Build Your Best Business

David Epstein's pas­sion for com­mu­nity and the well being of his neigh­bors spurred the vision of Atlanta Con­tact­Point (ACP), a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion estab­lished in 2012 to engage chil­dren and adults through the power of play and support and engage the community with wellness programs such as sports, fitness, nutrition, and social responsibility.

David, known affectionately as "Mr. David", is a preschool teacher and tennis coach who loves working with people of all ages.
He has been work­ing with chil­dren at his neigh­bor­hood preschool, as well as on the fields and courts for over 8 years. "Mr. David" runs sum­mer sports pro­grams in Atlanta and directs a ten­nis pro­gram in upstate NY for 7 weeks. He enjoys play­ing ten­nis, base­ball, and roller hockey.

“Mr. David” is a grad­u­ate of Lehigh Uni­ver­sity where he received a BS in Finance. He lived and worked in NYC for 3 years before mov­ing to Atlanta in 1995, which quickly became home.

Direct download: 5-27-2013_The_Better_You_Project_David_Epstein_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Since its inception, the Andrew Oswald Memorial Fund has been blessed with tremendous community support, enabling the following accomplishments:

  • More than $20,000 in support of teen safe driving
  • $44,000 for 11 Andrew Oswald Memorial Scholarships ($4,000 over 4 years to Georgia high school student-athletes playing lacrosse in college)
  • Nearly 500 lacrosse equipment rental packages to encourage new players to try the sport without initial investment in equipment
  • Grants of approximately $35,000 to support lacrosse programs and individuals across the Atlanta area

AJO4LAX encourages all lacrosse players to:

  • PLAY LAX
  • MAKE GOOD CHOICES and
  • CELEBRATE LIFE
Direct download: 5-27-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Kathleen_Oswald_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jeannie Dunn, herbalist and NC native, serves as director and owner of Red Moon Herbs. After 20 years, extracts are still made in the wise woman tradition using prolific, local plants harvested and processed fresh at the peak of their season.

Red Moon Herbs is a woman-owned herbal extracts company that focuses on prolific plants harvested at the peak of their season. Red Moon Herbs was founded by Corinna Wood, director of SE Women's Herbal Conference, and Jessica Godino, acupuncturist at Four Flames Healing. Studying under Susun Weed, renowned herbalist and author, Red Moon Herbs bases its principles and foundation on the Wise Woman Tradition. Now in business 20 years, Red Moon Herbs still makes herbal medicine in this method using fresh plants from local sources in small batches. Redmoonherbs.com

www.facebook.com/redmoonherbs
jeannie@redmoonherbs.com
www.redmoonherbs.com
888-929-0777

 

Direct download: 5-27-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Jeannie_Dunn_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Roger Stix is the owner and Executive Producer of Atlanta Business Video.

Before founding Atlanta Business Video in 2008, Roger had been hard at work as an executive in the banking, electronics, and finance world for over 35 years. His foresight into the world of business and passion for video inspired the revelation that affordable web video was going to be an emerging need in the upcoming years.

Direct download: 5-27-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Roger_Stix_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Ann Hite’s debut novel, Ghost On Black Mountain, not only became a Townsend Prize Finalist but won Georgia Author of the Year in 2012.

Her personal essays and short stories have been published in numerous national anthologies. The Storycatcher, her second Black Mountain novel, will be released by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster on September 10th.  Lowcountry Spirit, an eBook novella, will be available from Pocket Star, also an imprint of Simon & Schuster, on August 13th.

Ann is an admitted book junkie with a library of over a thousand books. She lives in Smyrna, Georgia with her husband and daughter, where she allows her Appalachian characters to dictate their stories.

Direct download: 5-27-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Ann_Hite_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Always artistic and entrepreneurial, Mattia Pace graduated from Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies with a degree in Economics. He worked briefly as a trade analyst and accountant before being bitten by the desire for a creative, hands on pursuit. Mattia joined Sausage World 3 years ago, taught himself charcuterie, and hasn’t looked back since.

Sausage World has been active since 1986. They specialize in producing artisanal sausages that celebrate the diversity of global cuisine and culture. Mostly wholesale producers, the door is always open to the public and their retail segment is growing daily. Sausage World sources their meat locally and use no MSG or preservatives in their products.

