Charlotte Business Buzz Podcast

Charlotte Business Buzz

Connecting Charlotte business through one-on-one interviews with UNC Charlotte faculty, staff, alumni and industry partners. Presented by the Belk College of Business and produced in association with University Communications.

Host: Jeffrey Jones, Director of Executive Education and Professional Development in the Belk College of Business.

Season 2 

Episode 1: Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Two UNC Charlotte researchers are taking a unique approach to advancing gender equality in the workplace: They're engaging male leaders. George Banks, associate professor in the Department of Management in the Belk College, and Jill Yavorsky, assistant professor in the Sociology Department in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, to discuss the issue.

Episode 2: Visualizing the Pandemic Through Data Science

Data remains crucial to understanding the impact and spread of COVID-19 around the globe. Jean-Claude Thill, a Knight Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, and Rajib Paul, an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Science, discuss an effort by UNC Charlotte's interdisciplinary School of Data Science to leverage data to slow the spread of COVID-19 and future pandemics. 

Episode 3: Seltzer Starter: Leveraging the Power of a Belk College MBA

After completing her MBA in 2019 from the Belk College of Business, Kristin Cagney dove headfirst into ambitious plans to open the first spiked seltzer brewery and taproom on the East Coast. The 32,000-square-foot seltzer company opened in September in Charlotte's Wesley Heights neighborhood and has seen success despite the pandemic. 

Episode 4: Post-Pandemic Retail Landscape

Retail businesses have been on a roller-coaster ride since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to close their doors. A year afterward, with vaccination rates climbing, the path forward for retail businesses is coming into clearer focus. Cindy Fox, a marketing lecturer in the Belk College and an expert in retail businesses, and Varian Shurm, Community Manager for Charlotte’s Camp North End, a 76-acre historic site transformed into a hub for innovation and creativity, join to discuss this shift in retail.

Episode 5: Investing in Minority-owned Businesses

A stumbling block for growth for many Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses is access to capital and leadership. Earlier this year, three Charlotte business titans – Malcomb Coley, managing partner with EY; former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl; and Duke Energy Executive Lloyd Yates – announced the creation of Bright Hope Capital, a unique investment firm to support and elevate minority-owned businesses in the Charlotte region. Since January, Bright Hope has acquired two such companies to their portfolio. The firm hopes to give a leg-up to Black and Hispanic-owned businesses in the region. To discuss are: Lorie Spratley, the newly named Chief Operating Officer for Bright Hope Capital; and James Mitchell Jr., retired Charlotte City Council member and the new president of R.J. Leeper Construction, which was recently acquired by Bright Hope. 

Episode 6: Reshaping Global Learning 

As a result of the global pandemic, international travel for students has been suspended since spring 2020. Despite physical barriers, UNC Charlotte continues to offer opportunities for students to be globally engaged – but in a virtual model – helping to prepare students for careers in the global marketplace. Victor Chen, associate professor of international management in the Belk College, and Adriana Medina, associate professor in the Cato College of Education, discuss courses they've piloted through a new collaborative initiative called Globally Networked Learning (GNL).

Season 1

Episode 1:  Leadership Amidst Tumultuous Times

In the pilot episode, we talk with Dr. Janaki Gooty, associate professor in the Department of Management at the Belk College of Business and in the interdisciplinary organizational science Ph.D. program at UNC Charlotte. She has extensive research in how leaders and followers develop high-quality relationships, managing emotions in the workplace, and stress and well-being at work.

Episode 2: Career Searching in the AI Age

We talk with Dr. Patrick Madsen, executive director of the University Career Center at UNC Charlotte, to understand strategies for job seekers during a difficult economy, job interviews in the artificial intelligence age, and how the University is meeting students where they are during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Episode 3: Family Business Amidst COVID-19

Dr. Torsten Pieper, associate professor in the Department of Management in the Belk College, provides an overview of family businesses in North Carolina. He also focuses on how a global research project will help gauge how family businesses are adapting to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode 4: Driving Business in University City

Darlene Heater, executive director of Charlotte's University City Partners, talks about this growing business district, UNC Charlotte’s impact, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and what lies ahead.

Episode 5: Elevating Queen City Entrepreneurs

Bryan Delaney '03, co-founder of Skookum, offers a look at the maturing market for entrepreneurial ventures in the Queen City and what Charlotte can do to support entrepreneurs during these unprecedented times.  

Episode 6: Economic Impact of COVID-19

The nation’s economic downturn from COVID-19 has been all-encompassing, impacting all sectors of the economy at a pace not seen in American history. The Charlotte region, however, is faring better than average. Bright spots include Centene Corp.'s plan for a massive campus in Charlotte's University City and a recent STEM job growth ranking. Joining us to talk to us about this proverbial roller coaster of economic change is John Connaughton, longtime director of the Barings/UNC Charlotte Economic Forecast, and a Professor of Financial Economics at the Belk College. 

Have questions?

Contact Kinsey Sheehan, Director of External and Alumni Relations for the Belk College of Business.