An Ultimate Risk
George Alan Bundy, 53, a former engineer at Nortel Networks Corporation, took a financial risk to become an entrepreneur. Today he is the owner of B&B Pecan Processors, located in Turkey, NC.
B&B Pecan Processors oversees the processing of pecans and making of Elizabeth’s Pecan Candies, as well as the Goodness Grows North Carolina section in various grocery stores.
In 1981 Captain Bobby F. Bundy, Bundy’s father, planted 45 acres of pecan trees. Alan Bundy, maintained the trees for 15 years, then began the processing of pecans in 1996, as well as built a 6000 square foot building for equipment to carry out the processing.
In 1997 the company’s first candy product, Elizabeth’s Extraordinary Praline Pecans, named after his daughter Elizabeth, was created. The candy was tested in various food shows and taste tests, and was a success.
“The following summer in 1998 we started discussing what to do with the pieces of pecans because we were just selling the halves of pecans in grocery stores and local shops, so we came up with the idea of a pecan brittle,” Bundy said.
This idea led to the creation of Elizabeth’s Exceptional Pecan Brittle, a soft brittle, which became a very popular product among customers because of its unique texture. This product has become Bundy’s bestseller.
This well-liked brittle made Bundy have to decide whether he wanted to take the risk to further this business, which has quickly taken off, or to maintain his steady salary job with full health benefits.
“My daughter, Elizabeth, was getting older and with two full-time jobs I was not able to spend as much time with her and my wife as I wanted to,” Bundy said. “Also it was my father’s dream to process the pecans and sell them, and I wanted to keep that dream alive.”
After much contemplation, Bundy decided to take the risk and expand on this pecan candy line. He quit his job at Nortel in 2000 and focused on building his company.
“It was something that started growing faster than I thought and I was becoming more and more frustrated in the corporate world, so I decided to take the risk,” Bundy said.
Today Elizabeth’s Pecans features 12 varieties of candies, and Bundy is currently working on a thirteenth. The candies are sold through a local outlet in Turkey, NC, and their website, and have been shipped to every state in the United States and 15 other countries.
“Everything we do is a hand-made process, there are no assembly lines,” said Bundy. “I like for my company to have the reputation of creating high quality products.”
Around the time Bundy began to expand his candy business, he also took on the opportunity to become the sole distributor for the Goodness Grows NC section.
“We were selling our raw pecans in different grocery stores and I wanted to expand on that. So when I was talking with Goodness Grows on how to do that they asked me if I wanted to get into the actual distribution business because the stores weren’t happy with the current NC sections; there were 20 people trying to service a four-foot section in each store,” Bundy said. “After further discussion of this opportunity I decided to start distributing these products myself under B&B, with the intention of selling more of my pecans.”
The NC sections consist of over 60 products, are available in approximately 150 stores of five major grocery store chains and are also sold in various “mom and pop” shops.
In 2011 Elizabeth’s Pecans started chocolate coating their own products, as well as co-packing other business’s chocolate-coated products. Bundy currently has two customers and hopes to gain more as the business expands.
Within the next five to ten years, Bundy hopes to continue creating new varieties of candies as well as add at least five mores acres to his orchard. He is also looking to expand his distribution services into South Carolina and expand the number of store sites for his candies when the timing is right.
“I would like to expand the business at a quicker pace than I am currently, but I need good people and good help which I just don’t have right now,” said Bundy.
A Man of Many Travels
Dr. Roger Guy is a spontaneous man who has had many eye-opening experiences from the free spirited decisions he has made in his life.
Dr. Guy, 52, has traveled to three continents, spent time in eight different places and is bilingual in French and English. He has had the opportunity to live in places like Paris, France and New York City.
A Virginia native, Guy attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York, NY right out of high school for two years. AADA is a two-year program with a curriculum revolving around theatre, dance and music.
After deciding that acting was “too hard to get into” Dr. Guy attended Hunter College in New York for a Bachelor of Arts degree, and later the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he obtained his Master of Public Administration.
After graduating from Hunter College in 1984 and in between obtaining his masters degree at UNCC in 1990, he traveled to live in Paris with his girlfriend at the time where he worked in the construction business painting houses.
“It was probably the most formative experience in my life. It shaped who I am intellectually, morally and socially,” Dr. Guy said. “I used to be a xenophobe, meaning I didn’t like people from other countries and believed there was no better place than the United States, but after living in France I realized it was just as rewarding living there as any other place.”
Dr. Guy later attended the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee where he earned his Ph. D in urban studies in 1996. He wrote his dissertation on the migration of Southern Whites to Chicago.
This research sparked his interest to write his first novel From Diversity to Unity that was published in 2007. The novel is based on the Southern and Appalachian migrants in uptown Chicago from the 1950s to the 1970s. Before the publishing of his book he did further research in Chicago from 1995 to 1997.
Prior to coming to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2007, Dr. Guy was an associate professor and department chair at Texas Lutheran University for the Sociology and Political Science department for 10 years.
Dr. Guy is currently an associate professor in the Sociology and Criminal Justice department at UNCP, residing in Lumberton, North Carolina.
He was recently interviewed about his book for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in May 2012.
“For someone to have written a book about a topic and to be used as a resource in a PBS documentary was a wonderful acknowledgement of the importance of my work,” he said. “The director, Ray Santistiban, is well-known, and his previous documentaries have received wide acclaim.”
He is working on a second book that focuses on the Hank Williams Village, a housing development proposed by Southern Whites between 1968 and 1971 with the intent to create their own community and identity but was voted down.
His wife, Yoshi, 52, is a native of Japan and an associate registrar at Fayetteville State University. Dr. Guy and Yoshi met during graduate school through a mutual friend at a wedding. They travel to Japan annually to spend time with Yoshi’s family.
