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cityboi

Dell Manufacturing Facility

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cityboi    244

Forsyth County vying for huge computer-related project

Matt Harrington

The Business Journal

Forsyth County officials are asking the Golden Leaf Foundation and the state's community college system to split the cost of $82 million in training incentives it wants to use to lure a computer manufacturing facility to Winston-Salem that could employ nearly 1,900 people within a decade of opening.

Valeria Lee, president of Golden Leaf, confirmed that Forsyth County has filed an application for funding for a project referred to by local economic developers as "Project Merlin." She also confirmed that Forsyth County is asking for a matching amount from the state's community college system. Local and other state incentives could also be requested.

She said details provided by Bob Leak, president of Winston-Salem Business Inc., were "sketchy," but in the application he said the company was "one of the world's leading producers of consumer and business electronics."

The company was not further identified, she said.

Forsyth County is asking for the $41 million over a 10-year period from Golden Leaf, Lee said, and indicated that a decision on the company's location could be made this month. Terms of the funding request from the state's community college system were not immediately known.

The unidentified company would construct a 400,000-square-foot facility costing about $40 million and would invest an additional $150 million in equipment, Lee said. According to the grant application, within five to 10 years of locating, it would employ 1,896 workers.

While details are still emerging, Forsyth County likely isn't the only bidder for such a company.

Lee said Leak told her that other counties in the Triad were also courting the company, as well as other locations both in the United States and internationally. No other locations were immediately known.

"Our board has instructed us to be in communication and consultation with the Department of Commerce and the N.C. community college system," Lee said. "Depending on the timeline (of the company), we will determine whether or not to call a special meeting of the board or wait until our September meeting to address the issue."

She said that a Golden Leaf grant could be approved before the company made a location decision, but it would be contingent upon locating in the state and meeting its employment projections.

Leak said he couldn't comment on any efforts being made to lure the company.

Real estate sources said it wouldn't be difficult to find a spot for the 400,000-square-foot facility. Possible locations could include Union Cross Business Park in southeast Winston-Salem, as well as locations north of the city near Rural Hall, said a real estate source

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Myles Away    0

As I said on another thread this is good news for PTRP downtown research park! It elevates the Triad's major research park and can be used to lure more companies to the park and the Triad as a whole. If Winston-Salem is successful in getting this the whole Triad will be elevated as a tech center and a great place to relocate a tech business or operation to. It should be fun to follow over the next two months. I just know this will be downtown at the research park.

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I also believe this will go to the PTRP research park in downtown Winston-Salem. There was a story today on how people relocating from Louisville like the housing choices in Winston-Salem and the city. The Triad as a whole has a great quality of life and is a great place to do business. All three cities just need to step up their efforts and work as a team.

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Looks like the Triad is in the lead! Good news.

Dell Inc. is keenly interested in the Triad for a $190 million manufacturing plant, but it could be months before a site decision is made, the leader of the N.C. Senate said yesterday.

Sen. Marc Basnight, D-Dare, and the president pro tem of the Senate, said at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Winston-Salem that Dell is negotiating at its own pace with local and state officials for the best tax-incentive package.

"We're in there for the Dell project, and that's pretty good," Basnight said. "We're ready to go into special session once we get the word, but it could be a year from now as well."

Forsyth, Davidson and Guilford counties are competing for a proposed Dell electronics-equipment plant that could create up to 1,896 jobs.

Basnight said that the Triad has emerged as the top candidate among neighboring states, but Dell is also considering international sites, including some in Europe, for the plant. He said he could not identify these countries.

A partial incentive package worth about $109 million, including about $13 million in local incentives, has been compiled, according to an application submitted May 28 by Winston-Salem Business Inc. to the Golden LEAF Foundation. Winston-Salem Business is pursuing job-training assistance from the foundation for "Project Merlin," which does not mention Dell by name.

Although Winston-Salem Business said it expected an answer from the company by mid-June, Basnight said he isn't worried that the negotiations are taking longer.

"The company doesn't have an option but to look at what would be best for it," Basnight said.

Dell has declined to comment about its interest in building a plant in the Triad, but it said it is always looking at different opportunities and potential projects.

"Every effort is being made on your behalf for the people of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County," Basnight said.

"The governor and his office, my office, Linda [Garrou, D-Forsyth] and anyone else who can influence the decision of that company" is assisting in the recruitment process, he said.

"Won't that be fabulous if you could put so many people to work? I can assure you we're doing all we possibly can to make that happen from our vantage point," Basnight said.

He said he takes major economic-development projects like Dell seriously, especially since the state lost out in 1993 on a Mercedes-Benz plant that wound up in Alabama.

"If we lose a project, I want to know why we lost it and where did we go wrong," Basnight said. "The president of the Senate in Alabama said, 'God bless North Carolina's ignorance for not being willing to really fight us or beat us out of that car facility' that's employing tens of thousands of people.

"That makes me rock back a little bit and think 'where did we go wrong and what didn't we give them' to win that day. We made a mistake, but since then we've learned a little bit and done a much better job."

He said that one example of a lesson learned was the creation of the One North Carolina Fund, which provides the governor with more flexibility in economic-development projects.

Basnight also encouraged the Rotary Club members to support educational initiatives that bear fruit in terms of good-paying jobs.

"The key component to being successful in the world today is about putting people to work," Basnight said. "You want to see able people be able to go to work when the whistle blows and every one pull the wagon together.

"But if there's not a job and a place for them, it makes it awful difficult."