Direct download: 5-27-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Mattia_Pace_.mp3
Category:Food -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

From “saloon to salon,” BRÖÖ Haircare has taken the home-brewed remedy of the “beer hair” rinse, and raised the bar by creating a line of ultra-performing natural shampoos and conditioners, crafted from the “beauty in beer”.  With microbrewed beer as the #1 ingredient, BRÖÖ “pops the top” on the natural beauty industry.

Frustrated by the performance of the natural hair care products they were using, Brad and Sarah Pearsall were inspired to turn the natural hair care industry on its head, by the two things that surround them in Asheville, North Carolina, craft beer and the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Taking a cue from their mothers (who had rinsed their hair with beer back in college for body and shine), Brad and Sarah set out on a journey to discover the natural beauty in beer.  Along the way, they succeeded in creating BRÖÖ, a line of ultra-performing, natural shampoos and conditioners that tap into the B vitamins, proteins, and minerals in microbrewed beer from Asheville.

Just voted “Breakthrough Company of 2013” in Delicious Living Magazine’s 2013 Beauty & Body Awards, BRÖÖ is now sold in the natural channel across most of the country, and Brad and Sarah have started spreading the “beer beauty” message into mainstream channels, as well.  Take a “sip” of BRÖÖ at broo.com, and learn why beer really does make you better looking!

Although they've only been on store shelves a little over a year, they just won the prestigious "Breakthrough Company of 2013 Award" in Delicious Living Magazine's 2013 Beauty & Body Awards.  Delicious Living, the leading consumer magazine in the natural products industry, with more than one million readers each month, picked BRÖÖ from hundreds of natural beauty products and brands to feature the industry’s most innovative and effective nontoxic products: http://deliciousliving.com/2013beautyawards.   They are so excited to be a part of Asheville's natural products sector, and are proud that Delicious Living magazine recognized an Asheville natural products company with this award.

Direct download: 5-27-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Brad_Pearsall_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Dr. Jeanine Davis is a horticulture professor with NC State University located at a research facility in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.  For over 25 years, her program has been dedicated to helping farmers improve the profitability of their farms by growing new crops, transitioning to organic agriculture and adopting more sustainable practices.  Her current efforts are focused on woodland botanicals, Chinese herbs, hops, truffles, broccoli, and organic heirloom tomatoes.  You can learn about her program on her website at http://ncherb.org which has links to her blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

Ms. Alison Dressler is a Research Assistant in the NC Alternative Crops and Organics program at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center.  Her efforts are dedicated to helping grow the agricultural sector of the natural products and medicinal herb industries in western North Carolina.  She is currently involved with helping a new medicinal herb cooperative, a natural products branding effort, and a growing bloodroot for dye project.  She recently completed a 168 page report on special forest botanicals in Southern Appalachia.

Direct download: 5-20-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Dr_Jeanine__Alison_Dressler_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Amy Hamilton, herbalist, farmer and mother is living her dream of farming medicinal herbs in western NC, where she's lived for nearly 20 years.

She is a founding member of Appalachian Botanical Alliance (ABA), a cooperative of herb growers, formed in 2012 with a mission to continue the legacy of Appalachian sourced medicinal herbs. ABA is focused on cultivating western and traditional Chinese medicinal herbs of high quality and in consistent supply.  Amy's farm is Appalachian Seeds Farm & Nursery. She grows heirloom tomato seed and medicinal herbs.

Direct download: 5-20-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Amy_Hamilton_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Sarah Schober is the Manager for BioNetwork at A-B Tech.  She works closely with the Center’s natural products testing and manufacturing programs and assists natural product and life science entrepreneurs with laboratory manufacturing, and regulatory practices.

BioNetwork at A-B Tech delivers education, outreach and laboratory programs that promote life sciences.  Educational topics include, but are notlimited to, current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) for dietary supplements and personal care products; basic and analytical laboratory skills; and customized industry training.  Our diverse outreach programs aim to support life science endeavors and awareness through community and educational partnerships, both outreach and education programs may be geared toward K-12 students or adult learners.  Analytical assistance for botanicals includes constituent, microbial, and pesticide detection and quantification.  Well-equipped laboratory space is available for rent to those interested in product research, testing, and development.

