With the help of an innovation grant from ACG Global, ACG's Raleigh Durham chapter will debut a new initiative in August. The program, called the Center for Business Growth, is an educational series directed at lower-middle market companies that is meant to guide members through a variety of topics, including business-leadership training, strategies and protecting intellectual property. Instead of a standard morning-speaker format, the series is designed to be a mini-university conducted through a series of interactive seminars.

That's just one of several ways that ACG Raleigh Durham is changing, says current chapter president, Margaret Rosenfeld, who joined 10 years ago. At the time, the chapter was small. However, it has since grown its membership and improved its program offerings.

ACG Raleigh Durham is located in the middle of Research Triangle Park, an area in North Carolina anchored by the University of North Carolina, Duke University and North Carolina State University. Because of the strong academic climate, the area is known for its highly educated workforce, as well as innovative and high-tech companies, Rosenfeld says.

There's software services firm Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), as well as Virtual Heroes Inc., a developer of interactive gaming used for military training. Other big-name companies include family-style restaurant chain Golden Corral and drug developer Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: SLXP).

Corporate members make up the highest percentage of the chapter's makeup, accounting for 45 percent. Advisers make up 31 percent of the chapter, while capital providers make up 16 percent. Intermediaries and other members make up eight percent.

Better programming is evident too. This year, notable speakers have included economist Todd Buchholz, author of "Market Shock," and Peter Rea, who serves as the director of Baldwin-Wallace College's Center for Innovation and Growth.

In response to member requests for more intimate, one-on-one events, the chapter started a chief financial officer roundtable that meets once a quarter.

Look forward to the chapter's 10th annual Capital Conference in April.



Fact File:


Year Founded: 1996

Number of Members: 200

Annual Dues: $325

Approval Required for Membership: Yes

President: Margaret Rosenfeld, Partner, Smith Anderson

After receiving a grant from ACG Global, ACG Raleigh Durham will launch a new initiative in 2013 that focuses on helping businesses grow. The program, called the Center for Business Growth, will be more like a classroom than a meeting and will guide lower-middle market companies on how to improve.

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