Business, nonprofit roundup: Moog lays off staff

CHANGING TUNES: Moog Music laid off several of its production employees last month following the sale of the company to inMusic. In a statement, Moog said that it plans to continue manufacturing some instruments at its Asheville headquarters. Photo by Brooke Randle

Just three months after local synthesizer company Moog Music announced that it had sold its company to inMusic, the company confirmed in a Sept. 27 statement that it had laid off part of its production staff. The statement did not confirm how many positions had been eliminated but noted that those who remain employed are friends, siblings and spouses of the company. According to the statement, Moog plans to continue to be headquartered in Asheville, where the company says it will continue to design, engineer, service and manufacture instruments, although a selection of instruments will be produced by “trusted partners.” 

“These changes are necessary for the future of Moog as we continue to face the ongoing challenges of manufacturing electronic instruments in America,” the statement read. “We’re grateful for the passion and care you have shown us. We ask that you please continue to show consideration to our employees and keep an open mind as we put the finishing touches on some of our most innovative instruments yet.”

WomanUP celebrates entrepreneurs

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual WomanUP Celebration in November, celebrating local women entrepreneurs and business leaders. More than 60 women have been nominated for this year’s WomanUP awards. This year’s event, from 8-10:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 3, at the Omni Grove Park Inn, coincides with the chamber’s 125th anniversary year. To celebrate, the event will feature historical and forward-thinking elements designed to inspire, support and engage women in the region. More information at

Carl Falconer to lead Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound has selected Carl Falconer as the nonprofit’s CEO. Falconer has had a long career in homeless services and most recently was the CEO of a nonprofit serving the unsheltered homeless population in Broward County, Fla. Falconer, an Army veteran, has worked in organizations working to end homelessness since 1995, including stints at Clara White Mission and River Region Human Services in Jacksonville, Fla., and as CEO and president of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance in Texas. Falconer’s anticipated start date is Monday, Nov. 6. 

Apotheca opens new dispensary 

Asheville-based CBD, hemp and cannabis dispensary Apotheca opened its fourth location in Asheville last month. The new store, at 1078 Patton Ave., will be open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. A fifth location is already in the works on North Merrimon Avenue. Apotheca also has locations throughout Tennessee and the Atlanta area. More information at

Casey Gilbert joins Thrive as CEO

Civic advocacy nonprofit Thrive Asheville announced Casey Gilbert as executive director, effective Oct. 2.  Gilbert has worked with government, business and civic organizations to address a range of community challenges. She was executive director of Portland Downtown and Melbourne Main Street.  She spent the past three years as a consultant to nonprofit organizations on planning, leadership and advocacy.  Casey has master’s and doctoral degrees in public policy from Carnegie Mellon and University of Southern Maine, respectively.

Together for Tomorrow 

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce awarded 13 $10,000 grants to local nonprofits in honor of its 125th anniversary Sept. 28. The Together for Tomorrow grants were made to organizations whose work aligns with the chamber’s mission of “Building Community Through Business.” The grants were funded by Asheville chamber member businesses and ticket sales for the 125th Anniversary celebration. Recipients included All Souls Counseling, My Daddy Taught Me That and YWCA of Asheville. View the full list of recipients at

Grants for dislocated workers

The Southwestern Commission and Land of Sky Regional Council received a $7.5 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to serve dislocated workers in Western North Carolina. Dislocated workers are those who have lost their jobs due to downsizing or closure, such as the closure of the Pactiv Evergreen plant in Canton. Employers who hire dislocated workers may be eligible for grant funding that would pay for up to 75% of the worker’s salary for up to six months. The Southwestern Commission and Land of Sky Regional Council have less than two years to distribute the grant funds. More information at

Sabrina Delk joins Mars Hill as director 

Sabrina Delk has joined Mars Hill University as the director of the new Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. In this role, Delk is responsible for recruiting students, organizing and executing extracurricular activities, and engaging businesses to help provide students with the real-world skills they need to transition into the professional world. Delk also will oversee the planning and execution of the center’s programs, including a small-business incubator, Main Street economic development facility, community outreach and financial literacy, along with student scholarship, internship and consulting programs.

Dodie Stephens named VP of marketing

Explore Asheville, the destination marketing and management organization for Asheville and Buncombe County, announced Dodie Stephens as its next head of marketing effective Oct. 2. Stephens, who spent more than 15 years with Explore Asheville, will take the helm from long-time veteran Marla Tambellini as she plans to retire following 29 years of service.

New financial aid program at UNCA 

UNC Asheville announced the launch of Access Asheville, a new financial aid program designed to make education attainable for low- and middle-income North Carolinians. Access Asheville guarantees full tuition and fees coverage through grants and scholarships during fall and spring semesters for North Carolina residents whose adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less. The program is open to new first-year and transfer undergraduates entering fall 2024. More information at

Fire Chiefs Association seeks volunteers

The Buncombe County Fire Chiefs Association, in partnership with the N.C. Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, is one of 14 departments and associations to launch the Critical Firefighter Recruitment Campaign, designed to achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce.

The campaign coincides with Fire Prevention Month in October and Fire Prevention Week Oct. 8-14. Over 80% of all North Carolina firefighters are volunteers, and the need for volunteers is high. Since 2020, North Carolina has lost 4,963 volunteer firefighters. More information at

Septic repair grants

Asheville-based environmental group MountainTrue is partnering with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to provide septic repair grants to qualifying homeowners in Buncombe, Henderson, Mitchell, Transylvania, Yancey and Madison counties. 

Private septic systems can begin to fail as they get older or due to neglect, but repairs can be expensive and out of reach for many residents. Homeowners can apply through MountainTrue to see if they qualify for a state grant to cover the full cost of fixing their septic systems. More information at

McCarthys to receive John Cram award

Gail and Brian McCarthy, the founders of Highwater Clays and Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts in the River Arts District, will be awarded for their service to the local arts community with the John Cram Arts Leadership Award. The award’s name honors local entrepreneur and philanthropist John Cram, who died in 2020. Cram founded Blue Spiral 1, the Fine Arts Theatre and Bellagio! Art to Wear, and was a constant supporter of Asheville and the arts. Award recipients have contributed significantly to the arts in Buncombe County. The award will be presented at the annual State of the Arts Brunch on Monday, Oct. 30, at The Orange Peel.


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