Nanobrewery a Big Step for Alumni, City

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By Jackie Drake

East Carolina alumni Bobby Schultz ’13 and Gray Williams ’12 are well on their way to opening Longleaf Brewing Company in Greenville. This is the first business venture for the longtime friends and Raleigh natives, and will be the city’s first local brewery in years.

Greenville has been the largest city in North Carolina without a local brewery, according to Bobby and Gray, since Ham’s closed in 2010. While microbreweries produce less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year, nanobreweries produce even less than that, Bobby says. But this nanobrewery is expected to provide a big boost to the economy and culture of Greenville.  LongleafLogo“I have always had the entrepreneurial bug,” Bobby says. “Gray and I have been friends since kindergarten, and when he approached me about his interest in starting a brewery, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved.”

Longleaf will be located on Dickinson Avenue in a building that was built in 1924 and is currently being renovated. It will have new infrastructure but still retain its historical characteristics. Once open for business at a date to be determined, Longleaf will feature four to six regular brews, two or three seasonal varieties, and a few guest taps that will showcase beer from other local breweries in North Carolina. A tap room and patio will provide great spaces for patrons to enjoy the beer right where it’s brewed, in a relaxed atmosphere.

“In the short term, we hope we can become a local icon in Greenville,” Bobby said. “We also hope we can be one of the flagship establishments in the up-and-coming Dickinson Avenue area of Uptown. The area has a lot of charm and potential, so hopefully LBC can serve as a catalyst for new development in the area.”

Bobby earned an undergraduate business degree from Appalachian State, and decided to come to ECU to get his MBA. Gray earned his undergraduate business degree from ECU and decided to stay in Greenville after graduation. Gray is the beer expert for Longleaf. He home-brewed beer as a hobby before working at Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery in Farmville.

The idea for Longleaf began in 2012. “From there, we were accepted into the Greenville SEED program and then eventually won a grant from the city’s Business Plan Competition,” Bobby said. “After teaming up with our third partner, Thomas Taft Jr., we felt we were ready and set the plan into motion.”

Bobby says the education he received at ECU has prepared him well for this venture. He has also gained assistance from the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), an inter-institutional program within the University of North Carolina system.

“My MBA from ECU has been priceless during this entire process,” Bobby says. “Even before I graduated, ECU offered a wide range of resources to help us develop our concept. Since graduation, I have remained in contact with professors and contacts at the SBTDC. The tools, skills, and resources that ECU offers to its students, both before and after graduation, have been absolutely essential to the creation of Longleaf Brewing Company.”

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ECU Team Wins at Acura Golf Championship

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By Jackie Drake

A team of golfers representing East Carolina University recently won a division of the Acura College Alumni Team Championship.

With a net score of 238, teammates Jerry Shaw ’99, Gill Young, Whitt Young, and Andrew Bain finished first place in the net scoring division. The fifth annual Acura championship was held October 5-8 at Pinehurst Resort.

The team qualified for the championship after winning the ECU Alumni Scholarship Classic golf tournament, held September 19 at Ironwood Golf & Country Club, sponsored by the East Carolina Alumni Association. All hometown friends from Clayton, NC, in Johnston County, the team calls themselves the “JoCo Pirates.”

The JoCo Pirates competed with 60 teams from universities across the country at legendary Pinehurst courses No. 2 and No. 4 in a 36-hole best-ball competition.

“Once we got to the Acura alumni championship it was unbelievable,” said Jerry Shaw. “Representing my school against 60 other colleges was quite an experience and then to win was awesome. I was proud to represent ECU so well and hope we get another chance next year. We as a team made a commitment to try and make it back and defend our title.”

While Jerry’s teammates did not attend ECU, Jerry says he has turned them into Pirate fans. They all enjoy golfing to benefit the Alumni Scholarship program at ECU.

The gross scoring division champion was the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the bracket division champion was Iowa State University.

The Acura College Alumni Team Championship was created as a grass-roots championship for Acura, the preferred vehicle of Pinehurst Resort. The championship field is determined through 60 individual qualifying golf tournaments held at Division I universities from 13 NCAA conferences. The winning foursome from each university qualifier advances to the championship at Pinehurst. The qualifying tournaments serve as fundraisers for the university alumni or athletic foundations.

