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News & Announcements

CFCC Associate Degree Nursing Program Ranked #1 in North Carolina

The Cape Fear Community College Associate Degree Nursing program has been ranked number one in the 2019 Best RN Programs in North Carolina.  In a recent study conducted by RegisteredNursing.org, the CFCC ADN program ranked first among 30 other RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or […]


Former Port Authority Developer Will Support Regional Job Creation Efforts January 15, 2019 (Wilmington, N.C.) – Cliff Pyron Jr. is now Senior Manager, Business Development at Wilmington Business Development (WBD). Pyron, who previously served as Account Manager and Economic Development at the North Carolina State Ports Authority, begins his new duties today. “Cliff has the […]


Port Connection Plus Access to Southeastern U.S. Markets Brings Bathroom Furnishings Company to Greater Wilmington December 13, 2018 (Elizabethtown, N.C. and Wilmington, N.C.). Fine Fixtures Inc., a New York based supplier of bathroom furnishings, will establish an 80,000-sq.ft. distribution center at the Cape Fear Industrial Complex in Rocky Point. The company plans to employ a […]


WBD Award Cites College’s Partnership Role in Workforce Innovation and Economic Leadership October 24, 2018 (Wilmington, N.C.) – Wilmington Business Development (WBD) has named Cape Fear Community College its Cameron Management Ally of the Year for 2018. The honor was given at the organization’s annual meeting on October 17 at the Cape Fear Country Club. […]


In the wake of Hurricane Florence, Wilmington Business Development (WBD) is working vigorously to help facilitate the complete restoration of the economy of Greater Wilmington. Our staff and leadership are safe, and our operations suffered very little downtime in the storm’s immediate aftermath. Still, not everyone was so fortunate. Florence left behind death, destruction and […]

Results for 2017-2018 Include $25 Million Increase in Regional Payroll

“I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.” –Winston Churchill While the best economic development strategies prepare communities for prosperity well into the next generation, their results get measured today. Sound planning and effective execution made 2017-2018 a banner year for WBD and […]

New Leadership Takes the Helm at WBD

Bill Cherry has assumed the organization’s chairmanship, effective July 1. Cherry founded Air Wilmington, the fixed base operator (FBO) at the Wilmington International Airport. Air Wilmington provides fueling, MRO and hangar services to general aviation, military and commercial customers. Its facilities include an 8,400-square-foot terminal and over 100,000 square feet of hangar space. Earlier this […]

WBD Exec Named One of NC’s Top Business Leaders

Scott Satterfield has long been recognized as an influential mover and shaker in Wilmington. Earlier this year, Business North Carolina magazine recognized Wilmington Business Development’s CEO for his impact as a statewide leader, listing him among its “Power 100.”  The publication called Satterfield, who has led the organization since 1995, “the longstanding face of the […]

MojoTone Celebrates Grand Opening

Congressman David Rouzer was among the dignitaries joining the staff of Mojotone LLC in marking the April ribbon-cutting of their new Burgaw facility in Burgaw. The fast-growing company has operated in Pender County since 2005, but its previous space had become inadequate. “Being in this new building definitely opens up more opportunities for manufacturing and […]

44 Teams Compete in WBD’s 16th Annual Golf Tournament

Regional executives recently showed their support for WBD while also doing something they love: playing golf. Members and guests gathered on May 17 at River Landing for the 16th Annual WBD Golf Tournament. This year’s event included competition on the links by 44 teams. The tournament has become a valuable opportunity for relationship-building and networking […]


July 26, 2018 (Elizabethtown, N.C. and Wilmington, N.C.). BlueArrow Warehousing & Logistics LLC will establish operations in Southeastern North Carolina in a move that will boost traffic at the Port of Wilmington. Based in Monroe Township, N.J., privately-held BlueArrow provides warehousing, distribution, transportation, pick-and-pack and logistics services for numerous “big box” retailers and e-commerce companies. […]


Global Construction Materials Maker Will Create at Least 51 Jobs May 8, 2018 (Wilmington, N.C.) – National Gypsum Company will re-open its Wilmington production facility, investing $25 million over the next five years in new infrastructure and equipment, and creating at least 51 jobs at salaries averaging $57,000 per year. “We expect to have the […]