Direct download: 5-20-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Sarah_Schober_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Seeking a way to transport her senses to Italy and its unique and traditional food flavors, while being far away from her, Adriana Coppola founded  A&A Alta Cucina.

Adriana enjoys developing gourmet Italian foods using recipes and traditions from her family. They use only the freshest and finest ingredients, allowing them to offer the best tasting blending seasonings, infused oils, balsamic vinegars, pestos, tomato sauces and more that you will ever experience so now you can make traditional Italian dishes easily at your in just minutes in a Italian way!

A&A Alta Cucina is a family business that was born in the US in spring 2011. They specialize in Italian gourmet food products inspired by their Italian roots recipes and traditions. Products are ALL NATURAL, without any artificial flavor, color or preservative and they only use the freshest and finest ingredients allowing them to offer the best tasting and high quality blending seasonings, salts, infused extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, pestos, tomato sauces and more.

All products are HANDMADE and HAND PACKED in an artisan way using ecofriendly materials and produced in small batches, using old traditions that allow us to put in every single product made, the passion Italians have for their traditions and food.

You can find at www.altacucinaitalia.com more information regarding the company, their products and recipes that will inspire you while cooking with their products at home.

Direct download: 5-20-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Adrianna_Coppola_podcast.mp3
Category:Food -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Chuck Blethen is President and COB of NCNPA – www.NCNaturalProducts.org. He is owner of Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard in Marshall NC where he specializes in propagating and growing the cold-hardy Katuah Muscadine for sale to the nutraceutical industry – www.JeweloftheBlueRidge.com. Chuck is also VP Public Relations for the French Broad Vignerons LLC, an organization that promotes viticulture as a tool for economic development in the mountain counties of western North Carolina by providing education to the public about growing grapes, making wine, and all of the 150+ value added products that can come from using grapes as a raw material – www.FrenchBroadVignerons.org.

Sarah Oram has spent the past 30 years building and expanding various non-profit organizations around Asheville and beyond.  She sees great economic potential for Western North Carolina if the Blue Ridge Naturally seal can be successfully launched and hopes her experience in marketing great ideas will carry through.

The North Carolina Natural Products Association (NCNPA) was formed over 11 years ago as a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promotion of conserving, cultivating, sustainably harvesting, and processing North Carolina grown medicinal plants. NCNPA's mission is to establish North Carolina as a key global supplier of premium-quality raw materials and plant-based value added products such as natural medicines, organic products, functional foods, and personal care products.

The Blue Ridge Naturally seal program is designed to bring international and national attention to Western North Carolina’s emerging natural products industry.  The Blue Ridge Naturally seal on products emphasizes Western North Carolina’s superior quality in locally grown ingredients and finished natural products . It announces to potential customers an assured level of product safety, tested quality in addition to affiliation with Western North Carolina, a region of distinction in the natural products industry.
I am a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania MBA program.

Direct download: 5-20-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Chuck_Blethem__Sarah_Oram_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In 1993, Randy and Cindi Beavers realized they would one day inherit her Grandfather’s farm forcing them to choose between selling the farm to land developers or moving there and attempting to make a living. Cindi’s Grandfather had purchased the farm in 1932 and paid for it with a bale of cotton per year so the couple felt they couldn’t place a monetary value on his dedication. There was only one option, move to the farm. Little did they know how that decision would shape their lives.

Twenty years later and after a series of eight Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards from USDA and NIH/NCCAM focused on development of sustainable production and processing techniques for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Appendix II listed plant Hydrastis canadensis, aka goldenseal, Randy is considered an authority on the plant and is at the forefront of raising the bar of goldenseal product quality and reliability.

Steve Henson is a marketing professor at Western Carolina University and the Chief Marketing Officer at BotaniPharm.  He began his career working for about five years with GE Capital, then moved to a subsidiary of Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis.  Mid-career, he decided to make the switch to academics and earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from Georgia State University at the ripe young age of 40.  He is a native Appalachian and had a chance to return to the mountains at Western and jumped at it.

