The Global Province Network

GLOBAL PROVINCE - Home - About This Site - Agile Companies - Annual Reports - Best of Class - Best of theTriangle - Big Ideas - Brain Stem - Business Diary - Dunk's Dictums - Global Wit & Worldly Wisdom - Gods, Heroes, & Legends - Infinite Bookstore - Investor Digest - Letters from the Global Province - Other Global Sites - Poetry & BusinessScenes from the Global ProvinceA Stitch in Time - Two Rivers

Contact Us

Because you have visited with and bought products from one or more firms in our network or have given your support to one of the worthy institutions appearing here, you have found this page dedicated to people who put quality above all else.  Often these are small enterprises that are not well known and don’t have the kind of marketing dollars that make them household names.  But we want you to know they are first class and deserving of your support and admiration.  So visit their websites and get very familiar with what they do.

  • Audubon.  Dating back to 1905, the National Audubon Society has done good things for nature in America.  But so have a host of other worthy groups.  That said, we’ve discovered a couple of reasons why its candle seems to burn a little brighter than the rest. 

    For starters, the Audubon people are plain nice, but free of the anxious hyperbole that makes you think overhead expenses will swallow every one of your charitable dollars.   We visited recently with John Flicker, its president, at its unassuming home on lower Broadway in New York City, just to the side of New York University.  Off a Minnesota farm, he’s never lost his boyhood memory of wild geese and love for open spaces, in spite of law school, the intrigue of Washington, and the endless jockeying that goes on in complex, urban organizations.  As all philanthropic groups, Audubon under him has a wide agenda, from cherishing the birds so lovingly pictured by Audubon to battling inside the Beltway for an abstraction called “the environment.” 

    But we are most impressed with its rediscovery of people in the last decade.  Flicker talks about this in a little monograph entitled “Audubon:  The Second Century:  Connecting People with Nature.”  In short, he’s planting Audubon Centers everywhere in order to bring many, many more citified citizens closer to nature.  This is why the Society merits your time and support. 

    Broadly stated, Flicker knows that the National Audubon Society must grow the next generation of conservationists.  This is vital, since conservationists have become an endangered species.  As the country becomes ever more urbanized by a population whose plumage has become as diverse as that of the birds about the planet but that lacks a connection to our wild spaces, nature is losing its voice.  The only way to preserve the green is to appeal to those teeming millions on the asphalt just outside his doors in New York City, and in urban centers from Philadelphia to East Los Angeles. 

    Audubon himself, incidentally, is buried in New York City—there, too, he will be resurrected.  We have learned recently that he painted with both hands.  The National Audubon Society will have to be equally dexterous if it is to bring us back to nature.  The nation’s attention is not as riveted on the outdoors as when Teddy Roosevelt chortled about the vigorous life or Rachel Carson reminded us that we are not the only creatures on the planet earth. 

    National Audubon Society. 700 Broadway.  New York, New York 10003.  Telephone:  212-979-3000.  Fax:  212-979-3188.  Website:  To find out about joining, email

  • BankruptcyData.comGeorge Putnam got his start as a bankruptcy lawyer in Philadelphia and, in time, worked his way into publishing about companies that were in a jam as well as managing money that he invests in the distressed sector.  His folks at New Generation crank out the best data available on public companies going downhill, those that have gone bankrupt, and, finally, the turnarounds that have gotten out of the hole. Particularly well known, incidentally, is his Turnaround Letter, which has made very good recommendations in both good and bad markets.  Get his free bankruptcy newsletter and also look at the sundry publications he sells at and

  • Cary Towne Mortgage. Arch Williams is a straightshooter.  He is the founder of a flock of retail mortgage offices in North Carolina.  The mortgage business is very competitive: what separates the wheat from the chaff is character.  You want to deal with someone who is plain nice and is of the highest integrity.  Numerous realty companies have entered into ventures with him, simply because they find him so trustworthy.  If you live in North Carolina (he has not spread into other states yet) and want to get a new mortgage simply, you will want to fill out his Internet application at Cary Towne Mortgage

    Arch grew up in North Carolina and went to school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  His dad as well is steeped in the mortgage business, both as teacher and businessman.  As a Marine pilot, Arch did service in the first Gulf War.  We’re happy to say he has a strong range of interests, and it is quite possible that you will find him reading a Charles Darwin monograph if you bump into him at football practice for one of his four children.  To learn a bit more about all his companies, see Arrington, Edgar, & Shiel.