Music Electronics Maker Eyes Continued Growth April 20, 2018 (Burgaw, N.C.) Local business, government and economic development officials will join executives and staff today at Mojotone LLC in marking the grand opening of the company’s 40,000-square-foot facility in Burgaw. The company, which has operated in Pender County since 2005, outgrew its previous space, which spread […]


  Given the global nature of modern commerce, port facilities now play a key role in the movement of finished goods between producers and consumers. As North Carolina’s gateway to the world’s marketplace, Greater Wilmington is well-suited to prosper from this trend. An “at-port” distribution center model moves the port closer to achieving its full […]


Over 300 WBD members and guests gathered in Live Oak Bank’s corporate aviation hangar at Wilmington International Airport for networking, news and more on November 15th. “An airport hangar may at first seem unusual for a business event, but in reality, it says a lot about where Greater Wilmington’s business community stands in 2017,” WBD […]


Eastern NC Beverage Company Will Build HQ and Distribution Center   February 5, 2018 (Wilmington, N.C.) – Coastal Beverage Company, Inc., one of eastern North Carolina’s premiere distributors of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, has selected a 27.7-acre parcel at Pender Commerce Park that will serve as regional distribution space as well as its corporate […]


FedEx Freight Will Be Property’s Third Tenant February 2, 2018 (Wilmington, N.C.) – Wilmington Business Development has announced FedEx Freight, a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, a unit of FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) has selected a 12.5-acre parcel at Pender Commerce Park for a new service center. “The arrival of FedEx Freight highlights the rise of Pender […]

ILM sets new passenger record

Officials say 2018 will be strong as well NEW HANOVER COUNTY — For the second year in a row, Wilmington International Airport has set a passenger-count record. The airport, also known as ILM, saw 836,589 people fly out of and into the airport in 2017. That’s an increase over the former record of 817,896 set […]

ILM lands more flights to Chicago, Washington

American service to match new nonstops planned by United NEW HANOVER COUNTY — American Airlines has announced it is expanding its service from Wilmington International Airport to offer year-round service to Washington, D.C., and seasonal flights to Chicago, the airport announced Monday. “We see it as additional capacity and additional options for our travelers,” Wilmington […]

ILM lands nonstop flights to Chicago, Washington-Dulles

New United services, twice daily on each route, to start in early April   WILMINGTON — Wilmington International Airport is spreading its wings to the Windy City and the nation’s capital. The airport, commonly known as ILM, is getting new daily nonstop service this spring to Chicago and Washington, D.C., on United Airlines. “We’re ecstatic,” […]

UNCW gains in regional college rankings

The school is 14th in the Best Regional Universities South Rankings, up from 16th last year. WILMINGTON — The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) climbed in this year’s U.S. News & World Report college rankings, released Tuesday. UNCW is 14th out of 149 schools in the report’s Best Regional Universities South Rankings, up from […]


JULY 20, 2017 Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports and CSX will commence a daily, intermodal rail service between Wilmington and Charlotte starting July 28, 2017. This double stacked train, dubbed the Queen City Express, marks the official return of intermodal rail to North Carolina Ports. “The Queen City Express provides premier rail service over […]

Mojotone Closes on Pender Shell Building, Expands Product Line and Workforce

Mojotone LLC has closed on its purchase of a 40,000-square-foot shell building in Burgaw that will accommodate an expanded product line. “We should be in the building by September,” says Michael McWhorter, the company’s co-owner. The Burgaw firm makes amplifiers, sound system cabinetry and components for electric guitars. It will vacate three buildings it has […]

2017 WBD Golf Tournament Draws 41 Teams

With its moss-draped trees and immaculate landscaping, River Landing provides an ideal backdrop for golf anytime. But add in friends, colleagues, a festive atmosphere and a worthwhile cause, and you have the ingredients of a top-notch annual business golf event. That was the case on May 17th at the annual WBD Golf Tournament, where 123 […]

I-140 Completion Spells Opportunity for Professional Builders Supply

Some employees of Professional Builders Supply weren’t happy when an NC DOT project prompted the company to vacate its longtime location on Military Cutoff Road. “It was convenient for some of our people,” says Troy Wilkerson, Wilmington Market President for the company, which supplies residential construction products across Brunswick, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties. […]

WBD Hosts Location Advisers During Wells Fargo Championship

David Schrock, a Dallas-based site selection consultant, is not much of a golfer. But when he received an invitation to travel to Wilmington and attend the Wells Fargo Championship, he couldn’t pass up the offer. “I had been to North Carolina before, but never Wilmington,” says Schrock, who is senior director of NAI Global’s site […]

