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Bailey Park Water Feature Conceptual Rendering

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter today announced architectural and landscaping improvements coming to Bailey Park in the first half of 2016. An entrance plaza with a water feature and awalkway connecting upper and lower levels are among the enhancements that are being added to Bailey Park in a community development initiative supported by local foundations and corporations.

Work on the improvements at the 1.6-acre publicly accessible green space in the Innovation Quarter will be completed in April. The Innovation Quarter is undertaking the project with funding support by:

  • Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Wexford Science + Technology
  • The John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation
  • The Millennium Fund
  • The Winston-Salem Foundation
  • Stimmel Associates, PA
  • Grubb Properties
  • Whiting Turner

“Bailey Park is for the whole community,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of the Innovation Quarter. “It’s gratifying that many local foundations and corporations have come together to support the further development of this unique resource.”

Enhancements to Bailey Park will include a new entrance plaza featuring a “water wall” on the North Patterson Avenue side opposite the Bailey Power Plant. Bailey Park’s two levels will be connected by an elevated concourse by two short flights of stairs, one rising to the upper-level stage area and the other descending to the new street-level plaza.

The enhancements also include new landscape features such as limestone terraces, planting areas bordering the lawn and a grove of cherry trees. Stimmel Associates, PA, which provided the initial design and landscape architecture services for Bailey Park, will provide the same services for these enhancements.

“Bailey Park has had a positive impact for the City and has proven to be a great venue for a wide variety of events and activities. The additions announced today are sure to make it an even more attractive and versatile locale,” said Lindsey Yarborough, senior manager of community relations for the Innovation Quarter.

Bailey Park, which opened in April 2015, is bordered by East 4th, East 5th and Vine streets and by North Patterson Avenue. It operates year-round between 7 a.m. to dusk, with special events taking place by arrangement outside of these hours.

Detailed information about Bailey Park, including a calendar of events, is available at

Free screenings and other health-related services will be available to the public at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter on Saturday, Jan. 9, at the 17th annual Share the Health Fair.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Downtown Health Plaza, 1200 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in the Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem. Registration closes at 3 p.m. It is sponsored by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Northwest Area Health Education Center.

Family-medicine physicians and specialists will be present along with medical students, physician-assistant students, technicians and other health care professionals. Spanish-language interpreters also will be in attendance.

A variety of screenings will be offered, including blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, diabetes, vision, glaucoma, hearing, HIV/STI, asthma, osteoporosis and mental health. Individuals who are found to have health issues that require further attention will be given referrals and information about what steps to take.

The fair is open to adults regardless of age, insurance coverage, income level and/or immigration status. Childcare will be provided.

For additional information, attendees can email

The state of North Carolina is frequently listed in top lists of innovative states by the likes of Bloomberg Business and CNBC. The Washington Post even named North Carolina one of its “Innovation Champions” for 2015.

How does a state like North Carolina build a reputation for innovation?

Just ask the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology & Innovation, which held its latest meeting at Biotech Place in the Innovation Quarter, one of the fastest growing urban-based innovation districts in the U.S.

The board, comprised of educators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from across North Carolina, is dedicated to developing the economic well-being of the state by keeping it on the forefront of innovation in science and technology.

The recent meeting illuminated three ways that North Carolina has worked to grow its reputation as an innovative state:

1. Stimulate Innovation Ecosystems

In 2014, the Board of Science, Technology & Innovation—which had been the Board of Science & Technology since its founding in 1963—added the “innovation” component to its name and mission due to the large sector of economic growth that could be attributed to innovations.

From that point, the board focused on developing the contexts that foster innovation—what they call “innovation ecosystems.” To promote a state-wide innovation ecosystem, the group concentrates on the smaller innovation ecosystems that make up the larger whole, plugging their resources into creating healthy microcosms of innovation.

2. Track Innovation Growth

One of the board’s initiatives is to produce an innovation index, called “Tracking Innovation,” that tracks North Carolina’s performance across 39 innovation measures. By comparing the state with the rest of the country, the report helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of innovation within North Carolina and establish bench marks for progress.

By assessing what areas of economy and innovation need to be improved in North Carolina, the Board of Science, Technology & Innovation identifies places to intervene and promote growth. Their findings help inform state decisions on economic policies.

3. Support Small Businesses

North Carolina helps small businesses compete with larger businesses by providing very needed startup and development funds. The board oversees the One NC Small Business Program Grantee, a program that awards matching funds to small businesses in North Carolina that receive federal grant funds from the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program.

This matching program has helped many startup companies tackle the challenges of commercializing technologies. Only a few states use similar matching programs to capitalize on available federal funds and promote growth by investing in such companies and their potential. To date, the state of North Carolina has given out around 300 such grants since the beginning of the program.

