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Business Notebook for Sept. 4

A roundup of business news in Fayetteville and Cumberland County


TRP Sumner senior accountant earns CPA license

Devon Parker, a senior accountant at TRP Sumner, has earned his 2022 certified public accountant license.

The North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners released the names of those accounting professionals who earned the title of CPA in 2022. Parker was among those listed, TRP Sumner said in a release.

The North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants defines receiving a CPA designation as someone who is highly educated, skilled and respected with expertise spanning many financial and accounting areas, the release said. These areas can include financial planning, taxation, auditing and assurance, consulting and forensic accounting, the release said.

“The firm is extremely proud of Devon, who is the most recent member of our team earning this license,’’ managing partner Kelly Puryear said in a statement. “He joins a talented group of professional CPAs currently working at our firm and as well as in the industry as a whole.

“As with all CPAs, Devon has taken the oath to abide by the rules of professional ethics and conduct and to uphold the honor and dignity of the accounting profession by serving with integrity, objectivity, and competence. These standards of integrity and quality of work matches TRP Sumner’s philosophy and how our entire team strives to work every day.” 

Methodist ranked most diverse university in N.C.

Methodist University has been recognized as the No. 1, most diverse university in North Carolina in 2022, according to Niche University Rankings and Reviews, the university said in a release.

Methodist is one spot ahead of Duke University and surpasses all of the nearly 150 other big public and smaller, private institutions in the state, the university said in the release.

The release said Methodist University earned high marks in every factor considered by the ranking, including: 

  • Student racial diversity index  
  • Percentage of international students 
  • Percentage of out-of-state students 
  • Student economic diversity index 
  • Faculty diversity index 
  • Student surveys on diversity 
  • Faculty gender ratio 
  • Student gender ratio 

 “Methodist University is proud of its diverse student body, which is a reflection of the growing diversity of our state and our society,” President Stanley T. Wearden said in the release. “Diversity on our campus creates a stronger educational experience for all; it prepares all students for the widely diverse workforce they will enter upon graduation; and it engenders the development of creative new ideas and approaches. Diversity brings varied cultural perspectives and points of view that enrich the university experience for everyone.”

The university works to make sure diversity and inclusiveness are part of everyday life on campus, the release said.

“It is with great gratitude that the early work Methodist University has engaged and invested in with making our institution not only more diverse, but providing an inclusive experience, is being highlighted,” said Quincy Malloy, the university’s chief diversity officer. “I would like to thank Niche for acknowledging our efforts and we will continue to strive for diversity and inclusive excellence at MU.” 

Library receives $4,000 grant for digital literacy workshops

The Cumberland County Public Library has received a $4,000 grant that will be used for digital literacy workshops to close the digital divide within the county, the county said in a release.

The library was among over 160 public libraries nationwide awarded funding from the Public Library Association to conduct these workshops. The workshops will be held at the North Regional Library, 855 McArthur Road. The schedule will be posted on the library’s website, cumberlandcountync.gov/lbrary, and the library’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, the release said.

The Public Library Association Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive provides support to libraries of all sizes to conduct digital literacy training in their communities and help close the digital divide across America, the release said.

Figures from the 2020 U.S. Census indicate that 8.7% of Cumberland County households have no computer, and 14% of households have no internet service, the release said.

“So much of what happens in the world is online now, and the library is well positioned to help people get in there and start learning about it,” Nora Armstrong, division manager for community engagement, said in the release.

The workshops will cover several topics such as computer basics and consumer-focused cybersecurity, the release said. Attendees will receive giveaways such as gift cards, wireless mice and USB flash drives. Those who attend at least three sessions will be entered into a drawing for a tablet, the release said.

For more information about the workshop, contact Armstrong at narmstrong@cumberlandcountync.gov or 910-483-7727.

Co-chairs named for Fort Bragg, Cumberland County Food Policy Council

The co-chairs for the Fort Bragg and Cumberland County Food Policy Council have been named, the county said in a release.

Lt. Col. Tathetra Joseph will serve as the military chair from Fort Bragg, and Sandy Ammons will serve as the civilian chair from Cumberland County, the release said.

The council’s members and officers are appointed by the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners. The council will have a maximum of 15 appointed members who serve for three-year terms, the release said.

The council also will have two members involved in local farming and agriculture; three members representing local education; three members who work in health care public health, food insecurity or food access, or child and adult care; and two members from local government, the release said.

The council has established three ad-hoc committees to focus on its priorities:

  • Creating a plan to expand transportation to healthy food sources.
  • Improving communication of food resources to residents, volunteers and food providers.
  • Explore expanding the use of WIC/EBT to farmer’s markets and other food markets.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health received a $100,000 grant in June 2020 from the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge to address food insecurity and healthy food access, the release said.

The goals of the grant were to conduct a food environment assessment of Cumberland County and Fort Bragg, to start a local food policy council, and for the council to implement two food policy recommendations.

The council was established in June of 2021, the release said.

Business Notebook, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, TRP Sumner, Methodist University, Cumberland County Public Library, Fort Bragg, Cumberland County Food Policy Council