“Acura is proud to be the title sponsor for the College Alumni Team Championships,” stated Susie Rossick, senior manager, Honda/Acura regional media and marketing.

If you would like the chance to represent ECU at Pinehurst Resort in next year’s Acura championship, be sure to get a team together for the 2015 ECU Alumni Scholarship Classic, to be held in September. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Alumni Scholarship program.

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Upcoming Networking Events in Raleigh and Charlotte

Tap into the power of the Pirate alumni network! We’re hosting networking events in Raleigh and Charlotte in November. Come and meet fellow Pirates in your area!

The Charlotte networking reception will be held Tuesday, November 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Queen City Q. Registration is $11 for alumni association members and $22 for non-members. Register by November 6. Featured alumni will be:

  • Michaelina Antahades ’08, ’10, group and event sales manager for the NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Nicole Kloss ’02, director of corporate health and network development for Novant Health

The Raleigh networking breakfast will be held Wednesday, November 12, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Irregardless Café. Registration is $6 for alumni association members and $17 for non-members. Register by November 7. Featured alumni will be:

  • Jessica Calise ’03, marketing manager at PetPartners
  • Tim Willis ’12, associate quality assurance engineer at Fidelity Investments, and a member of the East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors

These networking events are open to all alumni and friends of East Carolina. Members of the alumni association are eligible to pay a reduced price. Registration includes food and beverages. Those who wish to join the alumni association to take advantage of member pricing on these and future events may do so directly on the event registration form. Please note that advanced registration is required before the deadline. Early registration is strongly encouraged, as space is limited depending on the venue.

Our networking events are a great way for alumni to build their professional and social networks. Each event is led by featured alumni who are leaders in their industries and communities. We hold networking events in various cities throughout the year, so be sure to check out all our events listed on our networking event page!

Alumnus Creates App

By Sara Strickroot

Brent Nolan ’09 is the co-founder of the app Stealz that is sweeping the nation one smartphone at a time.

“Stealz is a free mobile app that rewards customers for sharing photos at their favorite places,” Nolan says.header_logo_stealz      BrentNolan_opt_1

From a marketing perspective, this app is an ingenious way for businesses to allow customers to do their social media for them.

From a customer standpoint, sharing positive information about a business through photos via Facebook and Twitter, and receiving discounts, points, and rewards, is just another an incentive to continue going back to that place.

How does the app work exactly? You check in to a business that is within the Stealz network and you earn a point for letting people know you are there. You earn a point every time you check in at the business. The first time you use Stealz at a restaurant, you automatically receive something free!

In Greenville, you can use the Stealz app at Mellow Mushroom, Chico’s Mexican Restaurant, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Coldstone, and CPW’s.

Nolan got started with Stealz after hearing about how so many businesses claimed they needed help with social media. “We found a way to incentivize social sharing by customers and we’ve been very lucky thus far,” Nolan says.

Nolan attended high school in Raleigh but for college, he decided that he wanted to be independent while staying close enough to family. So he came to ECU. “I fell in love with the campus and the college town feel when I visited and decided I wanted to be a Pirate,” Nolan says.

He became a communication major the second semester of his sophomore year. “I was set for business but after taking two comm classes I was really blown away with how many options it offered in careers,” Nolan says. “I’m extremely proud I went to East Carolina.”

While in school, Nolan was involved in student organizations such as Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), intramurals, and Student Pirate Club.

Nolan still feels Pirate pride. “Even since leaving I’ve been really impressed with how many other people I’ve met who I instantly have a connection with because we’re both Pirates. But more than anything I will cherish the friends I made at East Carolina for the rest of my life,” Nolan says.

Nolan believes his company Stealz will continue to grow and develop. “We need to be adding businesses and users to our app every single day and then make sure we take care of everyone who believes in us enough to give us an opportunity,” Nolan says.

November 2014 Pirate Career Cast

Learn how to let LinkedIn work for you at our next Pirate Career Cast on November 5 at 8:00 p.m.