With its close attention to the components that make innovation strong, North Carolina deliberately cultivates a state-wide innovation ecosystem that builds its reputation as an innovative state.

It’s an age-old question: How do you build a reputation for creativity in an industry that is—at its core—creative?

For Mullen Lowe, one of the top ad agencies in the world, the answer lies in thinking differently. About everything.

“Fundamentally, Mullen Lowe believes that creativity is one of the most powerful forces driving brands and businesses today,” says Taylor Bryant, president of Mullen Lowe’s Winston-Salem office. “We believe that fresh, original thinking expressed in great creative work is the greatest value we can bring to a client.”

Mullen Lowe Winston-Salem’s pursuit of thinking differently was recently manifested in its search for office space — a search that landed it as Wake Forest Innovation Quarter’s newest company. With operations now located in 525@vine, Mullen Lowe Winston-Salem joins a thriving knowledge community that is increasingly using proximity to drive collaboration.

“We’ve seen and felt the magnetism of what’s happening in the Innovation Quarter and how it’s contributing to the evolution and the transformation of the city,” said Bryant. “Our agency moved downtown 10 years ago because we saw something special happening here and wanted to be a part of it. We see something special happening again with the Innovation Quarter, and I think that being a tenant and contributing to the Innovation Quarter is a great opportunity for us.”

Having outgrown their old location on North Cherry Street, leaders at Mullen Lowe Winston-Salem asked what a space designed to cultivate collaboration and creativity would look like.

There are no offices, no cubicles. Everyone will be working in community—including Bryant. The open floor plan is arranged around group work spaces such as glass meeting rooms, diner-style banquettes, collaboration hubs and a town hall that can seat almost the entire company. The open style seating arrangement provides room for all employees to work in groups.


“We want all our work to happen in collaboration,” says Bryant.

Mullen Lowe’s innovative approach to physical space grows out of a model they call “hyperbundling.”

“Hyperbundling is our way of being fully integrated,” Bryant said. It represents the unique mashup of skill sets, resources and creativity that Mullen Lowe brings to the table when developing advertising for their clients, which include the likes of Ulta Beauty, Hanes, PepBoys, Lenovo and ADP.

Mullen Lowe Winston-Salem consists of 150 people who provide a vast array of expertise in strategic planning, analytics, digital marketing, social marketing, offline and online media planning and buying, account management, creative services and marketing to women. When addressing a client’s project, experts in all these areas are in the room to help create the best approach for the individual project.

The hyperbundled model, however, does not mean that Mullen Lowe sells all of these in-house services to each client, but rather the ad agency will surround each individual project with the expertise needed to craft the best approach for that particular project – even if the best talent for the job is not located in one single Mullen Lowe location.

CSX Corporation is a prime example. As one of the largest transportation companies in North America, CSX came to Mullen Lowe Winston-Salem with a problem: no one understood their intermodal rail transportation services. Many people are familiar with CSX’s tagline: “How Tomorrow Moves.” Few, however, actually understand how CSX moves freight using more than just trains or the benefits of this practice.

To help explain intermodal transportation and its benefits, Mullen Lowe Winston-Salem set aside traditional ads and developed a sixteen-part animated series called The Intermodals to educate people about the freight shipping process.

“To create this series, we built a set in our offices that was a true scale model of a CSX freight rail yard. We filmed the entire Intermodals series from it,” said Bryant.

The hyperbundled approach also led to a unique way to help Jet Blue – one of the most recognized brands in the airline industry – cut through the advertising clutter.

Mullen Lowe’s project team set up a series of stunts for Jet Blue in Penn Station, New York. In some of these stunts, actors played taxi cab drivers who attempted to charge passengers for any luggage that was placed in the trunk and was not “carried on,” while concealed cameras recorded passengers’ reactions.

These spots, which were seen on platforms like Hulu and YouTube instead of airing like standard television commercials, bore the tag line, “You wouldn’t settle for it on the land, why would you settle for it in the air?,” reminding customers that JetBlue still offers standard amenities that other airlines now charge for. The tongue-in-cheek ads garnered a lot of attention, with The New York Times reporting that the campaign had a little fun at the expense of JetBlue’s competitors.

Though the advertising group often creates outside of the box, they do also produce work for more traditional media—if it best suits the client’s needs. Mullen Lowe is responsible for an award-winning commercial for called “When I Grow Up,” which aired during a Super Bowl and ranked second on Business Insider’s list of “Super Bowl Commercials That Launched Brands.” This year, the agency also received the North American Grand Effie award, which recognizes effectiveness in marketing, for their World’s Toughest Job spot created for American Greetings.

