Greensboro, N.C. – Uwharrie Charter Academy ("UCA"), Randolph County's first public charter school, recently established the Uwharrie Sustainable Business Forum (the "Forum") to bring teenagers, businesspeople, and other members of the Uwharrie community together to explore and promote sustainable business practices.
The Forum is led by UCA students and business partners, but is open to membership and participation by any teenager or businessperson in the Uwharrie Mountains region, which includes the greater Davidson, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, and Stanley County areas. The Forum's concept of "sustainability" is broad. It includes environmental stewardship, community involvement, and worker treatment, training, and engagement.
The Forum will offer four free educational events – open to the general public – during the 2013-2014 school year. Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is the presenting sponsor for all of the Forum's 2013-14 events. Smith Moore Leatherwood attorney and partner, Lisa Frye Garrison, is a founding Co-Director of the Forum, along with UCA's Chief Curriculum Officer, Rhonda Dillingham. "We hope that Uwharrie area businesspeople will join the Forum and share ideas about how they can make their everyday business practices more sustainable. Teenagers in the Forum can engage with these business leaders and learn first-hand how for-profit businesses make the world a better place," says Garrison.
The Forum's first event was held on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 at UCA, and was entitled, "How Can For-Profit Businesses Find and Grow Their Higher Purposes? Ideas from Area Leaders and the 2013 Best-Selling Book, Conscious Capitalism." The program included an interactive presentation by Garrison on ideas from the Conscious Capitalism book, a networking break with sustainable snacks, and a student-moderated panel discussion. Panelists included Ben Owen III of Ben Owen Pottery in Seagrove, North Carolina and Laura Jensen Thornberg, owner and artistic director of Studio J Dance Center in Asheboro and Troy, North Carolina.
The forum presented another program entitled, "Building Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose," held on November 7, 2013 at Randolf Community College's Continuing Education and Industrial Center (CEIC). The program was led by Robert Carmac, a Randolph County native and LEED® accredited Architect with Smith Sinnett Architecture. Carmac designed Randolph Community College's CEIC, our host site for the program and the first building in Randolph County that achieved LEED® Certification (the second highest level possible, "LEED® Gold"). At the program, Carmac discussed sustainable building design, including no cost and low cost strategies for new construction and upfits of existing buildings to maximize potential opportunities for sustainability.
To join the Forum or learn more about it, join the Uwharrie Sustainable Business Forum Group on LinkedIn or contact Lisa Frye Garrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rhonda Dillingham at email@example.com. UCA is a free, public charter school open to any North Carolina student. For more information about UCA generally, including how to enroll as a student, contact UCA at (336) 610-0813 or visit the UCA website at www.uwharriecharter.org. UCA is located at 301 Lewallen Road in Asheboro.