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Charlotte Business Buzz
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Charlotte Business Buzz

Author: UNC Charlotte

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Connecting Charlotte business through one-on-one interviews with UNC Charlotte faculty, staff, alumni and industry partners. Presented by the Belk College of Business and produced in association with University Communications.
12 Episodes
Two UNC Charlotte researchers are taking a unique approach to advancing gender equality in the workplace: They're engaging male leaders. George Banks, associate professor in the Department of Management in the Belk College, and Jill Yavorsky, assistant professor in the Sociology Department in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, to discuss the issue.
There is a maturing market for entrepreneurial ventures in the Queen City. But can small business survive the COVID-19 pandemic? And what can Charlotte do to support entrepreneurs? For some perspective, we talk with Belk College alumnus and UNC Charlotte Foundation board member Bryan Delaney '03. 
Charlotte's University City boasts an expanding business community with 75,000 employees, 11 million square feet of office space, and regional offices for 23 Fortune 500 companies. In 2018, the LYNX blue line extension was completed, connecting the area with light rail public transit. Darlene Heater, Executive Director of University City Partners, joins us to talk about this growing business district, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and what lies ahead.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every business in ways big and small, but none more so than those owned and operated by families. Joining us is Dr. Torsten Pieper, associate professor of management in the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte. He’s a founding editor of the Journal of Family Business Strategy, president of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy, and has authored many articles on the subject of family businesses. In addition, he is working on a global research project to evaluate how these businesses are adapting to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
We talk with Dr. Patrick Madsen, Executive Director of the University Career Center at UNC Charlotte, to understand strategies for job seekers during a difficult economy, job interviews in the artificial intelligence age, and how the University is meeting students where they are during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
In our pilot episode, we talk with Dr. Janaki Gooty, associate professor in the Department of Management at the Belk College of Business and in the interdisciplinary organizational science Ph.D. program at UNC Charlotte. She has extensive research in how leaders and followers develop high-quality relationships, managing emotions in the workplace, and stress and well-being at work.
As a result of the global pandemic, international travel for students has been suspended since spring 2020. Despite physical barriers, UNC Charlotte continues to offer opportunities for students to be globally engaged – but in a virtual model – helping to prepare students for careers in the global marketplace. Victor Chen, Associate professor of International Management in the Belk College of Business, and Adriana Medina, associate professor in the Cato College of Education, discuss courses they've piloted through a new collaborative initiative called Globally Networked Learning or GNL.
A stumbling block for growth for many Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses is access to capital and leadership. Earlier this year, three Charlotte business titans – Malcomb Coley, managing partner with EY; former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl; and Duke Energy Executive Lloyd Yates – announced the creation of Bright Hope Capital, a unique investment firm to support and elevate minority-owned businesses in the Charlotte region. Since January, Bright Hope has acquired two such companies to their portfolio. The firm hopes to give a leg-up to Black and Hispanic-owned businesses in the region. To discuss are: Lorie Spratley, the newly named Chief Operating Officer for Bright Hope Capital; and James Mitchell Jr., retired Charlotte City Council member and the new president of RJ Leeper Construction, which was recently acquired by Bright Hope. 
Retail businesses have been on a roller-coaster ride since last March, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to close their doors. A year afterward, with vaccination rates climbing, the path forward for retail businesses is coming into clearer focus.Cindy Fox, a marketing lecturer in UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business and an expert in retail businesses, and Varian Shurm, Community Manager for Charlotte’s Camp North End, a 76-acre historic site transformed into a hub for innovation and creativity, join to discuss this shift in retail. 
After completing her MBA in 2019 from the Belk College of Business, Kristin Cagney dove headfirst into ambitious plans for the first spiked seltzer brewery and taproom on the east coast. The thirty-eight hundred square foot seltzer company opened in September in the Wesley Heights neighborhood, and has seen success in spite of the pandemic. 
Data remains crucial to understanding the impact and spread of COVID-19 around the globe. Jean-Claude Thill, a Knight Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, and Rajib Paul, an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Science, discuss an effort by UNC Charlotte's interdisciplinary School of Data Science to leverage data to slow the spread of COVID-19 and future pandemics. 
The nation’s economic downturn from COVID-19 has been all-encompassing, impacting all sectors of the economy at a pace not yet seen in American history. To make sense of this proverbial roller coaster of economic change is John Connaughton, Director of the Barings/UNC Charlotte Economic Forecast, and the Barings Professor of Financial Economics at UNC Charlotte.
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