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Viveka von Rosen, author of LinkedIn Marketing an Hour a Day, will provide exceptional strategies to help you maximize the free tools LinkedIn provides. Weather you are looking for a job or are looking for more business, you will walk away with strategies you can implement instantly!

Pirate Career Casts are monthly interactive webcasts that help East Carolina alumni develop their professional skills and advance their careers. The alumni association has partnered with Talent Marks to present nationally recognized speakers. Held the first Wednesday evening of every month, Pirate Career Casts are free for alumni association members and $10 for non-members. Log in from any computer with an internet connection with information provided upon registration.

Click here to get more information and to register.

Upcoming Networking Lunches in Greenville and Greensboro

Tap into the power of the Pirate alumni network! We’re hosting networking lunches this month in Greenville and Greensboro. Come and meet fellow Pirates in your area!

The Greenville event will be Tuesday, October 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the City Hotel & Bistro. Register by Friday, October 24. Featured alumni will be:

  • Brenda Myrick ’92, systems analyst in information services at Vidant Health, current member of the ECU Board of Visitors, and former chair of the East Carolina Alumni Association
  • Linda Thomas ’81, director of HR Business Partners at Duke Energy, current member of the ECU Board of Visitors, and president of the Black Alumni Chapter of the East Carolina Alumni Association

The Greensboro event will be Thursday, October 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Libby Hill Seafood Restaurant. Register by Friday, October 24. Featured alumni will be:

  • Dean Browder ’77, senior vice president of Piedmont Federal Savings Bank and treasurer of the East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Deborah Hooper ’82, CEO of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce

Registration ($11 for members and $22 for non-members) includes lunch and beverages. These events are open to all ECU alumni, but members are eligible to pay the reduced price. Those who wish to join the alumni association to take advantage of member pricing on these and future events may do so on the event registration form. Please note that advanced registration is required by the RSVP deadline. Early registration is encouraged, as space is limited depending on the venue.

Our networking events are a great way for alumni to build their professional and social networks. Each event is led by featured alumni who are leaders in their industries and communities. We hold networking events in various cities throughout the year, so be sure look for future events listed on our networking event page!

2015 Alumni Award Nominations Due November 1

Do you know an East Carolina alumnus or supporter who deserves recognition?

The East Carolina Alumni Association seeks nominations for the 2015 Alumni Awards: the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Awards, the Honorary Alumni Awards, and the Outstanding Alumni Awards. Nominations are accepted year-round, but the cut-off for 2015 is November 1, 2014.

Recipients must be present at Homecoming 2015 to receive an award.  

  • The Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award goes to alumni who have given substantial volunteer service to the alumni association and/or university.
  • The Honorary Alumni Award goes to those who did not attend ECU but who have adopted the university as their own through considerable service, commitment, and loyalty.
  • The Outstanding Alumni Award, one of the most prestigious given by the university, goes to alumni who have made outstanding achievements in their profession and/or public affairs. A history of involvement with the university is not a prerequisite for this award.

Please note: only alumni can be nominated for the Distinguished Service and Outstanding Alumni awards. The only award for which non-alumni can be nominated is the Honorary Alumni Award. University trustees serving current terms, alumni association board members and their spouses, and current ECU employees are not eligible to receive these awards, but may submit nominations. 

Anyone can nominate an East Carolina alumnus or supporter for an award. Nominations consist of a one-page form and at least one letter of recommendation. While a surprise nomination is possible, nominators are encouraged to work directly with their nominees to ensure that all information submitted is complete and accurate.

There are more than 155,000 East Carolina alumni living around the world. It is important that a wide variety of alumni and supporters are nominated. Every nomination is considered, as long as it is complete with all required documents and information. Awards can only be given to those who have been nominated!

The Alumni Awards program is vital to the alumni association’s goal of advancing the university. Honoring the service and achievements of alumni and supporters shows the value of an East Carolina education and the impact of this institution. This in turn increases acclaim and esteem for the university and draws ever more qualified students and faculty to campus, ensuring the university’s progress.

For more information, visit PirateAlumni.com/AwardsProcess or call 800-ECU-GRAD. Questions may be directed to Director of Alumni Programs Shawn Moore at 252-328-5775 or mooresh@ecu.edu.