The Latest On What's Happening With The Chamber & Our Members

Basement Contractor Donates Time & Money to Habitat for Humanity

In an effort to redefine the home improvement industry, Tar Heel Basement Systems has secured an annual sponsorship with Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. This partnership revolves around their annual Hammerbird 5K fundraiser in Winston-Salem.

The REDEFINE SPONSORSHIP, established 2017, offers support to the mission of Habitat for Humanity- to help more local working families achieve strength, stability, self-reliance, and shelter! In addition to a continuous commitment of a monetary donation to the annual Hammerbird 5K fundraiser, Tar Heel Basement Systems will donate a patented CleanSpace crawl space encapsulation system each year to a new or renovated Habitat home (a value of $5000).

Tar Heel Basement Systems’ Owner Pete Burgess claims, “the only way to truly redefine our industry is by offering home owners permanent solutions with superior products. The construction industry has a checkered reputation and we are on a mission to change that. We believe that every person deserves to live in a healthy home, and we are confident our systems will offer that peace of mind to families.”

The Tar Heel Team had close to 30 runners at the Hammerbird 5K this past weekend to offer additional support to Forsyth Habitat for Humanity!

Summer Design Challenge: Center for Design Innovation hosts the 2017 Community Design Studio

College students, rising high school seniors, and lifelong learners are invited to collaborate with the Winston-Salem community and local professionals in designing for social change through a course at UNC School of the Arts and Winston-Salem State University.

Over a 5-week course, a multidisciplinary group of students will use the design process to engage with local organizations in proposing a solution to a systemic challenge. The final prototype could take many forms, from a simple structure to an informational piece, and will be created to benefit the organization and community after the course ends.

Students will be matched with a Winston-Salem business or non-profit for a mini-internship one day per week. Partnering businesses and non-profits will provide valuable professional experience to students, and will act as contributing partners throughout the design process and during design reviews.

WHO: Anyone interested in design and its impact to local communities. College students and lifelong learners are encouraged to apply.

WHAT: Identify and solve community issues using the design process. Course credit offered through UNCSA. Built-in interactive networking with professionals. More info

WHERE: Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This revitalized industrial city is a hotbed of history, innovation, and arts. Classes will be held at the Center for Design Innovation (CDI).

WHEN: May 30–June 30, 2017 (Five weeks)
Studio courses: Monday–Thursday from 9am–12pm
Internships: Fridays 9am–5pm

HOW: All but current UNCSA students will complete this short form to apply for summer admission by April 28th and then enroll here by May 19th.

Cook Medical announced as presenting sponsor for Beat the Heat 5K events

Cook Medical has been announced as the Presenting Sponsor for the Beat the Heat 5K events, which will be held on July 22, 2017, starting at 6:30 p.m.

“We are honored that Cook Medical has selected to sponsor Beat the Heat, a move that will allow us to further our support of our community,” said Beat the Heat Race Director Er Ralston. “Cook Medical’s sponsorship will help us continue—and even increase—our efforts to promote health and fitness in the Winston-Salem and Triad area.”

Entering its twenty-first year, the Beat the Heat 5K has long been a popular Winston-Salem summertime tradition, known for its races that are tailored to participants with a wide variety of skill levels, as well as for its lively after-race, family-friendly festivities. The mission of the Beat the Heat 5K is to promote fitness and health, and improve the quality of life for individuals and families. The events—which typically attract almost a thousand participants, spectators and volunteers each year—include a one-mile Fun Run/Walk at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Beat the Heat 5K race at 7:00 p.m. and the NC USATF 5K Championship at 8:00 p.m. The Beat the Heat 5K has been recognized for the third year by Endurance Magazine as the “Best 5K in the Triad” and was featured in Running Journal magazine as the number-one “Under the Radar” race in the South.

“We work with physicians to provide treatment options for diseases to patients around the world,” said Scott Sewell, vice president of technology acquisition and development at Cook Medical. “The best way to fight disease, however, is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. For that reason, we’re very proud to be associated with such a popular and rewarding sporting event here in Winston-Salem. The Beat the Heat 5K complements Cook Medical’s long-standing commitment to fitness and well being within our company and our community. Walking and running can lower the risk of illnesses, such as coronary disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as enhance overall physical and mental health.”

Proceeds from Beat the Heat benefit three local non-profits: The race host Twin City Track Club, as well as Charity Partner organizations Brenner FIT (Families in Training) and Girls on the Run (GOTR) Triad.