“When it comes to solving our clients’ problems, we don’t have bias towards a particular type of idea or standard solution. Our only bias is to solve clients’ problems with the mix of insights, ideas and media choices that are right for their needs,” said Bryant.

And sometimes the best way to solve your clients’ creative needs starts with solving your own. In the case of Mullen Lowe Winston Salem, a new inspirational space in the heart of the Innovation Quarter, where collaboration and proximity is the spark to fresh creativity and new partnerships, may just do the trick.


Explore Mullen Lowe Winston-Salem and their advertising campaigns.

Winston-Salem’s history as a center of the tobacco industry from the late 1800s through the end of the 20th century is well-documented. Some of the history you can even see still standing in the form of former R.J. Reynolds manufacturing buildings that have been revitalized and now serve a wide variety of purposes as part of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. These buildings stand as tangible reminders of tobacco’s central role in the city’s development.


Aerial view of Bailey Power Plant and surrounding buildings from the early 20th Century.

But the same can’t be said of the predominantly African-American neighborhoods that once flourished around the tobacco district, areas where thousands of people lived, worked, built businesses, shopped, worshipped and socialized.

“Most things that were important to us were torn down,” says Barbara Morris, who grew up in the largest of these communities, the Belews Street neighborhood that was demolished in 1958 to accommodate highway construction.

In subsequent years, areas around the district that weren’t razed in the name of urban renewal were left isolated and unsustainable when the major tobacco operations were moved to other locations. Today, contemporaneous records of these neighborhoods are relatively scant.

“It’s a regrettable fact that, because of the social attitudes and conditions of the time, the historical record of these primarily black communities – in public documents, newspaper accounts, photographs and so on – is sorely lacking,” said Chris Jordan, Curator of Education at New Winston Museum. “We want people to understand that place matters; every place has a history. As we celebrate the amazing progress being made in the area, it is our responsibility to capture and accurately depict that history as best we can.”

The public and private institutions involved in the current revitalization of the former tobacco district – comprised of both once-bustling factories and the land where once-thriving communities sat – are committed to doing just that.

One example of that commitment: “Remembering the Neighborhood: Life in the Former Tobacco District,” an interactive event devoted to exploring the rich and complex history of the now-vanished communities. It was held in November at Wake Forest Biotech Place, which occupies two former R.J. Reynolds buildings, in the Innovation Quarter.

“Since the remarkable donation of land and many former tobacco factories, warehouses and other buildings by R.J. Reynolds, we believe it is our duty to recognize and to commemorate the history of this area,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of the Innovation Quarter. “So it was both a pleasure and an honor to participate in and serve as the venue for this event.”

“Remembering the Neighborhood” was organized by a broad-based partnership that also included THE ARCHIVE (Society for the Study of Afro-American History in Winston-Salem), the City-County Planning Department, The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University, New Winston Museum, Old Salem Museum & Gardens – St. Philips Heritage Center, the Office of City Council Member Derwin L. Montgomery, the Wake Forest University Department of History and Wexford Science & Technology.

The program included a moderated panel discussion, collections of historical images, oral history recordings, a “memory mapping” project and opportunities for former areas residents and workers to have their recollections recorded, either during the event or later on.

Barbara Morris shares her perspective as a former resident at "Remembering the Neighborhood."

Barbara Morris shares her perspective as a former resident of the Belews Street neighborhood as a panelist at “Remembering the Neighborhood.”

The narrative of the tobacco district neighborhoods and what happened to them invariably includes segregation, a subject that, as Tomlinson noted in comments to the Winston-Salem Journal, still evokes “some anger and some sadness.” But no effort was made to gloss over it, or any other thorny aspect of the area’s past.

“It was part of the times we were living in,” said Morris, who served as one of the “Remembering the Neighborhood” discussion panelists. “You can’t ignore it, but you can learn from it.”

Morris, who has organized reunions of former Belews Street residents and was instrumental in having a historical marker recognizing the neighborhood erected on Research Parkway (formerly Linden Street), appreciates all efforts to keep alive the story of the tobacco district communities.

“There is a lot of history in this area, and if we didn’t have things like the historical marker and events like this, you wouldn’t know what happened here,” she said. “And if you didn’t know that, you’d never know what happened in Winston-Salem.”

If you or someone you know has a story to tell about working in the former tobacco districts, please email Amanda Holland at to share your experience.

View photos from the event.

Graham Treakle is no stranger to startups. For the past two years, he has run operations for a startup called Pass the Plate, an app that makes charitable giving easy by helping users make and track donations to over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations.

