Saturday, 12 May 2012 16:55

Business Briefs May 11, 2012

Written by  Lori Helms

Local inventor gets 'best new product' nod

Cornelius-based StayConnect Electrical Solutions has announced that its newest product, the Outdoor StayConnect Outlet Cover, received Best New Product in Class 2012 by the DIY Network and The National Hardware Show on May 3.

The StayConnect Outlet Cover is designed to keep an electrical cord plugged in to the outlet while using a vacuum cleaner, leaf blower or any electrical power tool. The device placed first out of more than 400 new products.

The StayConnect Outlet Cover was invented by Michael Schutte of Cornelius, out of the frustration of constantly pulling the cord from the wall while doing simple chores around his home.

"We were blown away," said Schutte, when he and his wife, Tracey, were presented with the award by Cheryl Fishbone of The National Hardware Show.

StayConnect is heading into a remarkable year of 2012, especially since Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware have just brought the company on as a vendor. "We are selling in Canada and have meetings scheduled with Walmart, Kroger's, Amazon and other retailers. It's been a fabulous year so far and this (award) is icing on the cake," said Schutte.

StayConnect's long term goals are to develop a consumer-based brand of electrical products.

"We are launching the StaySafe Child Resistant Plate alongside of the Outdoor StayConnect Outlet Cover," he said. "The StaySafe Child Safety Plate has locking doors so a child cannot access the outlet. It has received great reviews from retailers and we are in talks with these retailers to carry the StaySafe line by StayConnect. It is extremely exciting," Schutte said.

The National Hardware Show, which was held May 1-3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, has long been known as the place for the home improvement industry's manufacturers to unveil their latest products and innovations to the global marketplace.

New restaurant opens in Birkdale

There's another addition to the local dining scene, now that Bonefish Grill has opened its location in Birkdale Village.

The Zagat award-winning restaurant made its debut May 7, just two days after holding a charity event in partnership with The Peninsula Community Foundation in which the charitable organization raised $8,500.

"We are thrilled to open our doors and become part of the Huntersville-Lake Norman community," said Jordan Biel, managing partner of Bonefish Grill in Huntersville, in a statement earlier this week.

"We're looking forward to providing locals with the Bonefish Grill experience — from fresh fish and innovative dishes to warm hospitality and inviting atmosphere, our goal is to ensure an exceptional dining experience from start to finish."

In addition to its signature "Bang Bang Shrimp" — crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce — the restaurant serves the "Ocean Trust Martini." For each Ocean Trust Martini sold, $1 is donated to Ocean Trust, an award-winning ocean conservation foundation.

Founded in 2000 in St. Petersburg, Fla., Bonefish Grill has locations in several states. For more information, visit www.bonefishgrill.com, facebook.com/BonefishGrill or follow it on Twitter via @bonefishgrill.

MI-Connection shows Q3 loss, revenue rises

In a recently released report for its fiscal year third quarter, MI-Connection, owned jointly by the towns of Davidson and Mooresville, showed a net loss of $1.2 million on revenue of $4 million. While still a loss, it's an improvement over the previous quarter's loss of $1.7 million. It is now the company's second-lowest loss for a quarter ever.

Revenues for the third quarter were up slightly from the previous quarter, making it the highest revenues reported since the two towns bought the system in 2007.

However, the report comes at a time when the struggling cable, Internet and telephone company has once again asked for another infusion of cash from the two north Mecklenburg towns. After restating its 2011-12 budget to reflect lower than expected income, MI-Connection tapped Davidson and Mooresville for another $1.1 million. In total, the two towns have committed more than $118 million to the company, or nearly $8,000 per customer.

Huntersville loses high-techies to Triad

The Charlotte Business Journal reports that Huntersville-based Mirrus, a high-tech company that specializes in advertising on mirrors in high-traffic areas (like airport restrooms) designed with a combination of video displays and motion sensors, will relocate from the Lake Norman area to Winston-Salem as it looks to expand.

The report says the company and its 10 employees will move into 3,500 square feet of office space in a converted Liberty Street warehouse.

Mirrus founder and chief executive Brian Reid says recruiting skilled employees was one factor behind the move. As Mirrus looks to add as many as 25 staff by the end of 2012, Reid says the concentration of colleges in the Triad region would be an advantage over the northern Mecklenburg County location, as recruiting young technical professionals to Mirrus' Lake Norman area office was a problem, particularly because of I-77 traffic.