BotaniPharm, LLC is the only known 100% grower owned botanical product company in the US. The company specializes in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program certified production and processing of high value, forest grown medicinal plants particularly  endangered/threatened species such as Hydrastis canadensis, aka goldenseal.

The company’s leadership in the area of development of sustainable production and processing methods for endangered/threatened medicinal plants has been recognized by the USDA and the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH/NCCAM) through a series of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards totaling more than $2 million.

Through this work the Company’s Founder developed a paradigm changing method of standardizing goldenseal products to specific levels of biological activity thus assuring repeatable potency regardless of year to year and location to location variability and opening the door to controlled clinical studies using goldenseal for the first time.

The Company currently produces research grade goldenseal products for use in NIH funded human clinical studies and markets a consumer line of dietary supplements, Goldenseal Advanced™, based on the same standardization process through their website, www.botanipharm.com.

BotaniPharm’s mission is to enhance profitability for its small farm members through pooled production, cooperative processing, and marketing under a common brand name, create safer, more reliable products for consumers, and produce a desirable environmental benefit through reduction in the need for wild collected medicinal plants to meet market demand, true “triple bottom line benefits”.

Direct download: 5-20-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Randy_Beavers__Steve_Henson_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Josh Sprayberry learned early on that success is achieved by commitment to hard work and discipline. He took this to heart when he decided to enroll at North Georgia College and State University, one of six senior military colleges in the United States. In four years at North Georgia, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA in Management and Finance, held leadership positions in six activity boards, and worked part-time at a boutique financial planning firm. After spending four years helping individuals with retirement and estate planning, he realized his true calling was in providing clients with tax planning ideas and solutions to grow their businesses. He took the next two years working in a local CPA firm, going to school at J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and fulfilling the requirements to become a CPA.
 
Josh remains actively involved in the community through various organizations to include the North Georgia Alumni Association, Psi Chapter Alumni Association, Pi Kappa Alpha Psi Chapter Advisory Board, Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta, Griffin Rotary Club and the Gutcheck Program of the Gainesville Jaycees.
 
In his spare time, Josh enjoys spending time with family, whitewater rafting, snow skiing and spending time with his Weimaraner.
Direct download: 5-20-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Josh_Sprayberry_pt._3.mp3
Category:Money -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

The Melanie Thornton Youth Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization, develops leadership potential in youth through arts enrichment programs and experiences throughout the Metro Atlanta area.

Lois Thornton Chisolm has over 15 years experience developing youth arts enrichment programs and instructing youth from age 2 to 18 in a large variety of arts disciplines.  While living in Europe, Lois taught performance skills, image creation and dance to performing artists. Lois also choreographed for TV shows and live concert performances while she managed their careers.  Some well known artists Lois managed include La Bouche, Melanie Thornton, C-Block, Jemini and T-One.  These artists performed in numerous countries, sold over 12 million singles and albums and have been awarded gold and platinum sales awards in more than 25 countries around the world.

Throughout the years, Lois has used her skills, knowledge and experience to teach in a way that increases student’s self esteem and gives them a genuine appreciation for art forms.  Lois has developed exciting and captivating teaching techniques that keep her students motivated as they grow more poised, graceful and confident in themselves and their expression.   She started a small scholarship fund in memory of her most famous client and sister, Melanie Thornton, in 2002 and then developed and expanded it into the Melanie Thornton Youth Arts Foundation, Inc., an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The foundation’s mission is to develop leadership skills in youth, particularly those that are disadvantaged, by providing an opportunity to experience the arts and be inspired to do positive and creative things with their lives.  For more information go to www.foundationforyoutharts.org, The Melanie Thornton Fan Page on Facebook, Youthartsfund on Twitter and Youthartsfund Channel on Youtube.

Direct download: 5-13-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Lois_Chisholm_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

NODE is the worlds smartest wireless sensor platform. It makes your smartphone into a tool to measure anything, from temperature to color to carbon monoxide!

Dr. George Yu is a Georgia Tech alumni and has worked for NASA and DHS on wireless technology.

