Triad Magazine – I worked as a freelance writer for the Piedmont Triad Partnership, an economic development organization for the Triad region of North Carolina. I interviewed several business owners for this feature article (advertorial) about the transformation of the area from a manufacturing hub, to a modern biotech center.
The fun of this article was the “hook” I found while interviewing one of the CEOs. As we talked in his office in the newly refurbished Winston-Salem biotech center, Phil Shugart told me that he used to come to this very brick building — once a tobacco warehouse — with his grandfather to auction their tobacco. He would sleep with his grandfather near their horses overnight on these trips to deliver tobacco from his hometown to the market. With this juxtaposition, Shugart personified the aspirational transformation of the region from the tobacco capital to a biotech-focused region.