Biz briefs: Spring WNC Career Expo set for April 11

Best Western Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of its suburban boutique hotel brand, GLō, at 509 Tunnel Road in Asheville. Photo courtesy of Best Western Hotels

Micro grants up for grabs

Venture Asheville wants to hear how local entrepreneurs would use $5,000 grants to kickstart new businesses. Applications for the money, says Jeff Kaplan, Venture Asheville’s director, haven’t been as numerous as expected, meaning promising new ideas have a great chance of snagging one of the five grants that will be announced on Wednesday, May 1.

The simple application process is detailed at, and applications are due Monday, April 1.

The Wells Fargo Foundation and AVL Technologies contributed to the fundraising effort, while other community donors pitched in amounts limited to $200 per donation, leading to a total of $25,000 in local donations for the initiative.

Resumes at the ready

The spring WNC Career Expo takes place Thursday, April 11, at the WNC Ag Center, 765 Boylston Highway, Fletcher. The event will be open to high school students from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and to general job seekers from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. More information is available at No registration is required.

On the move

  • Blue Ridge Hiking Co., which is owned by local hiking celebrity Jennifer Pharr Davis, will launch two new ventures this spring. The company’s retail store at 70 College St. in downtown Asheville will open Friday, April 5, and will offer lightweight hiking and backpacking gear from small and local manufacturers. In Hot Springs, the company plans a Monday, April 1, opening for a bunkhouse that will provide lodging, gear rental, shuttles and guided trips.
  • Bria Davis was promoted to vice president and retail market leader at HomeTrust Bank. In her new role, Davis will have oversight of seven HomeTrust Bank branches located in Clyde, Waynesville, Tryon, Columbus, Shelby, Forest City and Cherryville.
  • Dr. MaryShell Zaffino was promoted to chief medical officer at Blue Ridge Health, which she previously served as assistant CMO and medical director of the Chimney Rock Road BRH clinic.
  • Eric Straus joined the Tryon International Equestrian Center as general manager of equine operations.
  • Best Western Hotels opened its GLō boutique hotel at 509 Tunnel Road in Asheville.
  • Book Warehouse, a national discount book retailer, will open at Asheville Outlets in April. 

MO Summit comes to town

The Momentum Summit, an apply-to-attend two-day event featuring CEOs and executives from across the country, will return to Asheville for its second annual convention Thursday-Friday, April 4-5.

A pre-event boot camp workshop from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, will offer local business folks an opportunity to interact with positive impact business leaders including John Replogle of Seventh Generation, Blair Kellison of Traditional Medicinals, Sadrah Schadel of No Evil Foods, Greg Shell of Bain Capital Double Impact and Jael Rattigan of French Broad Chocolates. Tickets are $150 (included with full event registration) and available at A pre-event reception will be held at the New Belgium Brew House 6-7:30 p.m. Registration for the reception is $40.



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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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