N.J. consulting firm to join biotech campus

N.J. consulting firm to join biotech campus

A New Jersey consulting firm specializing in sensory testing is joining the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, and is looking to hire 20 to 35 people.

Sensory Spectrum handles testing for clients in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, among others, said Clyde Higgs, campus vice president for business development.

The $1.5 billion campus by billionaire Dole Food owner David Murdock is being developed in conjunction with several N.C. universities.

Eight have signed on so far, with the most recent being Appalachian State University, Higgs said. It will run a human performance lab focusing on such areas as physiology and exercise, he said. But the campus also hopes to continue to attract private development as well.

In April, it announced that Wilmington contract research company PPD will join the campus, and may bring 200 to 300 jobs over the next few years.

Higgs said Sensory Spectrum of New Providence, N.J., will occupy 12,000 square feet in Canon Village near the campus Core Lab, in January. It should be in temporary space by October. Adam Bell

Lebda named to magazine's 50 under 50

Doug Lebda, the chairman and chief executive of Charlotte-based LendingTree, was recently named to the inaugural list of “Directors to Watch: 50 Under 50” by “Directorship” magazine. Lebda, 37, serves on the board of Eastman Kodak Co.

LendingTree, which Lebda founded a decade ago, is an online service that matches lenders and borrowers who want home, auto and other loans. The directors were selected by the magazine's editors and based on input from a reader poll and a panel of 12 corporate governance experts. Christina Rexrode

Autobell branches out to Georgia

Charlotte-based Autobell Car Wash Inc. has opened its first store in Georgia. The company now has 51 locations in the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia.

The new location, in Suwanee, Ga., is part of the company's plan to open more stores in the Atlanta metro area, CEO and president Chuck Howard said in a statement Friday.

Autobell washes more than 2.5 million cars each year and recycles more than 80 percent of the water it uses, according to the statement. The company employs nearly 1,500 people. Melissa Caron