Ben Holmes wins Kenan Institute Impact Award

August 8, 2017

Notes from the Director

Ben graduated in May from Kenan-Flagler Business School. He started working with NCGrowth as an analyst in August 2015. He has been an incredible asset to NCGrowth’s team and undoubtedly furthered the mission of the Kenan Institute.

As a North Carolina native, Ben joined NCGrowth because he wanted to contribute his acquired and growing business skills to communities in distressed regions of the state. He’s passionate about rural communities and has an exceptional business acumen. Over the past 2 years, Ben has successfully completed 4 projects for NCGrowth – more than almost any other student in NCGrowth history. His projects have been wide ranging and demonstrate just how adaptable and dedicated he is to serving the people of North Carolina.

Ben’s first project was a marketing strategy and online fulfilment recommendation for Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery in Bladen County. Since Ben wrapped up his project, Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery has gone on to hire new employees and they have become a meeting place and hub for the community. Bladen County has one of the highest unemployment rates in North Carolina. Ben’s subsequent projects have ranged from a boat manufacturing company to an engineering company. He’s now wrapping up what may be his finest work yet – a business plan project with Tortillas Carolina. Tortillas Carolina is in Robeson County and it sets itself apart from other tortilla makers by using only freshly ground corn, and only products made in North Carolina. Robeson County was devastated by Hurricane Matthew in the fall and is perpetually ranked poorest county in North Carolina. Not only does the business provide jobs for the community, but it is a major customer for other Robeson County businesses including farmers and the grain mill. Ben has been invaluable to Tortillas Carolina as they look to expand their operation and hire 80 new employees this year.

Ben is a star. He’s understated, unassuming, and extremely bright. Business owners love him because he’s so approachable and eager to help. Students like Ben make it possible for the Kenan Institute to do the work that we do. We show our thanks by honoring him with this prestigious award.

ben-holmes
Ben is a star. He’s understated, unassuming, and extremely bright. Business owners love him because he’s so approachable and eager to help. Students like Ben make it possible for the Kenan Institute to do the work that we do. We show our thanks by honoring him with this prestigious award.

NCGrowth

NCGrowth’s mission is to help businesses create good jobs and to help communities create sustainable and equitable opportunities for their people.

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