  • Grace Tea.  We first got to know Dick Sanders back in 1985 when working up an article for the New York Times on afternoon teas.  Ever since, his Winey Keemun has been our regular morning brew, though we do the Darjeeling, Lapsang, etc. as well.  Somehow the English imports that we get from the specialty stores never taste as good or as fresh as his blends.  Now that we are also learning all the ways in which tea preserves our health, we are glad to be drinking something wonderful that does us good but does not taste like a health concoction.  Visit Grace Tea if for no other reason than to admire the wonderful sailing ship adorning his site, it being the vessel, we are sure, which transported such fine leaves to these shores.  See

  • GraphisGraphis is the finest graphics magazine in the world.  A must for designers and photographers, it is the consummate pleasure for anyone who cares about the look of things.  A Swiss magazine during its early years, it is now based in New York under the leadership of B. Martin Pedersen, a celebrated designer in his own right who needed a magazine so as to paint on a larger canvas.  He carefully watches over the magazine and the host of wonderful books produced by the firm.  We have always noticed that he has a special passion for movies, a characteristic of all the graphic designers whom we most esteem.  See

  • Hixo, Inc. We have known Mike Hicks forever, and perhaps before that.  He’s a tremendous graphic designer who has set himself up in a far-away state capital and college town where you learn how to chew the fat and not take yourself so seriously.  So he’s not limited to pictures on paper.  We remember, for instance, a series of radio ads he did for a local pizza parlor in Austin where you listened to the murmurings of a young blood and his girl friend in a nudist colony who savored the pizza and were bemused by the drops of cheese which decorated their bodies.  He’s lucky to have a way with words as well as pictures.  He was the designer for the immensely successful Beinhorn’s Mesquite Cookery, authored by the editor of SpiceLines.  The design community likes to think it has ‘wit’: but Hicks is just plain funny, right down to the name of his firm—Hixo.  Probably Hicks should spend his time dreaming up new products.  For us he came up with catfish caviar

    Aside from truly witty design, Hicks always seems to find way to give a product or service some personality.  Sweetish Hill Bakery’s cookie boxes, for example, proclaim, “Our bakers refuse to wear those silly French hats” and a required freshness label states “to ensure maximum freshness, consume the entire box.”  Using a Weber grill on the cover of the mesquite book provided a natural introduction to the Weber grill folks, who ultimately bought a handsome quantity for friends and customers.
  • Letitia BaldrigeTo get a feel for Ms. Letitia Baldrige, kindly visit her at Baldrige and Lewris. She is welcoming, authoritative, without being austere or forbidding. That’s why she's a good teacher at a host of corporate seminars where she has been brought in to help whitecollar employees sand off their many rough edges. We always call her (since she is a friend, indeed, to a friend in need) to get it right when we are puzzled. For instance, she came to our aid when a chief executive out in San Francisco had to pen a letter to a Vatican official, and we were keen to make sure all the courtesies were observed. Companies these days need her ever more, because business becomes ever more global. Our British friends like to think English is the language of international commerce. It isn’t. Politeness is. If you are not shopping for a training expert with polish, then we recommend her several books which are mentioned in our Infinite Bookstore. The easiest way to get in touch with her is write a nice email note which will reach her though she is perpetually in motion. The ever busy Ms. Baldrige has added a partner, Alinda Lewris, as the firm extends its reach in the 21st century. Write her at Email at