He invented the NODE platform and successfully raised money on kick starter to have the first Node’s produced. You can buy the NODE right now on NodeSensors.com

Direct download: 5-13-2013_The_Better_You_Project_George_Yu_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

GG Gibson is the owner of GG's Fine Foods.

GG learned how to cook generations-old Creole recipes through her grandmother, Ella D. Smith, who never compromised on flavor or presentation, but taking great pride and pleasure in presenting fabulous meals. This passion for food continues to inspire GG today.

GG’s Real New Orleans Creole Cuisine include Original Seafood Gumbo, Famous Crawfish Pie, Classic Creole Seasoning, Remoulade Sauce—all infused with GG’s rockin’ flavors. The cuisines can be found on www.ggsfinefood.com.

GG’s flair for culinary art developed into a career after a lifelong mission to bring people together around good food. After overcoming many hardships, GG established GG’s Fine Foods, which operates in a HAACP safety certified manufacturing facility in Woodstock, Georgia.

Direct download: 5-13-2013_The_Better_you_Project_Linda_gibson_Gigi_podcast.mp3
Category:Food -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Ken Robbins is a recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and marketing strategy.

He is a frequent speaker to CEO groups and  conferences on the subject of marketing strategy, and how to identify the leverage points in your marketing and sales system that turn accelerate growth. He can be seen at KenRobbinsBlog.com or contacted through ResponseMine.com

Response Mine works with mid-size and large companies to help them get a lot more new customers and revenues through internet marketing. They work with national retailers, large home service providers, and healthcare organizations to generate online sales, and online leads.

Direct download: 5-13-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Ken_Robbins_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

While working at a UPS store while studying video production in college, Marisa decided that she wanted to do something "more stable" with her life.  It was then that she decided to become a small business owner.

Melissa and her father, Chuck, purchased the store at at 3162 Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb in June, 2011.

Their UPS store offers not only shipping and packaging, but also can do all sorts of printing such as business cards, brochures, flyers, large format printing such as yard signs, banners, canvases, promotional items – hats, shirts, pens, etc.

Direct download: 5-13-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Marisa_Maire_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Southern Fried Strings was started by three great friends who simply LOVE Lacrosse. Brothers, Zach and Sam, along with their best friend Matt began their business with a mission to offer superior lacrosse head stringing services and supplies at affordable prices. They also created a unique wax coated mesh which allows the mesh to be water resistant greatly increasing consistency and control during bad weather, a quicker "break in" period for the mesh pocket and gives more hold to the ball.

Zach specializes in stringing traditional pockets closely resembling the Native American Style.

Sam specializes in stringing goalie heads.

Matt specializes in stringing modern mesh pockets that are most commonly used today.

Check out their videos on YouTube at Southernfried Strings, or email them at southernfriedstrings@aol.com

Direct download: 5-13-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Southern_Fried_Strings_podcast.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Josh learned early on that success is achieved by commitment to hard work and discipline. He took this to heart when he decided to enroll at North Georgia College and State University, one of six senior military colleges in the United States. In four years at North Georgia, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA in Management and Finance, held leadership positions in six activity boards, and worked part-time at a boutique financial planning firm. After spending four years helping individuals with retirement and estate planning, he realized his true calling was in providing clients with tax planning ideas and solutions to grow their businesses. He took the next two years working in a local CPA firm, going to school at J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and fulfilling the requirements to become a CPA.

Josh remains actively involved in the community through various organizations to include the North Georgia Alumni Association, Psi Chapter Alumni Association, Pi Kappa Alpha Psi Chapter Advisory Board, Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta, Griffin Rotary Club and the Gutcheck Program of the Gainesville Jaycees.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys spending time with family, whitewater rafting, snow skiing and spending time with his Weimaraner.

Direct download: 5-13-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Josh_Sprayberry_pt._2.mp3
Category:Money -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Mary Lou Surgi is the executive director of Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Asheville, North Carolina—the region’s largest shared-use food processing incubator. After spending about 15 years working and living overseas doing everything from being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia to running a pig re-population project in Haiti, she decided to stay home and go to culinary school. Not wanting to work in a restaurant, and wanting to combine her international food and agriculture experience with food and economic development she found her dream job with Blue Ridge Food Ventures where  she has worked with hundreds of food entrepreneurs and farmers to help them start up their food businesses.  Mary Lou holds Masters’ degrees in Public Health and Food Systems as well as a Culinary Degree.