With Pass the Plate in beta testing as of October 2015, Treakle is gearing up for a full launch of the product in the near future. Enter the Triad Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event for local entrepreneurs hosted at Flywheel, a co-working space located in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The mission of the Triad Startup Weekend is to support local entrepreneurs by providing the collaboration, resources and educational activities necessary for startups to get off the ground.


Participants of Triad Startup Weekend brainstorm an idea

During the weekend, participants submit conceptual ideas to workshop—no existing startup concepts are allowed. Although Treakle couldn’t submit Pass the Plate as an idea, he decided to participate in the weekend to hone his startup skills.

“This weekend is terrific for entrepreneurs beginning startups,” said Treakle. “You can learn about the whole process in a condensed period of time by collaborating with other local entrepreneurs.”

After 54-hours worth of seminars, brainstorming sessions and product development and testing, Treakle walked away with four lessons he believes are essential for entrepreneurs:

  1. Make Connections

Connecting with other entrepreneurs is important. Events like the Triad Startup Weekend create an atmosphere of collaboration and excitement, which was also one of the reasons Treakle looked at tapping into the Innovation Quarter. Connecting with a variety of local professionals, including potential partners, coaches and community sponsors, can lead to more resources and better products. In the bigger picture, events like these help create a culture of entrepreneurship, making Winston-Salem an exciting place to live and work.

  1. Be Adaptable

Flexibility and openness is essential to a startup. At the beginning of the weekend, participants pitched their ideas for startups, and then picked only a handful to focus on for the rest of the weekend. Fleshing out these ideas required participants to be open to change. Later in the weekend, groups took a more developed version of a chosen idea to the streets for market research. The feedback from target consumers helped them fine-tune the concept. Throughout the weekend, the group’s ideas and concepts morphed as they completed each phase of the process. Treakle believes this quick process of refinement can accelerate product development, and even found some of the feedback about his group’s hypothetical product to be applicable to the real product he is developing.

  1. Seek Advice

Every entrepreneur should have good advisors: people who can give impartial advice on your ideas and products and who have experience in the startup world. The Triad Startup Weekend brought in “coaches” from the local community with their own successful startups to help advise the participants over the course of the weekend. Hearing from these experienced entrepreneurs—who are familiar with the ups and downs of the startup process—was invaluable. If nothing else, hearing the stories of others helps you realize the feasibility of your own dreams. They did it—so can you.

  1. Concentrate Efforts

The Triad Startup Weekend showed Treakle how quickly you can investigate the viability of an idea. If you are willing to invest some concentrated time, you can test out an idea for a startup in one weekend. You can develop a good base of information from a little brainstorming, a basic product idea, some simple market testing and good collaboration. A lot of people get hung up on fully developing an idea, but this weekend demonstrated that taking your idea through a series of strategic steps may be the boost a startup needs to get off the ground.

Treakle’s take-away was this: “Events like the Triad Startup Weekend provide important guidance for entrepreneurs at all stages,” he said. “Bring a good idea, or bring a bad idea—it doesn’t matter. The weekend helps you sift through the process of developing your idea and your startup.”

Tune in to future personal and professional development opportunities hosted at Flywheel by visiting their calendar. Or check out Treakle’s startup, Pass the Plate.

The rich history of the predominantly African-American communities that were home to thousands of workers and their families during tobacco’s heyday in Winston-Salem will be explored at a free interactive event on Saturday, Nov. 21.

“Remembering the Neighborhood: Life in the Former Tobacco District” will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Wake Forest Biotech Place in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, which encompasses the sites of both once-bustling tobacco facilities and once-thriving residential and commercial areas.

The centerpiece of “Remembering the Neighborhood” will be a panel discussion including former Belews Street neighborhood resident Barbara Morris, former tobacco worker Miles Harry, former Winston-Salem city staff member Jack Stillman, community historian and author Annette Scippio and educator Rudy Anderson. The discussion will be moderated by Endia Beal, director of The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University.

Among the activities available to attendees will be viewing a slide show of images from The ARCHIVE (Society for the Study of Afro-American History in Winston-Salem) and other sources, listening to oral history recordings made by the City-County Planning Department and participating in a New Winston Museum “memory mapping” project.

Additionally, University of North Carolina-Greensboro graduate student Amanda Holland will be on hand to record the recollections of former area residents and tobacco workers.

Complimentary light refreshments will be served and there will be an activity area for young children.

Biotech Place is located at 575 N. Patterson Ave. Free parking for this event will be available in Innovation Quarter Lot P1, which is accessible via North Chestnut Street.