  • Melgarejo (Aceites Campoliva, S.L.) Our affair with Melgarejo dates back to September 2007 when we took a 2-day olive oil seminar at University of California Davis, which is well known for its agricultural, wine, and veterinary activities.  We mixed it up with a covey of budding entrepreneurs, all of whom hoped to open olive oil emporiums. They’d come from California and further to soak up the whys and wherefores of extravergine olio. We were out of place—just a couple of dilettantes---wanting to improve our pantry. Our prior lessons had come in a lecture by Nancy Jenkins.  As we tasted and tasted, we discovered that the picual variety was very much our favorite, though the crowd migrated to other oils that were a little less demanding.  Darrell Corti, a local grocer and olive oil genius, subsequently put us onto Melgarejo and we have never looked back.  In fact, we have since visited the folks at Melgarejo both at their plant and their olive plantation in Jaen.  Jaen is the absolute center of Spain’s olive trade, and Spain accounts for 40% of the world’s olive oil production.  We had a lecture from  MarinoUceda, head of Jaen’s local olive oil research station.  And then we ate a wonderful meal with family members, sizzled on logs in the fireplace of a ranch farmhouse.  Picual is dismissed by the less knowledgeable as a high-volume oil of average quality, perhaps something to use as a filler in a blend.  But when cultivated right, and then prepared at a plant, such as Melgarejo’s that attends to the 1000 adjustments which goes into correct processing, it is, for us, the king and queen of oils, all wrapped into one. Melgarejo.  (01-26-11)

  • Mrs. Hanes’ Handmade Moravian Cookies.  Yes, we met Mrs. Hanes (Evva) up at the Big House, dating back to 1840, on the family farm in Clemmons.  These days she turns out dinners for 23 at the drop of hat in the elaborate kitchen to which she treated herself.  The whole family lives near the plant where some 40 ladies diligently hew cookies out of dough and which are cooked in the big convection ovens for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Brother Mike Hanes makes the dough in the big mixer, all according to the secret family formula.  There’s not much machinery around: if you were high falutin, you would say that these cookies are truly artisanal, but the very direct Moravians say it plain: “They’re handmade.” And they taste different because they’re made the old-fashioned way.  From rolling out the dough, to cutting out the shapes, to nicely wrapping the thin cookies before they go into the tins.  Anybody in the know in Winston Salem will steer you to the Hanes.  All these hard-handworkers can put out 700-1000 pounds a day.  Each has her own marker to put her own hallmark on her handiwork.  Before she retired to her kitchen and had daughter Mona take over as Chief Executive, Mrs. Hanes herself could turn out a 100 pounds a day all alone.  This is truly a family enterprise—started by Grandmother Foltz, carried upwards and onwards by Mrs. Hanes, and now ably steered by Mona Hanes Templin.  There are 6 varieties, but we prefer the ginger and black walnut crisps, and Mona is partial to the black walnut as well.  Mona and Mike are the 7th generation of this family to make Moravian cookies.  No matter how many cookies they make, the cookie jar still always runs out at Christmas.   If you are going to visit, and you should, just follow 150 West (Peters Creek) south from Winston and take either a right on Central then a quick left on Friedberg Church or a right on Sunset; most of the other directions you will get are too complicated.  You can place an order at  Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies.  4643 Friedberg Church Road.  Clemmons, NC 27012.  1-336-764-1402 or 1-888-7641402.  Email:  (3/19/06)

  • River Edge FarmsComing from a nursery family, it was inevitable that Roger Holloway should find his way back from the stage onto nature’s podium.  Down Atlanta way, he’s made it his mission in life to repopulate America with elms. You will remember that they once lined the streets of the best towns in America, but Dutch elm disease has left very few for us to view.  He seized on the Princeton Elm, which hails from Princeton, New Jersey.  It  has proven marvelously disease resistant:  you can see very old allees in Princeton this very day.  Ours is  now 14 feet or so, and we must confess to having another specimen or two of the treemeister’s on our grounds.  Mr. Holloway is putting  a flock of these elms in Washington where private and federal money has funded a major efforts to properly green the city.  See



Home - About This Site - Contact Us

© Copyright 2011

Hit Counter