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

Street Closing Update for Festival of Books and Authors on September 9

Bookmarks wants to keep all Downtown neighbors informed of plans for the free annual Festival of Books and Authors to be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

We are thrilled to again celebrate our Festival in the area in and around the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts and Spruce Street – and expanding our outreach to our new home off Fourth/Holly Streets and to include Calvary Moravian Church as a venue.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 9 through 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, Spruce Street will be closed from the intersection at Second Street to near Fourth Street. Please note that the barricade will not block admittance to the residential / commercial parking lot across from 315 N. Spruce Street. Later in the night on Friday, Holly Street will also be closed from Spruce Street to the Calvary Moravian Church parking entrance and Poplar will be closed from Second Street to the parking lot at the Garner Building (near Fourth Street).

Free parking for Saturday’s attendees has been confirmed with First Presbyterian Church/Lanier Parking, the Century Plaza Building, and various city parking decks. We will also use the HAWS / Forsyth County Ventures parking lot across from Foundations for food trucks and other seating space. Click here for a map. (Note: it’s not drawn exactly to scale.) We have a note in our program to visit downtown Winston-Salem restaurants, businesses, and galleries while here — so we hope you have some additional visitors during the four day Festival. Off-duty police officers will be hired to stay on site during the street closings and throughout our Festival on Saturday.

Our free Saturday festival drew 15,000 participants in 2016 with 50% travelling from outside of Forsyth County with 16 states and 43 counties represented. By the end of the weekend, we reached 20,000 people through our reading and writing events and welcomed many new attendees. This is a day of shared literary experiences that engages community members of all ages through readings, storytelling, workshops, booksignings, and more. Venues will be inside of the Rhodes Center, Hanesbrands Theatre, Winston Square Park, Calvary Moravian, and in enclosed tents. We will also have a variety of exhibitors, food trucks, a bookstore, and our booksigning tent.

A full schedule of events is now available:

If you wish to be put on an e-mail list for more regular updates or have any questions, please contact me by phone: (336) 747-1471 or by e-mail:

Thank you for your support of North and South Carolina’s Largest Annual Book Festival!

Triad-Based Company Named Finalist for U.S. Small Business of the Year Award

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the finalists for its annual Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, presented by MetLife, which celebrates the achievements of small businesses and honors their contributions to America’s economic growth. The great state of North Carolina will be represented by Winston-Salem based company – Tar Heel Basement Systems. 

“Small businesses are a critical and vibrant segment of the U.S. economy. Despite the challenges they face, small business owners never stop innovating, taking risks, working hard, and dreaming big,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “These finalists and their small businesses strengthen their communities and local economies. The Chamber is proud to honor these outstanding companies, which together represent what’s possible in our free enterprise system. They are a reminder that there is nothing small about small business.”

This year’s finalists, selected from a record number of applicants, for the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Awards program include:

• 3 Daughters Brewing – St. Petersburg, FL
• Beau and Belle Littles – Loveland, CO
• Brandhoot – Rochester, MN
• Charter School Business Management – New York, NY
• Cope Company Salt – Lancaster, PA
• DHD Films – Dallas, TX
• Ecolink, Inc. – Tucker, GA
• GCC Technologies – Oakland, MD
• Golden Openings, Inc. – Urbandale, IA
• Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy – Norfolk, VA
• Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care – Sugarland, TX
• ProjectXYZ, Inc. – Huntsville, AL
• Sage Restoration – Overland Park, KS
Tar Heel Basement Systems – Winston-Salem, NC
• TerraCycle, Inc. – Trenton, NJ
• Valsatech Corporation – Ellicott, MD
• Xylo Technologies – Rochester, MN

Award winners will be announced at the Dream Big Awards Celebration on Tuesday, September 12 in Washington, D.C. as part of the 2017 Small Business Summit taking place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

About Tar Heel Basement Systems
Established in Boone, NC in 2003, Tar Heel Basement Systems has become one of North Carolina’s largest and most trusted home improvement contractors- specializing in basement waterproofing, crawl space repair, foundation repair and concrete lifting/leveling. Owner Pete Burgess has a vision to redefine the home improvement industry by offering remarkable experiences for his customers, fulfilling work for his employees and continuous contributions to the community. Tar Heel Basement Systems is a proud member of the Boone, Winston Salem, Greensboro & Eden Chambers of Commerce.

Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS Salute to Business Luncheon – Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® is a real estate trade association serving real estate professionals in Forsyth, Stokes, Davie, Yadkin and northern Davidson counties. As the “voice for the Real Estate Industry in the Winston-Salem Piedmont Area,” WSRAR is one of the local associations of the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR is the largest trade association in the world, which represents real estate professionals and affiliates in both residential and commercial real estate, and property managers, lenders, attorneys, appraisers and others involved in real estate and allied professions.

The mission of WSRAR is to be the leading resource for real estate professionals, to advocate for the public, and to be an integral part of the community. As WSRAR celebrates its 100th year of service in the Winston-Salem Piedmont area, the organization, its members, leadership, and staff takes pride in advocating for the protection of private property rights, and helping families realize the American dream of homeownership.

Front Row (left to right):

Robin Cooper, Government Affairs Director – Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS
Richard Brooks, Director of Sales and Marketing – Twin City Quarter
Lou Baldwin, 2017 President – Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS
Samuel Aubrey, CEO – Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS

Second Row (left to right):

Gayle Anderson, President & CEO – Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce
Terry Barber, Director of Catering and Event Planning – Twin City Quarter
Jill Atherton, Vice President, Economic & Community Development – Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce

Winston<40 Leadership Award Winners Announced

The Winston-Salem Chamber and their young professional program, Winston Under 40, have unveiled the twenty 2017 winners of the Winston Under 40 Leadership Award.

The Leadership Awards recognize outstanding young professionals that are actively influencing the growth, prosperity and quality of life in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. This year’s winners stem from a number of varied backgrounds, including higher education, legal, construction, health care and technology.

The judges pored over more than 150 nominations and 66 in-depth applications to come up with the final list of 20 winners in the 2017 class.

This year’s winners will be honored at an awards reception on October 5th at the Forsyth Country Club from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Winston-Salem Journal will profile the winners in a special section that will be published in its October 8th Sunday edition.

This year’s winners include:

Jonathan Allen, AV-IT Manager at Inmar

Aaron Berlin, Regional Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor with the NC Conference of District Attorneys

Loryn Buckner, Attorney at Womble Carlyle

Colleen Byers, Director at Bell Davis & Pitt, PA

Brianna Conner, Anchor and Reporter at Hearst Television

Stephen Edwards, Assistant Director of Development at Wake Forest University

Pete Fala, Partner & Architect at STITCH Design Shop

Theresa Forshey, PhD, Quality Engineer at Cook Medical

James P. Grenon, Member Financial Wellness Program Manager at Piedmont Advantage Credit Union

Christopher C. Haigler, Fiduciary Relationship Specialist at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

DeEtte Hill, Practice Administrator at Digestive Health Specialists, P.A.

Jill Martin-Byers, Booking Director at Test Pattern & the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership

Lisa McClinton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Controller at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Jenni Pleasant, Membership Director at Forsyth Country Club

Beth Ann Polivka, BIM Coordinator at Landmark Builders

Josh Rubio, General Manager at the DoubleTree by Hilton Winston-Salem University

Phillip Summers, MPH, Associate Director Program in Community Engagement Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Wake Forest School of Medicine

Coleman Team, Partner at Linville Team Partners and General Partner at Front Street Capital

Garrick Throckmorton, Vice President of Strategy at Allegacy Federal Credit Union

Dipen Vyas, Senior Scientist at Biorg Inc

Economic Development Update: New Residence Inn opens in the Triad

A new Residence Inn by Marriott opens in Winston-Salem

BPR Properties, the High Point-based hotel developer, is opening its new Residence Inn by Marriott in Winston-Salem, said Birju Patel, president of the company.

The 108-suite hotel, which is located at 3885 Oxford Station Way, was announced in 2014. It was originally reported that the project would cost $12 million. The hotel is located near Hanes Mall.

To read 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.

Congratulations to the Triad’s Most Admired CEOs Class of 2017

Last year, the Triad Business Journal introduced a new program: the Triad’s Most Admired CEOs awards. Last month, the 2017 class was announced — 18 individuals from across the region from a diverse array of industries and organizations, from health care to manufacturing to professional services to higher education to nonprofits.

These individuals were recognized on July 27 at an awards ceremony and reception at Greensboro Country Club and were featured in the July 28 edition of Triad Business Journal with their achievements and community leadership, along with some insights into what motivates them and makes them tick.

Congratulation to the Triad’s Most Admired CEOs of 2017!

