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LOCAL BRIEFS: Business courses, top banker, controlled burn, GOP

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Professional Development courses offered at BRCC

The Professional Development Institute at Blue Ridge Community College will offer classes in coaching, team building, human resources and other business topics. Class instructors at PDI represent a host of local, national, and international business experience.
Participants may attend classes individually or in series for receipt of leadership development certificates. The spring lineup offers classes required for the Leading Others Certificate. Summer and fall classes will reflect the Strategic Leadership Certificate and Leading from the Inside Out Certificate respectively. Classes are offered on both the Henderson and Transylvania campuses of BRCC and can be delivered at a specific business location upon request. The classes:

• Effective Teams – Thursday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Learn key characteristics of effective teams and strategies to build high performance work teams. Understand how to establish clear direction, roles and responsibilities, communication processes, rewards and accountability and decision-making processes that foster teamwork. Learn to cultivate a culture that promotes collaboration and inspires innovation. Understand the stages of team development and how to help your team progress through each.

• SHRM Exam Prep – Feb. 20 to May 15: The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) sanctions Blue Ridge Community College as an official SHRM college. BRCC offers SHRM approved courses that prepare HR professionals for SHRM certifications. BRCC courses equips HR professionals with the necessary tools to play a strategic role in their HR departments; stay abreast of ever-changing laws, innovative strategies, and current labor practices; and successfully manage HR departments based on four pillars of professional skills.

• Leadership Excellence presented by the world-renowned Disney Institute – Wednesday, May 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Adapt time-tested Disney business insights to assess and improve your organization. Identify the personal and organizational values that drive you as a leader to carry out your organization's vision. Establish an alignment of personal values and organizational values to enthusiastically support your organization’s vision. Understand a leader’s values-infused role in operationalizing culture-building and team support. Develop strategies to sustain your organization’s values and vision during turbulent times as well as good times. Build your own personal legacy as a leader.

For more information, visit or call (828) 694-1779.

UCB banker honored for landing mortgages

Carolyn Swanner, of United Community Bank in Hendersonville, was among eight individuals and six branch teams recognized for outstanding performance during the fourth quarter of 2016. She was recognized as top mortgage producer. The bank’s top performing individuals and branch teams were honored Jan. 18 at UCB’s Sales and Service Champion luncheon in Hiawassee, Ga. Based in Blairsville, Ga., United Community Banks Inc. (NASDAQ: UCBI) has $10.7 billion in assets and operates 139 offices in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

U.S. Forest Service plans controlled burns

The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct controlled burns in Pisgah National Forest and other national forests in North Carolina over the next several months.
The agency will notify the public when the decision is made to conduct controlled burns in the area. Burning days are changeable because the proper weather conditions are needed. Controlled burning will only occur when environmental conditions permit; wind and relative humidity are key factors in fire behavior, safety and smoke control. A scheduled burn may be cancelled that morning if conditions are not within the expected values.
Trails and roads may be closed the day before the controlled burn for firefighter and public safety. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and roads and to stay away from burn areas and closed roads and trails.
Controlled burning is an important and versatile forest management tool that can mimic natural fire disturbances and safely reduce hazardous fuels buildup. Reducing fuels is key to limiting wildfire growth. During the historic fire season of last fall, some fires were quickly extinguished because of previous controlled burning that had occurred in those areas.
Controlled burns are thoroughly planned and analyzed by a team of specialists to ensure that wildlife, fisheries, rare plants and historic sites are not harmed. Burned areas can be unsightly at first; however, the forests will green up in a matter of months.

Republican Men’s Club hears about youth mentors

The Henderson County Republican Men’s Club will meet at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Moose Café in the Wal-Mart shopping center. All registered Republicans, both men and women, are invited to attend. Speakers are Kent Parent, principal of Balfour Education Center, and Sheriff Charlie McDonald. Parent will discuss the Career Academies at Balfour, which are open to all Henderson County students. McDonald will discuss the role and need for youth mentors and the influence mentors have had in his own life. For more information call 828-329-4971 or e-mail

Judge Brooks to speak at Republican breakfast

Henderson County District Court Judge Athena Brooks will be the guest speaker at the Republican breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Fireside restaurant on Sugarloaf Road.