The invite was black-tie optional, and with close to 300 people expected at the N.C. Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony Wednesday at the Westin, there were bound to be a few guys with bows under their chins.
While there were too many people to count in the ballroom crowd, at least a few dozen attendees came attired in formal wear. Who took the tuxedo out of the closet and who didn't? A sampling:
Hugh McColl, former Bank of America honcho: Yes.
Tim Newman, visitors authority head and former Wachovia exec: No.
John Crosland, development titan and one of this year's HOF inductees: Yes. Retired for several years, he wears his tux “not very often,” he said. “Not if I can help it.”
Jerry Richardson, Carolina Panthers owner and another inductee: N/A. With a pacemaker installed last week, Richardson stayed home to continue his recovery.
His two sons, however, did attend. Mark, Panthers football president, wore a suit. Jon, Panthers stadium president, donned a tux … with some regret, he said after seeing most men without bowties and cummerbunds.
“I thought more people would be wearing them,” he said.
Grin and beret it
Once an Insider regular, local tourism cheerleader Molly Hedrick had mixed feelings about her last appearance in the Observer.
Over drinks before the Hall of Fame dinner, Hedrick confessed that a photo two weeks ago of her wearing a beret during the announcement of a new Charlotte-Paris flight made her cringe a bit. Sure, she was having fun with the French theme, but she wasn't sure a half-million Observer readers needed to see that.
As she told one reporter, “It was the only time I told people to not read the paper that day.”
Charlotte Chamber pop music
The Charlotte business scene has likely seen happier years than 2008. But leave it to the Charlotte Chamber to look on the bright side: The group's annual meeting last week at Time Warner Cable Arena was themed “It's so much fun to be this good,” and the Chamber commissioned a guitar-pop ditty of the same name.
Written by husband-and-wife team Fred and Becky Story of Concentrix Music and Sound Design, the tune featured lyrics such as “Pro-business attitude/Three-five-two-one latitude” and “CATS and the Lynx on track/It's OK to pat our backs.”
It was performed twice – on video at the beginning, then again live at the end of the program – by the Bad Daddies, five local businessmen who've long been playing events together for fun.
The original song was a change from their usual repertoire of covers – think Led Zeppelin and Prince – but the experience was nonetheless enjoyable, said singer/guitarist Martin Godwin, a principal at executive search company the McAulay Firm. “I never thought I'd be able to say I played in an arena,” he mused.
A little this and that
Bragging rights: The Better Business Bureau will get bragging rights – and that coveted trophy – for another year. Staffer David Colson won the Knotts Cup putting contest for the second year in a row. It's an annual competition at Ballantyne Corporate Park … Uptown's newest steakhouse will be firing up its brand of Brazilian fare starting Saturday. Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, opening its first Charlotte location at 139 S. Tryon St., on Wednesday was handing out free samples on the Square.
Coming Sunday in On the Boss's Mind: US Airways Prez Scott Kirby totes his reading list everywhere, adding books he wants to buy.