Recruiting will be key for Mirrus, as it looks to launch new products in Q2 this year. In an interview earlier this year with the blog DailyDOOH, Reid spoke of the company's expansion into the retail environment, where Mirrus plans to introduce mirrors for dressing rooms and shoe stores. In addition, the new product "Mirra," a virtual retail assistant, is set for a Q2 release. It will be a full-length mirror for dressing rooms that incorporates an RFID reader that scans a garment tag when it's being tried on and suggests accessories that will match the outfit.

"This will be only as good as the retailer loads into his MirrusWare, our proprietary content management system," Reid said. "We'll work closely with the retailer for this, for the scheduling, content and real-time information across his store or store network."

The company has also developed "CoolerVision" for grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores, which will enable retailers to deliver video advertising on cooler doors, all networked and controlled from a remote location.


Walmart subsidiary to build Sam's Club?

The Mooresville Planning Board will hear a rezoning request from a subsidiary of Walmart that would place a Sam's Mart on Ervin Road near N.C. 150 West (near I-77 Exit 36).

The board will meet Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m., at Town Hall (413 N. Main St.). Currently, the nearest Sam's Mart wholesale club stores for Mooresville residents are in Charlotte's University City area, Hickory and Kannapolis.

Chamber seeking small biz nominations

In recognition of Small Business Week (May 21-25), the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will honor a "Small Business of the Year," as selected by a panel of judges representative of the Chamber's small business leadership. The winner will be recognized during a ceremony at the Chamber on Thursday, May 24, at 4 p.m. Sponsors of the contest are Park Avenue Properties and the Lake Norman Citizen.

The winner will be selected based on criteria that include growth, community involvement, work environment, staying power and customer-friendly practices. Chamber members with 15 or fewer employees are eligible for the award. Chamber members may submit as many nominations as they choose, or a business may nominate itself.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, May 18, at 5 p.m. Submit them to the Chamber by mail at P.O. Box 760, Cornelius, N.C. 28031; by fax to 704-393-5313, or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This social media contest is 'madness'

The Charlotte Business Journal is looking for businesses willing to participate in its "Social Madness" contest, presented by Capital One Spark Business.

The paper describes it as a one-of-a-kind corporate media challenge that measures the growth of a company's social presence. Area businesses will compete against each other by making new connections on top media social sites and getting votes on the CBJ's Social Madness pages.

This is a local and national competition that will spotlight the best social media programs of companies in cities across the U.S. Companies will compete in 43 cities, with local winners squaring off in a national challenge. A charitable donation in the amount of $10,000 will be made in the name of each of the top three national champions.

The deadline for submitting a nomination is Tuesday, May 15, and local competition starts Friday, June 1. For more information, visit www.bizjournals.com/charlotte.

12 hours of burgers for 24 Hours of Booty

Wednesday, May 16, will feature a special fundraising event when two local businesses join forces to raise funds for cancer research.

Moliver Chiropractic and Char-Grill Davidson will team up for "12 Hours of Burger" to raise money for the upcoming 24 Hours of Booty bike ride.

From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 16, Char-Grill Davidson will donate 10 percent of all sales to "Team Camden," led by Dr. Seth Moliver and his wife, Patti. The Molivers will ride in memory of their cousin, Camden, who lost his battle with leukemia at only five months old (visit www.camdensjourney.com to learn more).

Char-Grill Davidson is in Davidson Commons at the intersection of Griffith and Jetton Streets, in the Harris-Teeter Shopping Center. Moliver Chiropractic is at 624 Jetton St., Suite 260, in Davidson. More details are available at www.moliverchiro.com.

CPCC, Fifth Third offer biz conference

In recognition of National Small Business Week, Central Piedmont Community College and Fifth Third Bank will present "Entrepreneurial Success: The New Reality" on Monday, May 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Harris Conference Center on CPCC's Harris Campus (3216 CPCC Harris Campus Drive, Charlotte).

The featured speaker for the conference will be Holly Wade, senior policy analyst for the National Federation of Independent Business, followed by the keynote address by Jim Muehlhausen, author and founder of the Business Model Institute.

Registration fee is $39, which includes breakfast and lunch. Register on line at www.cpcc.edu.

Connect with lake biz types next week

LakeNet, a network referral group, will host LakeNet Connect on Tuesday, May 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Acropolis Café and Grill in Cornelius (20659 Catawba Ave.).

The event will feature a free wine tasting, courtesy of Christina Stephens, owner of Decanted LLC. Participants will also have the chance to win a variety of door prizes including free membership to LakeNet, lawn mowing services by T.J. Scissorhands and a day of family fun at Darby Acres Farm in northwest Charlotte.

