Jeremy Miller

The Reeves School of Business (RSB) at Methodist University held the Second Annual Reeves School of Business Symposium and Awards Dinner Thursday evening at Embassy Suites, 4760 Lake Valley Dr., Fayetteville.

The Reeves School of Business (RSB) at Methodist University held the Second Annual Reeves School of Business Symposium and Awards Dinner Thursday evening at Embassy Suites, 4760 Lake Valley Dr., Fayetteville.

The event’s keynote speaker was Jeremy Miller, who spoke on “Sticky Branding.”  Miller is a brand builder, speaker, and bestselling author of “Sticky Branding.” He works with companies to develop branding and marketing strategies that make them stand out and drive sales.

Seven awards were also presented at the event: Alumni Business Person of the Year, Business Person of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Greater Good Award, Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Silver Spoon Award, and Small Business Excellence Award.

About the awards

The Alumni Business Person of the Year is a graduate of Methodist University who has shown promise for a successful career. This year, the award was given to Charles A. Allen V, who received his MBA from Methodist in 2011. Allen is vice president of his family’s business, Green Biz Nursery and Landscaping, and co-owner of the local Two Men and a Truck franchise, which he started in 2008. With the knowledge he gained pursuing his MBA, Allen implemented a successful reorganization of Green Biz’s financials and set up new systems for equipment maintenance and controls, customer care, billing, transportation logistics and labor rate calculations.

The Business Person of the Year an executive who makes great contributions, not only to the successful operation of local business and industry, but also to the civic and cultural life of the community. This year’s award went to Stewart Bell, the third-generation owner of Bell’s Seed Store, which has been located in downtown Fayetteville since 1919. Bell graduated from Campbell University with his degree in business before joining his father, William Bell Jr., at the store. He has kept the business in touch with the next generation of customers by supporting local high schools through Future Farmers of America and school greenhouse programs. A proud member of the downtown community, the business also supports the Downtown Alliance, CARE Clinic, and Bell is on the board of the Salvation Army of Fayetteville.

Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded to a risk-taker in the free enterprise system: a person who sees an opportunity and then devises strategies to achieve specific objectives. This year’s winner was John S. Calhoun, who started Cape Fear Discount Drugs in 2003. After working for chain pharmacy stores for a number of years, Calhoun realized that stores in the Fayetteville area weren’t providing the best service possible to their customers. His son, Jeremy, convinced him to open Cape Fear Discount Drugs to better meet the needs of the Fayetteville community. Calhoun opened Cape Fear Discount Drugs on Raeford Road in 2003 with Jeremy and one employee. Five years ago, he opened his second location on Ramsey Street.

The Greater Good Award is given to a professional who has given exemplary service to society and/or has provided extraordinary charity or leadership in serving his/her community. This year’s recipient was Mary M. Holmes, executive director of the Cumberland Community Foundation (CCF). Under her leadership, the Foundation has grown from $7 million to $70 million in assets, which are mostly endowed unrestricted, designated, and scholarship funds. Before joining the CCF, Holmes worked as a commercial banking executive. She has served on numerous local and statewide boards of directors, including the Cape Fear Regional Theatre, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Fayetteville State Foundation, N.C. Center for Nonprofits, Community Foundations Serving N.C., and the N.C. Network of Grantmakers.

Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur is a North Carolina resident who owns, has established, or manages a small business. The award committee will also consider the individual’s creativity, innovativeness, and personal contributions to and involvement with the community. This year the award went to Lisa Saleeby-Powell, president of Future Unlimited, which owns five McDonald’s restaurants in Cumberland County. Saleeby-Powell has won numerous civic and business awards, including the Regional People Award from McDonald’s for “developing people and leveraging their strengths.” In the community, she currently serves as the chair of the Methodist University Board of Visitors and has also been involved with the Kiwanis Club, Operation Insasmuch, Village Baptist Church, The American Red Cross, Patriot Hut, and the Ronald McDonald House.

The Silver Spoon Award is given to a person who, though not born with the proverbial spoon in his/her mouth, has originated and built a successful business recognized for its uniqueness in planning, production, or some other aspect of its operation. This year’s winner was James J. Townsend ’80, president and founder of InfoStrat, an IT Solutions company in Washington, D.C. He is considered a leading expert on Microsoft solutions for government, and a pioneer of Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a development platform. He has published multiple articles and books on software development, and is the publisher of “The Townsend Report,” a blog about Microsoft Dynamics, startup companies, customer service, and information technology in the public sector.

The Small-Business Excellence Award goes to a business that employs fewer than 300 persons and generates revenue of less than $15 million per annum. The award committee will also consider the creativity of the business, the uniqueness of the product, the employees’ welfare and the contributions of the business to its community. This year, the award went to Zan Monroe, owner of The Monroe Company and CEO of The Fayetteville Regional Association of REALTORS. Monroe began taking public speaking engagements for the state REALTOR® organization. The experience reminded him of how much he enjoyed teaching others and led him to start his speaking and consulting company in 1995, as well as go on to publish books and audio presentations.

About the speaker

After watching his family’s business nearly hit rock bottom, Jeremy Miller was forced to take a hard look at the way the company was run and at their industry as a whole. Miller realized it wasn’t his company’s sales people or marketing processes that were failing, it was the brand. This insight caused him to regroup, revamp, and rebrand the business. Within a year, the company turned the corner and rocketed into growth mode and in 2013 he sold the business.

It was this experience that compelled Miller to embark on a decade-long study of how companies grow recognizable, memorable brands — what he calls Sticky Brands. Since 2005, Miller and his team have interviewed and profiled hundreds of companies across dozens of industries.