Chris Reedy is the Program Manager of Blue Ridge food Ventures.  He attended the University of Kentucky and graduated with a degree in finance.  After graduating, Chris went on to earn a MBA with a concentration in finance from Xavier University’s Williams School of Business in Cincinnati, OH.  Immediately after receiving his degree, he joined a Kentucky based holding company and worked as a project manager & financial analyst.  In 1997, Chris founded an import company and traveled throughout Asia working with small producers to sustainably and equitably produce and market their products.  In 2009, he was a founding member of the Southern Appalachian Hops Guild and began to work with farmers throughout the region to create an emerging industry.  His current position allows him to work with and consult with farmers, food artisans and natural product producers on all aspects of their products from intake of raw materials to finished product branding.

Blue Ridge Food Ventures is an 11,000 sq. ft. shared-use kitchen incubator and natural products manufacturing facility that offers support in product development, guidance through the maze of regulations governing safe production of food products and dietary supplements, advice on packaging and label design, and much more.

We're here to help people who dream--of getting their artisan food products to market, of running a baking or catering business, or even operating their own hot dog cart! We also help individuals and small businesses that want to make natural products and herbal dietary supplements, and get them into bottles and tubes and onto store shelves.

Direct download: 5-6-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Chris_Reedy__Mary_Lou_Surgi_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Annice Brown, Assistant Regional Director, of the SBTDC, Asheville, NC has over 20 years experience in economic development, managing, and implementing policies and programs promoting public and private sector development in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to coming to Asheville, Annice spent 20 years in Washington, D.C. where she worked for the World Bank on environmental management projects; the French National Agency for Research and Development. She has also worked in marketing and sales for an organic cotton apparel manufacturer in Asheville. Currently, she is VP of the North Carolina Natural Products Assn.

As a part of their economic development mission, the SBTDC provides direct service to economic development organizations, government agencies, and university departments. Their team of research analysts and strategic planning specialists has facilitated the development of numerous local and regional economic strategies; managed project feasibility studies; provided technical assistance for entrepreneurial programs (such as small business incubators); crafted community economic development plans; designed business needs assessments; and conducted market analyses.

Their ability to tap the expertise and resources of our university colleagues uniquely allows the SBTDC to assist county and municipal governments; regional economic development partnerships; chambers of commerce; councils of governments; community development corporations; community colleges; and various other organizations.

Direct download: 5-6-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Annice_Brown_podcast.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Greg Cumberford, President and Co-Founder, Bent Creek Institute, Inc., is a botanical natural products industry executive. He co-founded Bent Creek Institute in 2006 to grow Western North Carolina’s role as a competitive sourcing region for medicinal plants and value-added botanical products. Prior to joining as BCI’s President in 2011, Mr. Cumberford worked as a senior manager for over 13 years with Gaia Herbs, a leading US grower and manufacturer of botanical extracts. He has BS degree from Stanford University. His avocational interests include natural horsemanship, running, and culinary travel.

Joe-Ann McCoy, PhD, serves as the director of the Bent Creek Germplasm Repository (BCGR) located at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC.  Joe-Ann completed her doctoral research in Plant Physiology from Clemson University which focused on the development of seed, rhizome, and in vitro propagation protocols for Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh)and analysis of associated triterpene glycosides.  Her MS was focused on developing in vitro propagation and optimal HPLC extraction & analytical methods for Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort).  Prior to BCGR she served as medicinal plant curator for the USDA NCRPIS (North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station) and the NIH ISU Center for Research on Dietary Supplements in Ames, IA.  She has worked with various aspects of native and medicinal plant collection, cell culture, propagation, and analytical research for the past 16 years.

