Biz: Safe havens

With all the turmoil and confusion in the financial sector, it’s easy to believe that the carnage is endemic. But while the pall of doom is all too real, not every financial institution is in peril. Give them credit: While the banking and financial sectors are in a shambles, relatively cautious, conservative credit unions and […]

Askville: Madam president

While Hillary Clinton campaigns to become America’s first female president, Suzanne DeFerie has already made history—becoming the first woman president and CEO of an Asheville-based bank. Suzanne Deferie. Photo by Jonathan Welch Before assuming her new responsibilities at Asheville Savings Bank on Jan. 1, DeFerie, 51, had paid her dues, serving 16 years as executive […]

Dog day afternoon

Like a bank officer turning down a loan, Doug Stachura sat behind his desk late last week in his office at Bank of America’s main local branch, at 68 Patton Ave., with arms crossed resolutely. His gaze, while not unfriendly, spoke volumes. With two acts of protest against the Charlotte-based bank’s financing of coal companies […]

Sticking their necks out

The day before the demonstration at Bank of America, the activists gathered at the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action were feeling stressed out. Despite the tranquil wooded surroundings at their camp near Brevard, the solar-powered van providing their electricity and the spicy rice and vegetables being served up for lunch, the air crackled with tension. […]