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The Charlotte post. (Charlotte, N.C.) 1918-????, April 20, 2006, Image 23

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http;//Www.theoharlottepost.com 7C tIPfie C()arlotte THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 200d BUSINESS PEOPLE OF PROMINENCE Bryant Barber a native player Bobcats exec a longtime Charlotte advocate By Erica Bryant SPECIAL TO THE POST LaRita Barber is vice pres ident for community rela tions and player develop ment for Idle Charlotte Bobcats. The Charlotte native has held a number of jobs in the area, including positions with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, Queens College, and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Barber is one of five hon- orees for this year’s Charlotte Post People of Prominence - Women of Distinction awards. The public is invited to attend the awards ceremony on May 4 at 6 p.m. at Spirit Square. Along with the awards presentation, there will be an interesting con versation with the honorees about their careers, family life lessons, and passions outside of work. Attendees will also have an opportuni ty to ask questions. Tickets are on sale now. Following is an excerpt of an interview with LaRita Barber about some of the secrets to her success, EB; In aU of your years of working, what are some mistakes that you’ve sem others make that may have prevented them Sum achieving the success that you have? LB: I never really like to think of things as mistakes. I like to think of them as learning opportunities for you to grow. It’s a chance to expand yourself and buQd your character through those examples. I would say as I’ve been in management and observed managers around me that I value management that leads by sample. I respect manage ment that sets a good course for others to foUow, and that is in tune with the people involved in the company’s mission. Mthout the people or employees and their vest ed interest, the company is just a name and a building, EB: Sometimes people can get hung up on status and titles. What are some misconceptions that people mi^t have about you and your job title? What might they find surprising? LB: I find that we some times get caught up in what people do, and not who they are. I just want people to know that I am just LaRita. I’m a person that tries to do her best to make a differ ence, and I’ve got the same insecurities as everybody else. But what I have learned is that I surround myself with good people, I am a person of great faith andbdief I put my trust in God that whatever I’m involved in it is according to His path. I am being ordered, and that is part of my purpose. I just try to be obedient to that piupose. All of the titles don’t mean Please see ENERGY/8C |#0I PHOTO/WADE NASH Livingstone College senior Goldie Phillips started Island Flavors, a Caribbean foodservice company, to pay for tuition for graduate school. Philips is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. Cooking for tuition Livingstone scholar turns entrepreneur for grad school The food is real good, because Goldie puts her love into it. Masha Finch on Livingstone Coilege classmate Goldie Phillips By Eric Bozeman FOR THE CHARLOTTE POST Goldie Phillips is cooking her way to graduate school. The Livingstone College senior wants to further her education in the U.S., so Phillips decided to bring Caribbean flavor to the Salisbury campus by creat ing Island Flavas, a food- service startup that pre pares food and drinks. She’s using the profits to pay for graduate school. ‘i just used this as an opportunity to introduce my culture,” said PhiUips, a native of Ttinidad and Tbbago. ‘T wanted to let them know about speciali ties fix)m other islands.” Phillips is on a fuU schol arship at Livingstone, but U.S. immigration law pro hibits the biology major fium working while on a student visa. Financial help fium her parents was going to be difficult. So necessity gave birth to a culinary idea over the Christmas break. “My parents can’t afford to help me, and anything I might need after paying for tuition, room and board would have to come fium me,” Phillips said. ‘T saw a profit the first week, but it was a small one, then it started picking up after that.” Another reason business started picking up was the help Phillips gets from classmate Marsha Finch. Finch has noticed the impact Island Flavas has had on the students and faculty “The food is real good, because Goldie puts her love into it,” said Finch, a student from the U.S. Mrgin Islands. “Kids in the U.S. don’t experience island food, but the majority of them want to try it, and her food is so good that differ ent people ask for her to cater food over and over again. One interesting item that Please see COOKING^C Drug maker breaks ground with race-based treatment By Mark Jewell THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LEXINGTON, Mass. - After services at a predominantly black church in Atlanta, parishioners in their Sunday best roll up then- sleeves to get their blood pressure checked at a health screening where they learn about symptoms of heart failure and a new drug approved only for use in