While waiting to see which out-of-town bank ends up with what parts of Wachovia, we probably can declare one winner already: wireless companies.
Between Wachovia employees, bank executives, lawyers and local business leaders, fingers have been flying fast and furiously over cell phones, Blackberry devices and other means of getting and sharing information immediately.
Consider Nelson Schwab, a founder and managing partner of Carousel Capital, a Charlotte private investment firm. While active in civic affairs, Schwab also has a full-time job and was away from Charlotte all of last week – when Wachovia first had a deal with New York-based Citigroup, then tried to get together with Wells Fargo of San Francisco.
Did that lead to Schwab's churning through more cell phone minutes than usual? “Definitely,” he said.
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What, me worry?
Back in Charlotte, local business leaders were trying to take the battle for Wachovia in stride.
The region may have a lot riding on the deal, with Wachovia's new owner deciding how many jobs stick around. But unless you're part of those negotiations, it doesn't do much good to wring your hands until we know who wins, said Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, which recruits businesses to the area.
“Personally, I'm cool,” Bryant said, “because I understand it's something beyond my control.”
Partying on the rooftop
Regional government officials and city business leaders celebrated Charlotte in swanky style last week. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority launched its Charlotte's Got A Lot campaign with a rooftop fete at The Residence at SouthPark.
Mooresville Mayor Bill Thunberg, ASC President Lee Keesler and county commissioner Jennifer Roberts were among the notables noshing on hors d'oeuvres from M5 and rubbing elbows with such local TV personalities as Rob Boisvert and Morgan Fogarty.
CRVA CEO Tim Newman wasn't concerned that the new campaign is launching in the midst of an economic crisis. He expressed confidence in Charlotte, citing its diverse economy and its reputation as a regional destination.
This and that
Fastest Items in Town!™ : The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has put 52-year-old Park Road Shopping Center's sign on its “inventory list” as an example of mid-century modernism. It could be designated a landmark later if the owner requests it or if the sign is threatened. … Losing big, but eating well: Kansas City Chiefs CEO Carl Peterson and a table of players were spotted at the Morton's uptown on Saturday. Other steakhouse celebrity sightings include Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, and Speed channel commentator Steve Matchett at Morton's SouthPark on Friday. … Preservation North Carolina will present an award of merit Saturday to Carolinas HealthCare System and its construction manager, Bill Merritt. They were cited for demonstrating “sensitivity and respect” when workers discovered a historic graveyard during a $100 million construction project at Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy. … Talk about coincidental timing as people freak out about the economy: This week is Financial Planning Week. Charlotte's chapter of the Financial Planning Association and Alliance Credit Counseling are answering questions – for free – tonight between 6 and 7 p.m. Phone: 1-866-686-8130.
Coming Sunday in On The Boss's Mind: Why Gov. Mike Easley doesn't use an iPod – and why he's checking news online during the wee hours.