Author Archives: Bea Quirk, contributing writer

Center complexities (access required)

SEAN STICHTER: Construction is on schedule for first phase of the project. Photo by Payton Guion

If you blink while driving by a Peak 10 data center, you’re apt to miss it. In 10 Southeastern and Midwestern cities, all 23 of them are nondescript, boxy, re-enforced concrete buildings with minimal signage. Peak 10’s three-stage data center now under construction in north Charlotte will be no different.

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Montford magic (access required)

Ten at Park Lanes, which opened last month on Montford Drive after a renovation of the venue formerly known as Park Lanes Bowling Center, is credited with making Montford a popular destination for weekenders. Mecklenburg Times file photo

Montford Drive is just a fourth of a mile long a cut-through connecting Park and Woodlawn roads in the heart of suburban Charlotte. But Montford has become a popular entertainment district, one that routinely attracts a couple thousand people on weekend nights.

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Holly Alexander, Concorde Construction (access required)


As 2011 drew to a close, Holly Alexander looked back at the year and smiled. It had been one of the most challenging years of her life, but it had also been one of the most satisfying. In her job as director of business and marketing for Concorde Construction, she experienced firsthand the impact of the recession on the construction industry. As president of the 240-member Charlotte chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, she led a group whose members were leaving the business and the group, including the incoming president.

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Catherine Bessant, Bank of America (access required)


As one of the highest-ranking women at Bank of America, Cathy Bessant has had to overcome many challenges in her career. But even as she is responsible for more than 100,000 employees and contractors worldwide – more than any other BofA division – as global technology and operations executive, she said she remains committed to helping other women reach their full potential, especially in the still male-dominated information technology field.

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Nancy Braun, Showcase Realty (access required)


As a former restaurant owner and attorney, Nancy Braun knew that opening any kind of new business would be a challenge. But little did she know that the residential real estate boom would collapse soon after she opened Showcase Realty in March 2008. She started Showcase with two employees in a single office.Today, she has more than 20 employees and agents working for her in three offices.

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Susan Briggs, Dickie McCamey & Chilcote (access required)


Susan Briggs is a successful workers’ compensation attorney and managing partner for the Charlotte/Raleigh office of Dickie McCamey & Chilcote. But Briggs, 43, said she would never have reached this point if it weren’t for the promise she made to her dying mother. It was 1991, and Briggs had just begun law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when her mother learned she had brain cancer. She died six months later.

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Angela Broome, American Red Cross (access required)


Angela Broome knew it would be a challenge to switch careers from the banking world to the nonprofit arena. She knew her new job as chief executive of the American Red Cross’ Carolina Piedmont Region wouldn’t be easy. But it was made even more difficult because she was taking the helm of an organization that had just gone through a consolidation and reorganization. On top of that, she faced a major challenge her first day on the job: the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

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Sarah Buffett, Moore & Van Allen (access required)


In describing her work as an international, corporate and immigration attorney for Moore & Van Allen, Sarah Buffett tells people she fights Homeland Security for a living. “But I don’t always win,” she says. While that sounds pretty challenging, the biggest obstacle in her life is learning to say “no” when asked to pitch in and help people who can’t help themselves, she said.

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