Entry fees are required for participation in the events. For spectators, the events are free and open to the public.  More information on the race, including race registration, can be found at or



About Cook Medical

Since 1963 Cook Medical has worked closely with clinicians to develop technologies that eliminate the need for open surgery. Today we are combining medical devices, biologic materials and cellular therapies to help the world’s healthcare systems deliver better outcomes more efficiently. We have always remained family owned so that we have the freedom to focus on what we care about: patients, our employees and our communities. Find out more at, and for the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Allegacy Receives Diamond Award For Outstanding Marketing, Business Development Achievements

Allegacy Federal Credit Union in Winston-Salem was recently honored with a Diamond Award, which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry.

The award was presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Marketing & Business Development Council, a national network comprised of over 1,200 credit union marketing and business development professionals. Awards are given in each of 30 categories ranging from advertising to community events and beyond.

Allegacy won the ‘Complete Campaign’ category for its brand awareness entry, entitled “Allegacy. Be Your Best You.” The campaign included print, billboard, television, radio, online and mobile advertising.

“We are humbled by the award that recognizes our efforts to help our members and the community be their best,” said Chrystal Parnell, vice president, marketing.  “Our mission is to help Allegacy owners make smart financial choices, by doing the right thing for our members’ wellbeing. We encourage them to think creatively about the path to their overall wellbeing and do our best to help them reach their goals.”

For more information on the Diamond Awards or to view the entire list of winners, go to


About Allegacy

For nearly 50 years, Allegacy has helped its members, employees and the communities it serves be their best by helping people make smart financial choices. By doing right, Allegacy has become one of the largest credit unions in North Carolina serving over 129,000 members worldwide with over $1.2 billion in assets and an additional billion dollars in assets under management in its financial planning group. With roots in Winston Salem, Allegacy has 12 convenient locations and eight high school student-run credit unions in the Triad. Allegacy offers personal and business financial services to help a broad membership base including the employees, retirees and families of over 680 companies throughout the country be their best. To learn more, visit

Winston-Salem Urban League’s Spring 2017 Career Expo – April 26

The Winston-Salem Urban League will be hosting the Spring 2017 Career Expo on Wednesday, April 26, from 10am – 3pm at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem. This free event will connect the community of Winston-Salem with top-tier employers from throughout the Triad. Attendees should bring resumes, wear interview-appropriate attire, and come ready to network!

Click here for more information (including a list of participating organizations) and to register.

Click here to view the event flyer.

Economic Development Update: Duke Eye Center, Whitaker Park, West End Station Apartments

Construction starts on new Duke Eye Center location in Triad

The new center will allow for an expansion of glaucoma-related treatment services and pediatric ophthalmology. To read the Triad Business Journal’s full article, click here.

With Reynolds donation complete, here’s what’s next for Whitaker Park

Reynolds has donated 120 acres of prime commercial and industrial land, along with buildings totaling about 1.7 million square feet. To read the Triad Business Journal’s full article, click here.

Work begins on $35 million, new downtown luxury apartments in Triad

The 229-unit building will include enclosed parking, saltwater swimming pool, fitness center, and elevated and landscaped courtyards. To read the Triad Business Journal’s full article, click here.

Exciting news is being announced about new development projects happening in or around Winston-Salem/Forsyth County. Click here to access an archive of local news articles, for your reference, regarding these announced projects.

Winston-Salem Symphony Celebrates End of 70th Anniversary Season With 70 for 70 Opportunity for Chamber Members

The Winston-Salem Symphony, Robert Moody, Music Director, and the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce are joining together to celebrate the completion of the Symphony’s 70th Anniversary Season with a unique opportunity for Chamber Members. In honor of this landmark anniversary, Chamber Members can help celebrate the Symphony’s 70th anniversary with a gift of just $70 by May 16. In return, they will receive special benefits related to the season finale Kicked-Back Classics and Classics Concert series featuring rising superstar pianist/composer Conrad Tao and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite on May 20, 21, and 23.

“The Symphony would not be celebrating 70 momentous years without the support of local businesses and organizations like the Winston-Salem Chamber members,” said Kent Wallace-Meggs, Chief Philanthropy Officer for the Symphony. “We wanted to recognize this support by offering this exclusive opportunity. Participating in 70 for 70 will help enable the Symphony to continue to provide our community with artistic excellence in performance and educational offerings, from nearly 40 inspiring performances annually, including two free community concerts per season, to a wide array of enriching quality education and outreach activities engaging local students both in and outside of school, as well as performance opportunities with our Youth Orchestras Program.”

Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce members who support the 70th Anniversary Season with a contribution of $70 or more before May 16 will receive the following benefits: A special “buy one, get one free” ticket offer for the last Kicked-Back Classics and Classics concerts of the season on May 20, 21, or 23, featuring rising superstar pianist/composer Conrad Tao and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite; recognition during the pre-concert scroll on May 20, 21, and 23, projected as concert attendees arrive; recognition in a special insert for those concerts, given to all concert attendees; and recognition through the Symphony’s website and social media platforms.

Those giving $140 would receive, in addition to the benefits above: an exclusive invitation to a special “Chamber Night” reception on Saturday, May 20 on the 10th floor of the Stevens Center prior to that evening’s concert and recognition in a “thank you” sponsor ad, printed in the Winston-Salem Journal in early June 2017.

To take advantage of the 70 for 70 exclusive offers, interested Chamber Members should contact Latonya Wright, Development Manager, at (336) 725-1035, extension 225.


About the Winston-Salem Symphony

The Winston-Salem Symphony, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, began its 70th anniversary performance season in September 2016. Under the baton of Music Director Robert Moody, the season includes a special 70th anniversary opening gala concert, Classics and Kicked-Back Classics series, Plugged-In Pops series, Discovery Concerts for Kids, annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A. and BB&T, as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit

WSSU Language Courses Available to General Public – start May 16

The Winston-Salem State University Office of Continuing Education, led by Director Leslie Winbush, is offering two language courses this summer starting May 16. Available to the general public, these courses are not-for-credit courses (i.e. do not count towards graduation) and are more aimed towards professionals in the Winston-Salem area than the traditional student. 

Click here to view the “Conversational Chinese for Business Professionals” flyer
Click here to view the “Conversational Spanish for Healthcare Professionals” flyer

For more information, contact James Pao at or 336-750-3410.


Open For Business: the Newly Created North Carolina Business Court at Wake Forest

North Carolina is one of a handful of states with a dedicated Business Court, where businesses, both small and large, can resolve their disputes before one of five specialized judges with extensive experience and backgrounds in handling business-related cases.

The newest location for the North Carolina Business Court—the fourth Business Court in the state—is right here in Winston-Salem. In January of 2017, with the combined and significant support of the North Carolina legislature and Wake Forest University, a fourth Business Court was opened at the School of Law at Wake Forest University and is presided over by the Honorable Michael L. Robinson, of Forsyth County.

Locating the Business Court at the law school provides Wake Forest law students with a unique and invaluable opportunity to observe a working court in action because a majority of the hearings are open to the public.

Businesses in Winston-Salem and the Triad should be aware of the Business Court’s accessibility to provide swift and consistent answers to complex business issues.

What Types of Cases Can Be Designated to the Business Court?

Cases that involve a material issue in at least one of the following categories may be designated to the Business Court, according to the Business Court Modernization Act enacted in 2014:

* Governance and other matters of corporate, partnership, or limited liability company law;
* Disputes involving the ownership, use, licensing, lease, installation, or performance of intellectual property, including computer software, software applications, information technology and systems, data and data security, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology products, and bioscience technologies;
* Trademark law;
* Trade secrets;
* Securities law;
* Antitrust law; or
* Contract disputes where at least one party on each side is a business, the amount in dispute is a minimum of $1 million, and all parties consent to the Business Court.

Additionally, if a case involves any of the following issues, it is required to be heard before the Business Court:

* Constitutional challenges to a tax statute or contested tax lawsuits; and
* Lawsuits in one of the permissive categories described above (except the $1 million contract dispute category) in which the amount in dispute is a minimum of $5 million.


Advantages of the Business Court

The benefits of turning to the Business Court for business-related issues include:

One Dedicated and Knowledgeable Judge

North Carolina’s Constitution requires its superior court judges to rotate and hold court in different counties, which can result in the parties having to frequently reeducate a new judge at different stages of the litigation. However, once a case is designated to the Business Court, it is assigned to one, dedicated judge who handles all pre-trial motions and matters in the case through trial. Having a dedicated judge throughout the pendency of a case is designed to be more efficient and less costly for the litigants. 

