Local business news in brief for the week of July 18, 2018

Kaplan to lead Venture Asheville

Former software developer Jeff Kaplan will become the Asheville area’s entrepreneur-in-chief when he takes the reins of Venture Asheville, the high-growth entrepreneurship initiative of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, on Aug. 6.

Venture Asheville is charged with growing Asheville’s startup community and connecting high-growth entrepreneurs to talent, mentors and investors through programming and events.

At Anthroware, a local software development company, Kaplan was a product owner and consultant. He has also been active with Hatch AVL Foundation planning programs and events for the entrepreneurial community.

Kaplan holds a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida and, according to a press release, has been involved in several startups from the ground up with experience in product development, project management and design thinking.

On the move

  • Jeff Washburn, licensed real estate broker and certified shopping center manager, has joined Whitney Commercial Real Estate Services as director of property management. Washburn most recently served as general manager of the Asheville Mall for 14 years.
  • U.S. Cellular named Brian Posey sales manager for its store at 1043 Patton Ave. in Asheville.
  • Irena Pivovarevich and Anya Inochkina recently joined Johnson Price Sprinkle PA as associates.

What’s news

  • Letitia Walker has opened Purna Yoga 828 at 697 D Haywood Road in West Asheville.
  • Heather Stefani and Leeann Mayes opened blue29, a high-end denim and home decor store at 146 Church St. in Asheville’s South Slope.
  • Allegra Marketing Print Mail recently ranked among the Top 100 Quick and Small Commercial Printers compiled by Printing News in its annual survey. Allegra, owned by Dave Campbell, ranked No. 16 and appears on the list for the third consecutive year. Campbell operates four locations in Asheville and also has locations in Brevard and Hendersonville.
  • The Collider announced a new conference, [Food + Beverage] Collider, which will explore how leading food and beverage companies are identifying and addressing climate risk, on Oct. 23-24.

Population rises in Asheville metro area

Local accounting firm Johnson Price Sprinkle PA released an analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s recently released 2017 population numbers for metro areas in the nation.

JPS wrote:

“According to the new data, the four-county Asheville metro (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties) grew by 1.2 percent between 2016 and 2017; adding a net of 5,231 new residents to a total population of 456,145. Asheville metro remains the sixth-largest among all 15 metros in the state and sixth for its pace of growth.

GROWTH SPURT: The percent of population change in the Asheville metro growth has topped that of the state and the nation from 2013-17. Graphic courtesy of Johnson Price Sprinkle PA; data from U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
GROWTH SPURT: The percentage of population growth in the Asheville metro area topped that of the state and the nation in 2016 and 2017. Graphic courtesy of Johnson Price Sprinkle PA; data from U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

“How does Asheville metro’s current population growth rate compare to the state and nation? At 1.2 percent, Asheville metro’s population growth rate is just a hair above North Carolina’s current rate of 1.1 percent and solidly above the national rate of 0.7 percent.

“How does Asheville metro’s current growth rate compare to its own recent past? Over the last 20 years, the metro’s population growth rate has ranged from a peak of 2.1 percent in 2006 to a low of 0.7 percent in both 2011 and 2012. The dramatic shift closely follows dates of the recent economic recession, which began in late 2007 and lasted until mid-2009. The statewide pattern of population growth follows a similar path.”

For the full analysis, along with charts illustrating the data, see the report on the JPS website.

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

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