the longest time in North Carolina, as our state tried to get past its textile-and-tobacco economies… we would think of Research Triangle Park as being the hub for technology, and Charlotte as being all about banks. Well, let’s set those ideas on their ear for a moment with “FinTech.” Who’s going to dominate that? And where will you find the people for it? Look out Raleigh, here comes Charlotte.

Forbes, last year, called Charlotte “the best Metro for growth in STEM jobs.” Complia called us “#1 Tech Town.” Red Ventures, Microsoft, AvidX, and even home-grown Lowe’s have tech homes here. So if you want to be That City for young tech workers in banking and manufacturing, you have to know how to find them — and we have an expert here on BrandBuiders Podcast to tell you. Reed Gaskin joins us on the BrandBuilders podcast. He’s President of Red Dynamics, a headhunting firm for technology and manufacturing with a sharp Carolina focus.


Jamey Boiter – BOLTGROUP



We talk a lot of business here on the BrandBuilders Podcast, and we love it –but our next guest is like “going out to play” for us. Jamey Boiter from BOLTGROUP is a specialist in building brands. Yes, like the name of our podcast. BOLT works with clients from Ryobi tools to Chick-fil-A to Coca Cola to Speedo swimsuits. And we are excited to talk shop with him about brand building. Welcome Jamey.


Tim Baier & Jarod Latch – Spiracle Media



Media and marketing companies all want to make a “buzz” in the marketplace, but one local company takes it to the next level by actually putting the “buzz” in their name. Spiracle Media is literally named after the part of the bee that makes it buzz. (Also fitting for a town whose NBA team is the Hornets and whose town logo that shows a hornet’s nest!)

The aptly-named company kicked off to a fast start by representing and working with local athletes, which is not surprising since the founders were all previously sports reporters on local TV.  But they also do more. Welcome Jarod Latch and Tim Baier.


Michael Smoak – Middle James Brewing



Charlotte has a LOT of breweries… but Pineville…. has. just. ONE. Now, while other places in Pineville serve craft beer, only one had to go to the town council to get some rules changed to brew beer in town limits. Spoiler alert: they got it. And we can thank three people for that… 3 people who wanted to open a brewery, and realized Pineville didn’t have one… and therefore needed one. (Makes sense!) And what better place to open that brewery than a place with a view — especially if that view is an old par-3 course and driving range.

“Genius!” you say. Yes, and Michael Smoak from Middle James Brewing is here on the BrandBuilders Podcast to tell us how it’s going.


Ward Blanchard – Blanchard Institute



No matter who we are or where we come from, we all know at least one person with a substance abuse problem. It can be alcohol, street drugs, or even prescription drugs — which we’re seeing with the spike in opioid addictions and deaths in the last 5 years. The latest numbers from drugabuse-dot-gov say, more than 23 million Americans suffered addiction to alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs in 2017.

But we also know from those same government statistics, that only 2-1/2 million people are getting proper treatment for those addictions. That’s quite a gap. Our guest on the BrandBuilders Podcast today is one person in Charlotte doing something about that: Ward Blanchard founded the Blanchard Institute Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Charlotte and is here to give us some insight into his center’s important work.