blacks. At another black church in Detroit and a black health fair in Chicago, participants pick up pamphlets about the drug BiDil that are filled with patients’ smil ing black faces - not the usual sea of white faces with just a smatter ing of minorities, hi the nine months since BiDil became the first drug approved for a specific racial group, NitroMed Inc. has been sticking with narrowly targeted, home- spun-styie pitches as it tries to turn aromd disappointing initial sales that led two top executives to resign last month. There’s no plan to abandon NitroMed’s grassroots-style mar keting in favor of mass-media ad campaigns that accompany many drug launches. Meanwhile, Nitroaded’s sales force is focusing only on 144 U.S, metropolitan areas that have large black popu lations. Such targeted marketing approaches are expected to become more common as technol ogy continues to advance so treat ments are more fi^quently tai lored to individuals’ genetic make ups. “In a sense, BiDil is a trial bal loon for personalized medicine, ” said B.J, Jones, NitroMed’s vice president of marketing. In the near future, drug makers could get medications initially approved for a single racial group - then eventually seek evmi more narrow clearance for use among people with specific gene t3^s, NitroMed said last month ^at researchers have identified gene variations that may determine which patients are most likely to benefit fix)m BiDil ■ variations that aren’t exclusive to blacks, meaning the drug mi^t someday be approved for people of other races as well, “Race is only a surrogate for ultimately looking at one’s partic- Rease see BIDIL/8C The h*«rt, th# (Wti*) .([he h»^ h«8«4 mmm i5»*eh» up ft. w left tfed) w sssfwfi. The i«« tfed) the h*«rt pme* W»* . . pme* . . fee*. wheife A ®*f fen » 4* fetture •Sweltes® i-sthe Black business start-ups grow Rate is four times national rate from 1997-2002 By Stephen Ohleraacher THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tlie number of businesses owned by black entrepreneurs grew more than four times the national rate for all businesses from 1997 to 2002, the federal govanment said TliesdayBlack entrepreneurs owned 1.2 million businesses in 2002, an increase of 45 percent fix)m 1997, according to a report by the Census Bureau. ‘Tf s encouraging to see not just the num ber but the sales and receipts of black- owned businesses are growing at such a robust rate, confirming that these firms are among the fastestigrowing segments of our economy” Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon said in a statement. Revenues fiom black-owned businesses increased by 25 percent during the period, to about $89 biUion. Overall, black entre preneurs owned 5 percent of U.S. business es in 2002, Hispanics owned about 7 per cent, and women of all races and ethnicities owned 28 percent, according to the Census Bureau. ‘T’m proud,” iaid’ Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. “We’re the fastest-growing seg ment.” Alford said black entrepreneurs have been helped by improved education levels and increased incomes among black con- suma-s and business owners. ‘We’ve got the first generation of signifi- Please see BLACK/8C Wachovia reports higher 1st quarter profit THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Charlotte-based Wachovia - Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. bank, reported Monday its first quarter profit rose 7 percent fix)m the year-ago pmod,' boosted by hi^er overall revenue and fee income. Profit rose to $1.73 billion, or $1.09 per share, for the January-March period fium $1.62 billion, or $1.01 per share, a year earli er. Tbtal revenue rose to $7.06 billion firom $6.47 bOhon in the year-ago period. ‘We continued to see excellent sales pro duction, top-notch customer service and market share gains throu^out our busi nesses,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Ken Thompson in a statement. ‘We contin ued to gain leverage fix>m improving our effi ciency while at the same time investing sig nificantly for future revenue growth.” Wal-Mart’s dilemma: Boost low-cost model By Anne D’lnnocenzio THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK - After years of accusations ■ that it caused the demise of thousands of smaller merchants, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, is undertaking an unusual strategy, helping competing local establishments stay in busi- Wal-Mart recasting itself as a fiiendly neighbor? It’s the latest course change by the world’s largest merchant as it tries to modify its corporate culture _ and the p^xeption that it’s a ruthless competitor obsessed with maintaining its dominance of the retail industry Wal-Mart’s proposal to help rival small businesses, from bakeries to hardware stares, focuses on blighted urban markets where the retailer plans to op^ 50 stores within the next two years. The efforts will range firom giving those businesses financial grants to producing firee radio ads that will be broadcast on its stores’ radio network. The image makeover extends to Wal- Mart’s selling floor as weU. In recent months. See FAST/8C

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