The Biz

The Boggs Collective, a new group of local furniture crafters, unveiled its Biltmore Village workshop on June 27. Started by master chair-maker Brian Boggs and his business partner, Melanie Moeller (an organizational development specialist), the company aims to create opportunities for landowners, loggers, sawyers and craftspeople to collaborate.

It's the first custom wood shop in Western North Carolina to seek Forest Stewardship Council certification, which verifies that a company's products are produced in compliance with strict environmental and sustainability requirements. The collective is also part of the Southern Forests Network — a group working to conserve private forestlands and cultivate forest-based economies. Earlier this year, the Land-of-Sky Regional Council awarded the business a $98,000 grant to establish the cooperative workshop, create a website that showcases a virtual gallery, and operate a woodworking school.

For more information on The Boggs Collective, visit http://boggscollective.com; to learn more about the Forest Stewardship Council certification, go to http://southernsustainableforests.org.

An early Christmas for Jennifer Davis

Jennifer Davis, a first-grade teacher at Old Fort Elementary School, has been named Operation Christmas Child's new regional manager for Western North Carolina and South Carolina. A project of the Boone, N.C.-based nonprofit Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child provides disadvantaged children around the world with gift-filled shoeboxes during the holiday season. Last year, as the volunteer area coordinator for the program's WNC office, Davis coordinated the largest such effort in the Carolinas, collecting and distributing more than 40,000 boxes.

To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, visit http://samaritanspurse.org.

Phoenix rises in Biltmore Park

The University of Phoenix celebrated the grand opening of its new Biltmore Park Learning Center on June 17. Local business people and community leaders were on hand for the ceremony, including Rick Lutovsky, president of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. The new facility features two classrooms with AV systems, two team rooms to accommodate the school's collaborative team-learning model, 18 computer workstations, a laptop bar, wireless Internet, flat-screen TVs, and a sitting area for study breaks. On-campus classes in business, management and information technology are held Monday through Thursday.

The University of Phoenix opened its first North Carolina location more than six years ago, offering nontraditional students (those who neither live on campus nor attend classes full time) a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Schedules are flexible, and students may attend classes online or on campus.

For more information on the university's programs, visit http://phoenix.edu or call 654-1000.

People's Acupuncture moves to new office

The People's Acupuncture of Asheville has moved from Charlotte Street to 55 Grove St., across from the Employment Security Commission. After a $10 initial consultation, the group offers sliding-scale acupuncture treatments for $15 to $35.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Ropp (254-4098; peoplesacupunctureavl@gmail.com).

Biltmore's Alexander receives Sondley Award

The Historic Resources Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County recently honored Bill Alexander with the Sondley Award. The award recognizes "an individual or individuals in the community who, by word or deed, has kindled among the citizenry of Asheville and Buncombe County an appreciation for the history or historic resources of the area."

Alexander, who's worked at Biltmore Estate in varying capacities since 1978, now serves as landscape and forest historian. He studied at Haywood Technical College and earned the North American Certificate in Horticulture through the Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 1982. He's also published two books: The Biltmore Nursery: A Botanical Legacy and Images of America: Around Biltmore Village.

Created in 1979, the Historic Resources Commission evaluates historically significant neighborhoods and sites for designation as a local historic district or property.

Direct your business news to Michael Muller (251-1333, ext. 154) or to business@mountainx.com.

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