Wells Fargo Championship Showcases Greater Wilmington to the World

The Wells Fargo Championship, held in early May at Eagle Point Golf Club, offered pro golfers a look at one of Wilmington’s premiere courses. But the event, which was broadcast in 32 languages to 225 countries around the world, was also a unique showcase for Greater Wilmington as a destination for businesses and people. Some […]

New Chamber CEO Natalie English Brings Advocacy Expertise and Partnership Ethos

A 30-year career in legislative and regulatory affairs has laid the groundwork for Natalie English to be an effective advocate for Greater Wilmington’s business community. In March, English assumed her new duties as president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. “I’ve been in the chamber business a lot of years,” English says. “It […]


MARCH 20, 2017 Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports is pleased to announce a new partnership with ZIM Integrated Shipping Ltd. The container carrier recently added the Port of Wilmington to its Z7S all-water Asia-U.S. East Coast service rotation. This weekly service will begin calling on the port in June and provides unprecedented access to […]


MARCH 14, 2017 Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports is pleased to announce a new partnership with THE Alliance with the addition of the EC2 all-water Asia-U.S. East Coast container service. This weekly service will begin calling on the Port of Wilmington in May and touts some of the largest vessels that will consistently come […]


FEBRUARY 23, 2017  Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports is pleased to announce another new partnership with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk Line with the addition of the TA2/NEUATL2 Europe-U.S. East Coast container service. The enhanced TA2/NEUATL2 service will provide unprecedented access between Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Le Harve and Wilmington, North Carolina. “An optimized transatlantic […]

Container rail service to Port of Wilmington could start in March

By Tim Buckland StarNews Staff SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — The “Queen City Express,” delivering freight directly from the Port of Wilmington to a transportation hub in Charlotte, could begin in early March, officials said. “That’s what we’re targeting for,” said Paul Worley, director of the N.C. Rail Division. The weekly run of freight cars was announced […]

Wilmington International Airport Has Record Year

Posted on January 10, 2017 by flyilm Passenger Count Highest Since 2010 The Wilmington International Airport (ILM) served 817,896 passengers in 2016; setting a new record.  When compared to 2015, passenger enplanements were up 6.6% (25,365) and deplanements were up 5.9% (22,722) year over year.  The prior record for total passengers served was back in […]


JANUARY 9, 2017 Wilmington, N.C. – As part of its ongoing infrastructure investment plan, North Carolina Ports has ordered two New Panamax ship-to-shore cranes with an option to purchase two more from designer Shanghai Zhenjua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (ZPMC). Counting the new cranes and options, the Port of Wilmington will potentially feature a total […]


DECEMBER 22, 2016 Wilmington, N.C. – The Enviva wood pellet domes at the Port of Wilmington are operational and loading the first export shipment to Europe this week. The Enviva terminal, which includes two storage domes that can hold up to 45,000 metric tons of wood pellets each, is estimated to have a total impact […]

Jobs Up, Unemployment Rate Down in Greater Wilmington

Recent employment figures show a regional economy that is now surpassing its performance prior to the “Great Recession.” Figures released by the N.C. Department of Commerce for September 2016 put the Wilmington MSA’s unemployment rate at 4.5% — below the 4.7% rate for North Carolina overall and the 5% weighted national average that month. But […]

Chelsea Ash Receives Corning-WBD STEM Teaching Award

Chelsea Ash, a science teacher at Heidi Trask High School in Pender County, is the winner of the Corning-WBD Award for Excellence in STEM Teaching for 2016. Bob Trapp, Engineering Standards Manager at Corning Incorporated, presented the award at WBD’s annual membership meeting on October 11th. “In the classroom, [Ash] uses history and literature to […]

Manufacturing’s Outsized Impact

Since its founding in 1956, WBD has pursued diversification as a central theme in its economic development strategy. The vision has been a winner, with our region’s economy featuring a balanced blend of finance, logistics, headquarters, biotech, retail, healthcare and other industries. Like North Carolina as a whole, manufacturing has long been at the heart […]

Annual Meeting Celebrates WBD at 60

About 170 members, allies and special guests gathered on October 11th to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of Wilmington Business Development. The event, held in conjunction with the organization’s annual membership meeting, took place this year at the Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum. “This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of […]