Even more importantly, because all Business Court judges have extensive backgrounds in business law and litigation, they are well suited to preside over matters involving complex business and commercial issues.

Speed and Efficiency

In many complex business cases, decisions need to be rendered quickly. Having a dedicated judge, who is assisted by one or more law clerks, available to decide urgent issues is a significant benefit to the parties.

Use of Technology

The legislature invested significant resources to ensure that the Wake Forest Business Court has the latest, cutting-edge technology, including flat screen monitors to display documents and state-of-the-art video conferencing, to improve the efficiency of the court. 

Unlike other state court matters, parties can file documents in a Business Court case through an electronic filing system, which further improves the speed and efficiency of the case and also means that the filings for all Business Court cases are readily available to the public through the Business Court’s website.


Not only do the Business Court judges come to the bench with a wealth of knowledge in business law and business litigation, but they further develop expertise with the substantive law and the case management issues that arise in complex business cases because they are focused on and handle only those types of cases. This contributes to the efficiency and consistency of the Business Court.

Consistency and Predictability

Because of the types of cases that are required or permitted to be designated to the Business Court, and the specialization of the Business Court judges, the Business Court is often presented with matters that have not yet been addressed by any North Carolina court. Business Court judges are required by statute to explain their rulings on most of the important decisions in a case through a written opinion. Most of the Business Court opinions include a detailed and thorough examination of the facts and legal issues. Collectively, the Business Court’s written opinions form an instructive body of law on important complex business and commercial issues. Businesses can look to this publicly available body of law to inform and guide their decisions before a dispute arises and when they are considering litigation.

At some point, most businesses will be involved in a dispute.  Knowing that the Business Court exists and how it operates should: (1) allow business owners and their counsel to better assess the risks associated with potential litigation and (2) provide some comfort that, if a lawsuit became necessary, it will be resolved in an efficient and consistent manner.


About the Authors:

Colleen Byers is a director and attorney at the Winston-Salem law firm of Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A. She concentrates her practice in the areas of business litigation, professional malpractice defense, guardianship and employment law. Colleen regularly represents financial institutions, corporations, limited liability companies and individuals in contract, employment, corporate, shareholder, Uniform Commercial Code, and fiduciary disputes. Colleen recently served on the advisory board of the Chamber of Commerce’s Winston < 40 and is the Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. Colleen can be reached at

Kevin Williams is the president and a practicing attorney at the Winston-Salem law firm of Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A. Williams practices civil litigation, in which he represents corporate entities and individuals in a variety of disputes, including contract issues, business torts, shareholder and corporate governance, financial services, intellectual property, insurance, and professional negligence. Williams has practiced law at Bell, Davis & Pitt since 1998, having joined the firm after receiving his J.D. degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law. Williams serves as a State Bar Councilor to the North Carolina State Bar and is an active member of the legal profession and the community. Kevin can be contacted at

Bethesda Center All Stars – Thursday, April 27, 2017

Don’t miss the opportunity to watch many of Winston-Salem’s business and community leaders take to the dance floor for a great cause during Bethesda Center All Stars, formerly known as Take the Lead Winston-Salem. The event is Thursday, April 27 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Since the fundraiser began in 2010, it has raised more than $800,000 for Bethesda Center for the Homeless, the largest emergency shelter in Forsyth County. Dance pairs raise money by recruiting friends, family members and others in the community to purchase $10 votes — three votes equal the cost to the Bethesda Center to provide a person with one day and night’s shelter and supplies. Fans can cast their votes at in the weeks leading up to the event as well as during the dance performances.

This year’s event will be a special occasion as Bethesda Center for the Homeless marks its 30th anniversary. In addition to new dance participants, the top vote-getters from past years will reprise their roles on the dance floor. Event tickets begin at $15 and sponsored tables also are available. For event details, please visit or contact Katie Hall, Community Relations Manager, at

Participants in the Bethesda All Stars Dancing Fundraiser include:

* Mayor Allen Joines & Suzy McCalley
* Leslie Baker & Tim Jewett
* Melanie & Todd Barbee
* Dr. Nate French & Camille French
* Derwin Montgomery
* Yuleidy Baldor
* Erin Blakely & Jacob Felder
* Rev. Andy Lambert & Rev. Steve Keaton
* Yong Yi
* Mayor Deborah Stoltz-Thompson