* Gayle Anderson, president/CEO, Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce

* Carl Armato, president/CEO, Novant Health

* Michael Blackwell, president/CEO, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina

* Pete Burgess, owner, Tar Heel Basement Systems

* Julie Theall Earp, managing partner, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP

* Lauri Feinsod, CEO/co-owner, Graphik Dimensions Ltd./

* Clyde Fitzgerald, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina

* Stephen Fleming, CEO, The Well-Spring Group

* Michelle Gethers-Clark, president/CEO, United Way of Greater Greensboro

* Franklin Gilliam Jr., chancellor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

* Richard Gorham, retired May 31 as CEO, Goodwill Industries of Central North Carolina

* Brian Maness, president/CEO, Children’s Home Society of North Carolina

* Chad Oakley, CEO, Charles Aris Inc.

* Elwood Robinson, chancellor, Winston-Salem State University

* Kirk Sparks, president, Bright Plastics

* Tom Wayne, president/CFO, Bank of Oak Ridge

* Timothy Webster, president/CEO, The Presbyterian Homes Inc.

* Pam Whitaker, founder/president, Key Resources Inc.

Millennials & Seniors Team Up at Field Day in Boone, NC

As the great playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Tar Heel Basement Systems & Watauga County “Project on Aging” teamed up to bring multiple generations together at the first annual Senior Field Day. Six employees of THBS volunteered their time to set up and host a day full of activities & games for around 20 of Watauga County’s seniors at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center.

The Project on Aging “encourages independence and promotes wellness by providing supportive services to the County’s older adults.” In addition to offering services such as, in home aide services, home delivered meals, transportation services and a medical loan closet, the Project on Aging focuses on offering seniors with activities that get them up and active.

Tar Heel Basement Systems was excited to give back to the senior community as part of its Pay It Forward Initiative. The Senior Field Day event was held outside of the Watauga County Human Services Building at 132 Poplar Grove Connector, Suite A, Boone. THBS team members spent the day challenging the seniors at games like corn hole, horse shoes, ladder ball, croquet and bingo. One of the greatest parts about this day was seeing the interaction & conversation between individuals that are decades apart in age and have had such different life experiences. It was a great event that Tar Heel Basement Systems hopes to host for many years.


About Tar Heel Basement Systems
Tar Heel Basement Systems focuses on improving the lives of customers, employees and the community. As one of the most reputable home improvement contractors in North Carolina & Virginia, Tar Heel Basement Systems offers permanent solutions for basement, crawl space, foundation and concrete issues. In order to redefine the industry, the company and its employees make it a point to give back to the community every month through the “
Pay It Forward” Initiative.

M&F Bank Salute to Business Luncheon – Wednesday, June 28, 2017

M&F Bank, a state-chartered community bank, organized in 1907 under the authority of a charter issued by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina. M&F Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of M&F Bancorp, Inc., a one-bank holding company headquartered in Durham, NC, with assets of approximately $265 million as of March 31, 2017. It has served the Winston- Salem community for over 36 years. Visit our branch located at 770 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

M&F Bank offers a full range of banking services, including the following: deposit accounts, mortgage financing, business loans, credit cards, SBA financing, On-line banking, mobile banking, and wealth management. In addition, the Bank provides automated teller machine (“ATM”) access to its customers for cash withdrawals through nationwide ATM networks.

The Bank is also designated by the United States Department of the Treasury (the “Treasury”) as a Community Development Financial Institution (“CDFI”). A CDFI is a financial institution that provides credit and financial services to underserved markets and populations.

Front Row (left to right):

Cedric Russell, Board of Directors – M&F Bank
Gayle Anderson, President & CEO – Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce
Evelyn. P. Acree, Senior Vice President/Business Banker – M&F Bank
Travis C. Rouse, Senior Vice President/Chief Sales Officer – M&F Bank

Second Row (left to right):

Rodessa Mitchell, Vice President, Education & Workforce Development – Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce
Terry Barber, Director of Catering and Event Planning – Twin City Quarter

Third Row (left to right):

Dan Joyner, President – Image360
Richard Brooks, Director of Sales and Marketing – Twin City Quarter

Winston-Salem Named North Carolina’s Tree City USA of the Year

Winston-Salem has been named North Carolina’s Tree City USA of the Year for 2017 by the North Carolina Forest Service, in recognition of the city’s ongoing program to promote and protect its urban forest, and in particular for its efforts to educate homeowners and utilities about proper tree maintenance.

Tree City logo

Winston-Salem was selected from among the nine North Carolina municipalities that were eligible for the award by virtue of having received a Growth Award in 2016 from Tree City USA. Entries were judged for impact, quality, innovation and the degree to which the work serves as a worthy example for others to follow, said Nancy Stairs, the urban forestry program coordinator for the N.C. Forest Service.

To read more, click here.