Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Business North Carolina Vol. 7 Issue 6, June 1987
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Ron Rice is an Asheville native who went to Florida after college to teach school, coach football, and dabble in oil--suntan oil. His personal worth is estimated at $30 million. He owns Tanning Research Labs, Inc., which employs 3,000 people in fourteen countries. The company generates revenues of over $100 million annually. His empire was built on a popular tanning lotion--Hawaiian Tropic tanning products--which he began mixing in bathtubs and garbage cans. The product now is second only to Coppertone.
By day Frank Lanning is a product designer for Yale Security Systems in Monroe. By night and on weekends he is Levi Ledbetter, arms merchant, of the Civil War. His business, C&L Canteen Works is North Carolina's largest volume Civil War sutler (merchant), catering to a growing market of reenactment hobbyists. Customers, who can chose items from a list of two hundred come from all around the country and from England and Germany.
BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA magazine and Arthur Andersen & Company present their annual ranking of the state's top one hundred privately-held companies. McDevitt and Street Co., a Charlotte general contractor specializing in commercial, industrial, and institutional construction, ranked first, followed by Cone Mills Corp., a Greensboro manufacturer of textile fabrics for jeans and casual sportswear, in second place.
At one time headache powders were big business in the South. Most fell victim to changing times and the public's preference for modern tablets like Advil and Tylenol. Three major headache powders survive, and two of them are manufactured in North Carolina--Goody's Manufacturing Corp. and Stanback Co. Goody's has been a staple in Winston-Salem since 1932, and Stanback's was introduced to the public in 1910 in Spencer.
John Lemmon of John Lemmon Films of Charlotte makes clay animation commercials. At the 1986 Houston International Film Festival he received top awards for his commercials. There are five companies in the nation that offer clay animation, but only Lemmon and one other company work exclusively in the technique. Since each commercial can take from six to eleven weeks to prepare, he takes only four to six jobs a year. Messmer describes the process.
Hatteras Hammocks was founded seventeen years ago in Greenville by Walter Perkins, a tobacco buyer who started making hammocks in his living room. The company expects to sell around 60,000 in 1987. Today Hatteras is a $6 million business with 150 employees, production lines, and machines. Their best-known competitor is Pawleys Island Hammocks of South Carolina.