More information is available at www.lake-net.com.

Cleanse the system with free detox help

Dr. Jessie Mullen will offer a free, whole foods-based purification workshop Thursday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. at The Bindu Yoga and Wellness in Cornelius (11138-C Treynorth Dr.).

Mullen says it's a safe, proven way to cleanse the body and provide more energy, maintain a healthy weight and improve digestion. The workshop will be an overview of a 21-day purification process Mullen offers.

The event is free but space is limited. To register, call 980-833-3616 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

• Doug King, an independent financial advisor at King Financial Advisors in Davidson, was recognized as a top financial advisor and named to the LPL Financial Chairman's Club. This distinction is based on a ranking of all registered advisors supported by LPL Financial, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer, and is awarded to less than 10 percent of the firm's approximately 12,800 advisors nationwide.

"We congratulate Doug King for achieving this prestigious recognition, which is based on how successful advisors are in growing their businesses by delivering services and solutions to their clients," says Bill Dwyer, president of national sales and marketing for LPL Financial. "We believe members of the Chairman's Club are among the premier financial advisors in our industry. They serve as trusted resources and counselors for their clients and their communities."

King Financial Partners is affiliated with LPL Financial and provides access to independent financial planning services, investment advice and asset management services for more than 250 clients in the region. More details are available at www.KingFinPartners.com.

• Devan Kline, a personal trainer and registered holistic nutritionist, has opened Burn Bootcamp in Huntersville, at 14311 Hunters Road. Kline's focus is on moms who want to lose weight while improving their fitness and nutritional habits. Learn more at www.burnbootcamp.com.

• The Davidson Beverage Co. is now open in Davidson's South Main Square (442 S. Main St.). It's a craft beer store owned by John Baker and housed in the former MasterWorks School of the Arts space. Baker has a license to offer taste-testings of the store's rotating offering of a handful of craft beers on tap, in addition to selling specialty wines. Follow the store on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DavidsonBeverageCompany.

• Personal trainer and registered nurse Melissa Lynch has opened Body Electric Rejuvenation Center in Cornelius, a new generation of recovery, fitness training and beauty treatments using non-invasive, non-toxic methods and technology to deliver what Lynch calls "total body change."

After an accident left Lynch with a broken pelvis and herniated discs, she was unable to walk and was debilitated with chronic pain. Looking for an alternative to surgery, she was confident the body had the ability to heal itself, and today she says she is in the best shape of her life.

On Tuesday, May 15, at 7 p.m., Lynch will offer an informal seminar to discuss ending chronic pain, overcoming injuries and avoiding surgery, as well as improving athletic performance.

Body Electric Rejuvenation Center is at 19315 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 102 in Cornelius. For more information, call 704-655-2719 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

• Jason Steik has been named the new assistant administrator of Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. Steik earned his bachelor of science degrees in business management and nursing and is pursuing his masters in business administration through Pennsylvania State University's World Campus.

Steik comes to Lake Norman Regional from Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla., where he was a registered nurse in the surgical trauma intensive care unit and post-anesthesia care unit, and where he also served as charge nurse.

• Marie Burdett has been named the new risk management director of Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. Burdett has more than 20 years of health care experience and was awarded Health Management Associates Inc. Risk Manager of the Year in 2010. Prior to joining Lake Norman Regional, she was the chief quality and risk officer at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Burdett holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing and has received certification specialist healthcare accreditation. She is also actively pursuing her master's degree.

— Compiled by Lori Helms

Leftovers:

Free leadership series continues at MSU

Mountain State University North Carolina's 2012 Leadership Seminar Series continues, presented by MSU faculty member Douglas A. White, Ed.D. Upcoming programs slated for the series include:

• May 23 — Women's Leadership Role in the Workplace;

• June 13 — Leading for Results;

• Sept. 19 — Visioning and Progressing;

• Oct. 24 — Coalition Building in the Digital Age; and,

• Nov. 14 — Diversity Leadership Celebration.

All sessions in the series will be held at the MSU Mooresville campus at 517 Alcove Road (off I-77 Exit 33). Register for one session or all by visiting www.mountainstate.edu/leadership-seminar/nc-seminars.aspx or contact Dallas Bragg, executive director, MSU Mooresville, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mountain State University, founded in 1933, is a private, not-for-profit institution based in Beckley, W.Va., serving approximately 8,200 students nationwide in five locations. For information about MSU academic programs, call 866-367-6781.

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