CHARLOTTE — I have to ask, does anyone operate at a higher energy level than Terry Thorson?

For those of you who don’t know Terry, she is the president and chief executive officer of the Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council. Still in her first year, the former director of client relations and marketing for Dresdner RCM Global Investors simply lights up a room with a big smile and bubbling enthusiasm.

The venue for her enthusiasm Wednesday night was a big tent outside of Peak 10’s data center in Charlotte. Terry was among about 200 or so people who turned out for The TechExec. As she worked the crowd shaking hands, making introductions, and talking about MEC, it was clear that Terry is putting a spark into the MEC. The group hired her with the goal of taking the organization “to the next level,” as Mike McGuire of Grant Thornton said when she was hired. And she is doing just that.

New programs. New events. Newsletters. Wow. What a great start.
Terry recently wrote an opinion piece for The Charlotte Business Journal that reflected the enthusiasm she shares with the MEC leadership.

“Since 1985, the MEC has encouraged innovation and collaboration among entrepreneurs, primarily through our monthly programs and annual events. You may already know some of our events, such as the Capital Access Conference, the Trailblazer Awards and the Top Tech Conference, which we co-hosted with NCEITA this past year,” she wrote.

“Now, the MEC is poised to really take off.

“With renewed energy and a clear vision of the future, the MEC will offer its members more substance — skills and resources that are meaningful and relevant to the travails of building a successful company.”

The mood at the TechExec, which is a joint venture between Local Tech Wire and ClearImage, reflected the growing enthusiasm among Charlotte’s entrepreneurs. The turnout alone reflected the talent in the Metrolina region that the MEC is seeking to promote and encourage, from CEOs and CIOs of big firms to startups.

It’s clear that the economy is turning around. The government statistics show that. But the mood at this event also reflects the upturn. People were running out of business cards; there was no shortage of conversation; and many of those who attended said over and over how good it was to have an opportunity to renew acquaintances or establish new ones in an environment where enthusiasm replaced the blues.

Terry and the MEC were very aggressive in helping to promote the event, as they did for Springboard Managed Hosting, which had an open house a few weeks back to mark the opening of its Charlotte facility.

“As a team,” Terry wrote in The Business Journal, “the members of the MEC will create a fertile garden for the kind of home-grown success stories that will keep Charlotte great.”

No one could have said it better.

Names and faces

Seen and heard at the TechExec:

End II End Communications CEO John Dwyer, Jr. was making the rounds, smiling about the progress his firm is making in developing technology for extending enterprise networks. The firm is aggressively pursuing patents.

Arouna McEwen touted the Internet solutions from ClickCom. The firm has a great slogan: “The world at a click.”

Watch out for Court Ventures Inc., led by Benjamin Gage who is the founder and president. Based in Fort Mill, SC CVI is developing supply chain and other technology for the apparel industry. In fact, Gage said he is in the process of preparing a patent application.

Tom Haughney, principal and consultant at Powers & Associates, said the hiring picture for technology workers in the Metrolina area is improving. He should know. Powers & Associates is a human resources and management consulting firm, and Haughney is actively involved in a group helping jobseekers find positions.

Supporting Haughney’s belief was Dale Lancaster of the online job board firm 123hire.com. Lancaster says more jobs are being posted by prospective employers. Of course, there has been no shortage of people looking for work in the past couple of years. Now, Haughney says, the hiring is underway.

Looking for tips and renewing acquaintances was Dave Mildenberg, former editor of The Triangle Business Journal, who had left journalism for a while to take a stab at teaching. While he says he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, he couldn’t resist the call to return to the news business and now is writing for The Charlotte Business Journal. It’s good to see classy people like Mildenberg back on the beat.

Rick Smith is managing editor of Local Tech Wire.

MEC: www.mec.org