Wharton Gladden Announces Major Gift to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
(Greensboro, NC) November 5, 2013 – Boutique investment banking firm Wharton Gladden & Company will partner with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to present an annual lecture series on diabetes research and prevention. The announcement came at the company’s 10th anniversary party, held Friday, Nov. 1, at the Piedmont Club in downtown Winston-Salem.
The $10,000 grant to fund the Irene Wharton Diabetes Lecture Series comes from the Power of One Fund, the charitable fund that Wharton Gladden established in 2009. The fund is administered by the National Christian Foundation in Raleigh.
More than 75 clients and friends of the company attended the event, which was part of the club’s monthly “First Friday with Friends” series.
In his remarks to guests, Managing Director Algenon Cash looked back on the company’s founding in 2003 and his decision to name the firm after Irene Wharton and Franklin Gladden, who largely inspired and mentored him.
“Quite frankly, I never would’ve made it out of that little shotgun house in East Winston if it hadn’t been for these extraordinary people,” Cash said. “By naming the company Wharton Gladden, we honor not just their names, but the principles they lived by. Namely, that it’s not enough that you just live; you have to live and serve. That’s the kind of company we’ve built over the last 10 years.”
Cash continued to report the company’s recent announcement that it had closed on the first tranche of a $1 million debenture, and had recruited a Board of Directors to provide greater oversight and expand reach into other parts of the state. “I feel a deep sense of honor being part of such a team,” he said.
Cash was joined by Alanna Linden, president of the National Christian Foundation’s Raleigh branch, in presenting a check for $10,000 to Dr. Ronny Bell, director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, and Dr. Donald Bowden, director of the Center for Diabetes Research. Dr. Bowden will present the series’ first talk in November as a seminar for the school’s faculty. A public lecture by Dr. Bell is planned for April.
The medical center has earned national recognition for its focus on diabetes treatment. Cash said that the series is named in honor of Irene Wharton, who died from diabetes complications in 1999.
“Our center focuses on trying to reach undeserved populations because diabetes impacts minorities, people in rural areas and low-income people,” said Dr. Bell. “We want to provide state-of-the-art understanding of these issues. We want to use these funds to engage people who are involved in the research process, but also to engage the community.”
Dr. Bowden agreed, adding, “We are thrilled because contributions to research (on diabetes) is even more critical and essential in the world we live in. And this is perfect timing for this gift because November is National Diabetes Month. These funds will help underwrite Wake Forest’s growth in diabetes and obesity research.”
In addition to the announced gift, Cash reminded guests that the Power of One Fund also supports community-wide innovative solutions to three primary issues: homelessness, domestic violence and substance abuse. In the past, the Fund has partnered with the Bethesda Center, Winston-Salem Rescue Mission, Family Services and Salvation Army.
Dr. Eboni Ellis, an MD who recently relocated to Winston-Salem, was one of many attendees to make donations to the Power of One Fund. “I always want to give to the community, and Algenon provided me so much information on the areas in Winston-Salem where I could make a difference,” she said. “There are so many things that the Fund does to help the homeless, and I just want to help any way I can.”
Jason Austin, the director of operations for Mortgage Investment Corp., had worked with Cash and Wharton Gladden previously. “A few sentences cannot fully express the gratitude our company has for Algenon and Wharton Gladden,” he said. “As business owners, we get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations and it’s sometimes hard to focus on the strategic and long-term planning required to move forward. Algenon has helped us formulate and execute strategies that improve our position for the near- and long-term. At the same time, he advises on how external and internal events may require us to re-evaluate our planning. As a business owner Algenon can also provide insight on those day-to-day issues that affect all business owners. In Wharton Gladden, Algenon has built a firm that creates value for its clients and our community.”
N.C. House Representative Rodney Moore (D-99) came from Mecklenburg County to help Wharton Gladden celebrate its first decade after getting to know Cash at the North Carolina Energy Forum Town Hall recently held at Winston-Salem State University, which the firm co-sponsored. “I was very impressed with Algenon,” he said. “He’s a very professional young man, and I’m very impressed with his success in a hard business. I wanted to come here and support him. He serves as a good example of an entrepreneur, particularly to minorities and women.”
About Wharton Gladden & Company:
Wharton Gladden & Company is a uniquely designed boutique investment banking firm that specializes in providing strategic advisory services, underwriting, capital placement and private equity for a diversified client base that includes corporations, real estate developers, financial institutions, investors, municipalities and high net worth individuals.