The Biz: WNC business briefs

Free Entrepreneurial Class In Marion: Think you’re ready to try your hand at starting a new business? A free upcoming class might help you make the call. The McDowell Technical Community College Small Business Center and the Marion Business Association are co-sponsoring a session called “Am I Cut Out to be an Entrepreneur?” on Monday, March 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., in the association’s office at the Historic Marion Depot. Space is limited, so call 652-0633 to register.

Navigating Anxious Times: The economic crisis is generating no shortage of anxiety for consumers and business people alike. To help ease the load, the Western North Carolina Jewish Federation has scheduled what it’s calling a “community conversation.” From 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, the Asheville Jewish Community Center (236 Charlotte St.) will host “Navigating Anxious Times: A Psychological, Spiritual, Economic and Practical Guide to Navigating Through the Recession.” The free event will be led by a panel of local experts in the fields of human resources, financial services and economic investment. “These leaders and community residents will address your concerns during this down economy that are affecting your personal life, business, family, investments and philanthropic giving,” and “many valuable ‘take home’ tips will be provided,” according to the federation. RSVP at 545-4648 or

Moog Guitar Gets Notice: The Moog Guitar recently won Electronic Musician magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for “most innovative product.” Unveiled by the Asheville-based Moog Music Inc. last year, the guitar also won Best in Show honors at the 2008 summer meeting of the trade association of the international music-products industry, as well as a 2008 Best of What’s New award from Popular Science magazine. The Moog Guitar marks the first time the company has ventured beyond the synthesizers and similar electronic-music inventions it’s known for. To learn more, visit

Asheville Advertising Club: Local advertising and marketing professionals recently teamed up to create AAF Asheville, an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation, and they’ve now elected a slate of leaders for the club. A release from the group says that AAF Asheville activities will include “Asheville ADDY Awards, government-relations activities, public-service projects, social-networking events and monthly programs.” The third Monday of each month, the club hosts a free lunchtime program with guest speakers from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton in downtown Asheville. “This new organization fills a void in Western North Carolina’s advertising community,” AAF Asheville President Brenda Murphree said in the release. “As the only AAF club in this part of the state and one of four in North Carolina, we now have an avenue for networking, education and public service for advertising professionals throughout the area.”  Some 50 professionals have already joined the club. To find out more, contact Membership Committee Chair Jeff Howell at 277-8250, ext. 146,

Better Biz Classes At A-B Tech: Asheville-Buncombe Technical College’s Enka campus will host a series of classes titled Better Business Practices: Improving Performance & Results for Project-Based Businesses. The eight sessions will “focus on key elements for achieving and sustaining durable success: planning, positioning, proposals, projects, processes, profits, practices and people,” according to a course summary. The classes will be most useful for “existing companies that perform project-based work for other businesses, individual consumers, governments, institutions or nonprofit agencies,” the summary notes.

The classes will be taught by Mountain BizWorks lecturer Bob Dunn, founder and president of Enterprise Solutions International. The company provides counseling and training for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to expand. Tuition is $375, and classes start Monday, March 23. Visit for additional details and registration information.

About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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