Last summer, Dr. Guy had the opportunity to visit Ireland to do a presentation at an academic conference. While there, he went to a Catholic mass with Dr. Mario Paparozzi, department chair of Sociology and Criminal Justice at UNCP.
Through his worldly experiences, Dr. Guy has learned many values.
“You gain a sensitivity and openness for others by going abroad,” he said.
He likes to encourage his students to study or go abroad because of the personal benefit they would gain from the experience. He has had success with his encouragement; he currently has a former student living in Prague and another attending graduate school in England.
In his free time, Dr. Guy enjoys landscaping and gardening. He does it about once a month.
“When I am gardening, it makes me forget everything else going on in my life,” he said.
Prior to coming to UNCP, Dr. Guy enjoyed skateboarding, but had to stop because he was, and is still, unable to find a place to skate locally.
“It was exhilarating for me. I would skateboard in any ditches, pools or ramps I could find,” he said.
Dr. Guy also enjoys cooking, especially with his wife.
“A great weekend for me is Yoshi and I cooking together because it is a way we can spend time with each other,” Dr. Guy said. “We usually will make a fusion of Japanese and traditional American food, things we both enjoy making.”
Nate Priest Video Feature
Nate Priest is a 5th year senior playing as a tight end for the UNCP Braves football team under coach Shinnick. He finished in 2012 playing for 4 years for the Braves basketball team under Coach Miller. This is a feature video about his experience of playing two sports at the same university.
Pembroke Day a Community-Wide Gathering
Pembroke Day is a gathering of Pembroke’s business community, the people of Pembroke and the UNC-Pembroke student body. It is an annual tradition that gives the people in the Pembroke community a chance to socialize and celebrate the new school year at UNCP.
Held on September 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the quad between Old Main, Livermore Library and the Bell Tower, many of the local businesses and organizations set up vending booths to either sell items or promote their name in the community. Many local businesses with Native American inspired clothing, accessories and decorations come to Pembroke Day to proudly display their creations.
Businesses like Bear Claw’s Den and Native Sisters Jewelry had many pieces of jewelry on display; a wide variety of colors and shapes were displayed along the vendors’ tables. Beautifully crafted home decorations and authentic pieces of clothing with Native American inspired design were on display as well.
Many of the local businesses say that Pembroke Day is a good way to promote their business name and products, as well as display their unique Native American heritage and hard work.
“We love coming out to this event to participate in the social gathering as well as get our name out there,” said Penny Creech, owner of Bear Claw’s Den.
For the non-natives of Pembroke like many among the UNCP student body, Pembroke Day is a way to expand their cultural experiences.
“It is neat to see the colorful displays and creations of the local businesses,” said Brantley Hattrich, one of the UNCP students in attendance of Pembroke Day. “This is a unique school because it is inspired by the Lumbee tribe, and it is very obvious these people are proud of their culture.”
For the natives of the Pembroke area, it is a day to see old friends and meet new ones. Pembroke and its surrounding towns represent the definition of a small town community, and the people that make it up give off a vibe that they are a part of a close-knit community.
“The Pembroke community loves to interact with the college and share our culture with others. It is definitely something to take pride in,” said Laura Byrd, a native of Prospect, NC and a student at UNC-Pembroke. “It is a great way to have fellowship with one another.”
With fun festivities, local celebrities, door prizes and a representation of culture, Pembroke Day is a tradition proudly hosted by UNCP and its community. There are many things one can experience at the event to personally know what makes this tradition unique.
Student Inspired to Pursue Passion
Tina Rogers says well-known actor Hill Harper inspired her to pursue her passion for writing.
Rogers, 31, plans to graduate in May 2013 with a Journalism major. Although she plans to graduate with a degree from the Mass Communications department, she was not set on this path when she first started her college career.
“I wanted to make use of my time at school and with being undecided with my major felt like I wasn’t, so I left,” Rogers said.
A native of Pembroke, NC and a graduate of Purnell Swett High School in 1999, she attended UNC-Pembroke through the fall of 2000 then took some time off to work and decide what she wanted to do with her life.
After a long break she gave herself a fresh start and attended Robeson Community College (RCC) from 2009-2010. She was enrolled in the Medical Office Administration program with an open mind to new things.
She took a required beginning level accounting class, made great strides in it, and was advised by her professor to pursue an accounting major.
“I understood the material better than others and my professor thought it was something that came natural to me, so she suggested I go into accounting,” Rogers said.
After a year at RCC she came back to UNC-Pembroke in the fall of 2010 with the intentions of becoming an accounting major, but discovered it was not what she imagined it would be. The classes she took did not match up to her vision of what accounting was all about.
Hill Harper is best known for his acting career in CSI: New York and is author of several books including: Letters to a Young Brother.
In the spring of 2011, Hill Harper came to the Givens Performing Arts Center (G-PAC) at UNCP to give a seminar, with the intentions of motivating students to find their passion in life and to pursue what they love. Rogers was moved by Harper’s message, and it inspired her to discover a passion in her life, writing.
Rogers says the inspiration from listening to Hill Harper, along with her sister Deidre’s support, she made the switch to become a Journalism major.
“My sister encouraged me to be affirmative and do what I want, not what I should do,” Rogers said.
Rogers has a love for writing, and hopes her writing skills will open many doors for her.
“I chose a journalism major because I feel like I can branch out into different areas of study,” Rogers said.
Rogers has no definite plans after graduation in May, but wants to get into the public relations or marketing field. She is currently interning with G-PAC, working to gain knowledge in those areas, and said she wants to have experience in multiple areas to make her a “well-rounded candidate in the Mass Communications field,” Rogers said.
With a Journalism major along with knowledge and experience in the public relations and marketing fields, there are many opportunities waiting for Rogers.