Port of Wilmington Cold Storage Offers Ag Industry Many Benefits as First In-Port Cold Storage Facility in North Carolina

Press Release provided by Talk, Inc. Wilmington, N.C. – The temperatures inside Port of Wilmington Cold Storage (PWCS) may be below freezing, but the demand for cold storage in North Carolina is red hot. PWCS is a new, 101,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse used to maintain specific temperatures for the storage of perishable goods, such as […]


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OCTOBER 31, 2016 INFORMATION: Cliff Pyron Senior Manager, External Affairs (910) 343-6492 cliff.pyron@ncports.com   PORT OF WILMINGTON TOUTS NEW ASIA CONTAINER SERVICE CONNECTION Wilmington, N.C. – North Carolina Ports is pleased to announce a new partnership with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk Line with the addition of the TP10/Amberjack all-water Asia-U.S. […]

Four County EMC Wins First-Ever WBD Ally of the Year Award

Four County Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) has been named 2016 Ally of the Year by Wilmington Business Development (WBD). The first-ever award from WBD is co-sponsored by Cameron Management Company. “The Ally of the Year Award showcases the exceptional leadership behind our region’s economic development success,” said Scott Satterfield, WBD’s chief executive officer. Satterfield presented […]

Wilmington region sees high job growth

Southeastern North Carolina counties net high percentages of job creation. By Ashley Morris StarNews Staff SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. — Terry Greenlaw relocated from Atlanta to Wilmington last year to serve as the chief technology officer at CastleBranch. He brought his family with him. And he brought four other colleagues with him to Wilmington. The gig at […]

Local area included in expanded foreign trade zone

Tuesday, September 20th 2016, 10:00 am EDTTuesday, September 20th 2016, 10:00 am EDTBy: WECT StaffEmail Connectnewsroom@wect.com Southeastern North Carolina has received approval to expand Foreign-Trade Zone 214, Governor Pat McCrory announced Tuesday. (Source: WECT) SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – Southeastern North Carolina has received approval to expand Foreign-Trade Zone 214, Governor Pat McCrory announced Tuesday […]


Wilmington, N.C. – As part of its ongoing infrastructure investment plan, North Carolina Ports has completed the expansion project of its turning basin at the Port of Wilmington. The expansion allows the port to accommodate post-Panamax vessels with a length of 1,150 feet (350.52 meters) and a breadth of 158 feet (48.16 meters). On August […]

North Carolina Ports Welcomes Largest-Ever Containership to the Port of Wilmington

Wilmington, N.C. – Building upon Governor Pat McCrory’s efforts to increase trade and promote economic growth at our state ports, North Carolina officials welcomed the largest containership to visit the Port of Wilmington. The Hanjin Baltimore, measuring 984 feet in length and 140 feet in width, is the first of many post-Panamax vessels to be […]

New Direct Intermodal Rail Service to Connect Port of Wilmington and Charlotte

New Direct Intermodal Rail Service to Connect Port of Wilmington and Charlotte Wilmington, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory joined officials from the N.C. Transportation Department and CSX Corporation today at the Port of Wilmington to announce the debut of the new Queen City Express, an intermodal rail service between the Port of Wilmington and CSX’s […]

Empire Distributors Breaks Ground at Pender Commerce Park

Empire Distributors of North Carolina broke ground on its approximately 175,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility in March, setting the stage for a state-of-the-art facility that will be operating later this year. “We want to be in the building by October and operational soon thereafter,” says Jay McGrady, plant manager for Empire Distributors, which distributes beer, wine and […]

AAI Becomes Alcami, Nears Groundbreaking on Expansion

Just six months ago, AAI and its sister company Cambridge Major Labs (CML) announced a $20 million expansion to its lab and headquarters operations in Wilmington. Today, as that initiative moves forward, the global contract development and manufacturing organization has emerged with a new brand identity and name: Alcami. AAI, whose presence in Wilmington reached […]

Momentum Builds for Infrastructure Initiative Along Highway 421

The March 15th passage by North Carolina voters of a $2 billion bond package could help facilitate the construction of water and wastewater service along U.S. Highway 421, a key industrial corridor with lucrative job-creation potential. While New Hanover County is not directly eligible for “Connect NC” funds, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) […]