“Remembering the Neighborhood” has been organized by a partnership of The ARCHIVE (Society for the Study of Afro-American History in Winston-Salem), the City-County Planning Board, The Diggs Gallery of Winston-Salem State University, New Winston Museum, the Office of City Council Member Derwin L. Montgomery, the Wake Forest University Department of History, Old Salem Museum & Gardens – St. Philips Heritage Center, Wexford Science & Technology, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and resident volunteers.

Photo courtesy Sam Cassidy

More than a few eyebrows were raised recently when Winston-Salem officially gave itself the motto of “City of Arts and Innovation.” That’s a lofty goal, after all.

But, in reality, Winston-Salem has been long recognized as a leader in both the arts and innovation. For example, now achieving a remarkable 14 years in a row ranked as one of the top 10 digital cities in the U.S.

This latest honor has been given by the Center for Digital Government to “cities [that] have developed a mature infrastructure that lets city leaders experiment with technology projects that are molded in the image of the average citizen’s lifestyle.”

Translation: cities that invest in the future. The future of technology, the future of collaboration and the future of community partnerships.

That’s how the city of Winston-Salem worked to recently bring an all-fiber gigabit network here, through the NC Next Generation Network.

It’s how the city and county came together to provide local residents with all-digital access to commonly requested information like county tax records, map information and other local data sets (known as Geographic Information Systems, or GIS).

And it’s also how a public-private partnership was formed to help birth the Innovation Quarter, now no longer an experiment, but an example of the power of proximity and collaboration.

There are other notable examples of the city’s progress on the digital front:

  • The push toward cloud-based and on-premises solutions has greatly reduced the city’s reliance on paper-based file systems.
  • For staff, mobile office connectivity and the ability to rely on tablets and smartphones allows for more productive in-field work.
  • Tools like a budgeting dashboard and capital project application that allow users to access the latest information on the city’s cash flow or the more than 200 active projects.
  • A push to connect fiber-optic cable to all of the City’s facilities

It’s clear by the 14-year run in the polls (that rivals even many of the near-by ACC basketball teams) that Winston-Salem is invested in digital progress. It’s invested in the arts. It’s invested in innovation.

And that’s good news for all of us.

The leaders of Salem College and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts will talk about the value, current state and future role of liberal arts education on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Wake Forest Biotech Place in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

The “Engage: Education” panel discussion featuring Salem Academy and College President D.E. Lorraine Sterritt, Ph.D., and UNCSA Chancellor M. Lindsay Bierman, M.A., will be moderated by Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., chief innovation officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

The hour-long discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in the atrium of Wake Forest Biotech Place. It will be preceded by a networking reception with drinks and appetizers beginning at 5 p.m.

This event, which is open to the public free of charge, is part of the Innovation Quarter’s “Engage” series, which each quarter presents a conversation involving leading figures from various sectors of the Innovation Quarter and greater Winston-Salem communities.

Sterritt became Salem’s president in July 2014 after holding administrative and faculty positions at Harvard University. Bierman assumed his duties as chancellor of UNCSA in August 2014 after serving as editor in chief of Southern Living magazine.

Wake Forest Biotech Place is located at 575 N. Patterson Ave. Free parking for this event will be available in Innovation Quarter Lot P1, which is accessible via North Chestnut Street.

Information about public events at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is available online at


Some of the most innovative cars on the road will now have a place to recharge in downtown Winston-Salem.

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter joined with the city of Winston-Salem and the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) on Friday, October 16 to celebrate the commissioning of a Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging station. The two-car charging station, the first of its kind in the city, was officially opened for use after a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The charging station, manufactured by OpConnect LLC, is located near the corner of Patterson Avenue and Fourth Street in the heart of the Innovation Quarter. It was installed by PART and funded by a grant from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.

Allen Joines, mayor of the city of Winston-Salem, spoke at the commissioning ceremony. “This [charging station] adds to the ambience of sustainability,” Joines said. “Winston-Salem is committed to sustainability.”

The PEV charging station is one of four stations located across the Piedmont Triad.

“This is a part of what we are doing to establish a more environmentally-friendly energy use pattern in our nation and in our region,” said Dan Besse, Winston-Salem councilperson and vice chair of Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation.

Innovation Quarter president Eric Tomlinson sees the charging station as one of the important steps toward Winston-Salem being a city on the cutting edge of technology.

“We are on the tipping point of creating one of the world’s greatest centers for innovation in biomedicine, information technology and clinical sciences,” Tomlinson said. “Partnerships like the ones we are celebrating today are crucial to our success.”

The charging station features plug-and-pay technology, allowing users to pay at the station by credit card. Representatives from PART and OpConnect said the cost to fully charge an electric vehicle at the station is between $4 and $5.