BCI’s mission is to grow an economic cluster in WNC rooted in reverence for our region’s unique biodiversity and botanical traditions, and expressed through scientific testing, research, strategic advisory, and horticultural collaborations. BCI helps their partners clear hurdles as they develop new natural products and grow new specialty crops in our region. The Bent Creek Germplasm Repository (BCGR) of The North Carolina Arboretum is North America’s only gene bank dedicated to archiving, conserving, and storing medicinal plants and related endophyte germplasm for medical and horticultural research. Anchored by BCGR’s botanical research and conservation activities, BCI fosters sustainable jobs growth based on validated botanical medicines and integrative healthcare solutions that serve the wellness needs of our region, our state, and our nation.


A Los Angeles-native, Christine’s always had a passion for fashion, art and the finer things in life. Since the tender age of 16, she’s worked at various high-end department stores – learning the day-to-day of a retail business and ultimately putting herself through college at the University of Southern California where she received a B.F.A. in Art History.

Christine maintains Accessory Business 101, her private, online, monthly membership site.  Accessory Business 101 helps designers and inventors realize their dreams of having a thriving product-based business. By coaching new and established designers on the do’s and don’ts of the fashion world, Christine is able to help her clients have a thriving company which supports their passions and dreams.

For more information, check out www.AccessoryBusiness101.comwww.Facebook.com/AccessoryBusiness101 and twitter @accessorybiz.

Direct download: 5-6-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Christine_Syquia_podcast.mp3
Category:Design -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Josh learned early on that success is achieved by commitment to hard work and discipline. He took this to heart when he decided to enroll at North Georgia College and State University, one of six senior military colleges in the United States. In four years at North Georgia, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA in Management and Finance, held leadership positions in six activity boards, and worked part-time at a boutique financial planning firm. After spending four years helping individuals with retirement and estate planning, he realized his true calling was in providing clients with tax planning ideas and solutions to grow their businesses. He took the next two years working in a local CPA firm, going to school at J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and fulfilling the requirements to become a CPA.

Josh remains actively involved in the community through various organizations to include the North Georgia Alumni Association, Psi Chapter Alumni Association, Pi Kappa Alpha Psi Chapter Advisory Board, Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta, Griffin Rotary Club and the Gutcheck Program of the Gainesville Jaycees.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys spending time with family, whitewater rafting, snow skiing and spending time with his Weimaraner.

Direct download: 5-6-2013_The_Better_You_Network_Josh_Sprayberry_pt._1.mp3
Category:Money -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Ulimana is a successful company with nothing but positive energy in every handmade product, founded by single mom Theresa Green.

Theresa Green started her career with Nirvana Manna (renamed later Maca Manna) after expected success with a home recipe passed to a friend at the Natural Foods Expo 2005. Word spread, and she could only grow and expand to incorporating Ulimana. Her made-up name is semi-Huna—a Polynesian and Hawaiian science practiced by the aboriginals of those regions. It means asking the goddess Uli, the “Goddess of Serenity,” for the blessings of life force, energy, and vibrant health—“mana.”

Ulimana is one of the raw food pioneers, and very possibly the first, Organic Raw Chocolate company. Ulimana makes their own proprietary blend of the highest quality cacao (ka-kow) from Peru and Bali. Cacao in its natural, raw form has many psychotic-active ingredients that work as a natural mood elevator.

Ulimana makes raw, organic truffles that are gluten-free, dairy-free and sweetened with natural, alternative sweeteners; handmade in Asheville, NC at The Blue Ridge Food Ventures. They can be found in many of the Earth Fare stores and Whole Food stores across the region as well as NYC and California.

Direct download: 5-6-2013_The_Better_You_Project_Theresa_Green_podcast.mp3
Category:Food -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Jay Reid began working construction in high school and has been in construction management for the last 20 years.  He was looking for a new opportunity and Great American Cookie / Pretzelmaker appealed to Jay and his wife.

Great American Cookie offers fresh baked cookies, brownies, and unflavored pretzels as well as 100% beef pretzel dogs and mini pretzel dogs.

They also offer fountain drinks, lemonade, ice products and 5 different flavors of blended fruit drinks.

Jay and his wife have been married for 25 years and have 2 children.

Direct download: 5-6-2013_The_Better_you_Project_Jay_Reid_podcast.mp3
Category:Food -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

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