14th Annual Membership Invitational Draws 48 Teams

The 14th Annual Verizon Invitational drew 48 teams, a new record for the golf event. Some 144 players gathered at River Landing on May 18th to show their support for economic development in the region. In addition to raising funds to support WBD’s global marketing and promotional mission, the event provides valuable opportunities for informal […]

AT&T Expands Access to Gigabit Speeds to more Businesses in 20 North Carolina Markets

RALEIGH, N.C., June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T1 is bringing gigabit internet speeds to even more businesses in 20 North Carolina markets. With AT&T Business Fiber, businesses can download and upload up 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).2 It’s now available in these markets: • Apex • Davidson • Knightdale • Asheville • Garner • Morrisville • Burlington […]

Fiber Ready ILM Business Park

Click on links below to view Press Release and Video ILM Fiber Ready Video Press Release Fiber Ready ILM Business Park Press Release ILM Now Home to Nation’s First AT&T Fiber Ready International Airport Business Park With quick access to a deep-water port and top-notch aviation facility, ILM Business Park has unique advantages when it […]

Pender Commerce Park Becomes North Carolina’s First “AT&T Fiber Ready” Property

Member News & Events, News published on Dec 7, 2015

Like access to talent and supply chains, high-speed telecommunications is a basic ingredient for global business success. That’s why Pender County leaders were proud to have one of their county’s premiere industrial properties receive a first-of-its-kind designation for broadband readiness from one of the nation’s leading telecommunications providers. In October, AT&T Corporation designated Pender Commerce […]

WBD Joins Partners and Allies in Hosting Consultant Outreach Tour

Member News & Events, News published on

The global nature of today’s business world makes county limits irrelevant to most companies. That’s why WBD joined with economic development counterparts in Brunswick County, the NC Ports and The Southeastern Partnership in organizing a familiarization tour of the region for leading national site selection consultants. Such “Fam tours” were among the recommendations of the […]

WBD Joins Corning in Honoring Educational Innovation

Member News & Events, News published on

  Kelly Crowley, a 3rd grade teacher at Wilmington’s Pine Valley Elementary School, is the 2015 recipient of the Corning – WBD Award for Excellence in STEM Education.  The award was given at the annual meeting of Wilmington Business Development on October 8th. “Mrs. Crowley builds interest and excitement about STEM by demonstrating that science […]

Annual Meeting Highlights Private Equity Investing and More

Member News & Events, News published on

The 2015 Annual Membership Meeting of Wilmington Business Development drew some 200 participants to the Burney Center at UNC Wilmington. Held the evening of October 8th, members and guests listened to a series of speakers share insight on economic development and business topics. Allen Thorpe, New York City-based managing director at Hellman & Friedman, LLC, […]


Member News & Events published on Jun 30, 2015

1st Place:  Bill Harrington, Courtney Faircloth & Steve Gunn 2nd Place:  Steve Wilkinson, Bill Rhodes & Joel White 3rd Place:  Bob Cherry, Ned Murchison & Josh Goldstein 4th Place:  Tim Eldridge, Brian Rector & Tee Nunnelee (not pictured) Clear skies and comfortable breezes greeted participants of the thirteenth annual Verizon Invitational Golf Tournament, held May […]

Economic Impact Data Affirms WBD Results

Member News & Events published on Dec 18, 2014

Greater Wilmington’s recent run of company expansions and relocations has real meaning in terms of job opportunities, business activity and funding streams for vital local government services. From March 2013 through September 2014, WBD’s project management efforts resulted in the announced creation of 835 new jobs and more than $200 million in annual payroll, according […]

2014 Annual Meeting Highlights

Member News & Events published on

Over 200 WBD members and guests attended the organization’s annual meeting on October 9th at UNC Wilmington’s Burney Center. The gathering included valuable networking among attendees, as well as an engaging line-up of speakers addressing a variety of important subjects. After watching a video that featured key business leaders, participants were welcomed by Dickson McLean, […]

Corning/WBD STEM Educator of the Year Award

Member News & Events published on

Michelle Hafey, who teaches 7th and 8th grade science at Penderlea School, has been named the Corning/WBD STEM Educator of the Year for 2014. Executives at Corning presented the award at last month’s annual membership meeting of Wilmington Business Development (WBD). “Michelle’s excellence in STEM teaching will ensure our students are ready to succeed in […]

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