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Myles Away    0

I haven't heard much lately and it has me concerned. Are they still looking at the Triad? We aren't the only ones after this even though the media is publishing it that way. At least our state and community are working together to bring this here.

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yadkinv    0

I still say this is a classic example of how it should not be done. It should have been coordinated, and decided internally in the Triad who would go after it. No good can come of this now no matter who gets it, W-S, GSO, or Lexington. In this one case, the State was helping Forsyth County, and then the other two jumped in. The Triad will never amount to anything with these tactics. It says to everone nationaly and internationaly that the Triad competes viciously internally. I suspect Dell has noticed this internal competion, and has secretly decided to move on. I certainly hope I'm wrong. In fact, the State should probably referee this one!

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cityboi    244

I dont know Yadkinv. I think Dell would like to see 3 cities competing for them so they can get the best deal or incentives possible. But it does hurt the unity that the Triad is trying to form. It seems like during times when companies are not looking our way, we are unified but when a big company thinks of locating here, the old lines are drawn.

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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County's large amount of land in it's two research & business parks and the quality of it has us in the lead according to Walt Cockerham, a former Guilford County commissioner and the vice chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority. The lead Guilford sites don't have as much land and it will cost a "small fortune" to grade it. These two Winston-Salem sites are also at or near the center of where all the highways meet, not far from the airport. I think both counties will benefit reguardless of who gets it, because of the locations of the lead sites. The Forsyth sites are in eastern Winston-Salem and the Guilford sites are in western Guilford. I think Davidson is now out.

Forsyth, Guilford battling to land Dell complex

Triad thought to be preferred site for computer giant's plant

By Richard Craver, Victoria Cherrieand Michael Hewlett

JOURNAL REPORTERS

With the Triad emerging as the preferred site for a $190 million Dell Inc. plant, Forsyth and Guilford counties are battling each other for what is considered as one of the most important economic-development projects in the region's history.

But officials in both communities said yesterday that they don't feel significant pressure to raise the bar on local tax incentives that are expected to be at least $13 million.

Guilford County economic officials declined to disclose their incentive package, citing a confidential negotiating agreement, but Keith Holliday, the mayor of Greensboro, described the county's offer as "generous."

Sites in Davidson County and in other states also have been considered by Dell, but Forsyth and Guilford have emerged as the front-runners.

"I don't anticipate there being a bidding war locally," Holliday said. "Both sides are following every potential lead to land this project for their community, as they should."

Allen Joines, the mayor of Winston-Salem, said that the Dell project "is so out of the box that it doesn't really lend itself to a joint approach."

Holliday said that there were preliminary discussions about a consolidated approach for the project, but those talks may not go forward until Dell makes its site selection.

The focus of the Dell project narrowed on the Triad on Wednesday when Gov. Mike Easley called for a special session of the General Assembly next Thursday to approve incentives for a company that plans to build a plant in the Triad and create at least 2,000 jobs.

Dell's name was not mentioned, but a Dell spokeswoman confirmed that the company is awaiting legislative action before moving forward with its plans for the plant. The combined local and state incentive package is about $110 million, but that is likely to change.

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners met in closed session yesterday to discuss the project. But commissioners said afterward that they have little idea what kind of economic incentives they will be asked to present. "They haven't brought us the bottom line," Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt said.

The Winston-Salem City Council has yet to be briefed on the project.

Things are expected to move fast now, and Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will have to work hard to put together a good incentives package to attract Dell, said Pete Brunstetter, the chairman of the commissioners. "It's the type of problem we've been hoping to have for a very long time," he said.

Joines said that a local task force has been formed and will meet today to discuss what steps it should take to attract the plant.

Officials in both counties said that the FedEx Corp. hub under construction at Piedmont Triad International Airport might be the only economic project in recent memory that overshadows the proposed Dell plant.

That's why officials said that the communities are competing so hard - and separately - to secure the project in terms of incentives and plant site.

The project, still under wraps, would consist of a 400,000-square-foot manufacturing plant on 100 acres, according to Winston-Salem Business' application with the Golden LEAF Foundation. It also includes plans by a separate, unidentified company to build a 250,000-square-foot logistics operation nearby.

The Winston-Salem Alliance decided to put on hold its plans to build a speculative building at the Alliance Science and Technology Park near the Union Cross Business Park until a decision is made on the Dell project.

"If Dell does pick this site we would go about choosing a developer differently," said Joines, who is president of the Alliance, a nonprofit group that works on economic development.

An initial Dell operation would need about 30 acres, but there are nearly 200 acres in the park. "Hopefully for the future expansion of Dell," Joines said.

Real-estate officials said that the Alliance Science and Technology Park and Union Cross Business Park are the most likely sites in Forsyth.

The most likely properties for the project in Guilford are near PTI.

Having the two business parks three miles apart is a major advantage for the Forsyth bid, said Walt Cockerham, a former Guilford County commissioner and the vice chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority.

"It seems to me from all the things I have heard about the Dell project is that Winston-Salem is the more favored site," Cockerham said. "When I ask why, they say it's because the city (Winston-Salem Alliance) owns 200 acres and has easy access to another 300 acres.

"There are sites near the airport that are 100 acres or more, but they are either stretched out or require grading that would cost a small fortune," he said.

"(Both cities) have to be careful not to overextend themselves with their bids," Cockerham said. Guilford County already is contributing to a $6.4 million local and state incentive package to Citigroup for its $30 million expansion in the eastern part of the county.

When it comes down to two communities sharing a similar labor pool, local incentives typically don't rule the day, said John H. Boyd, the president of The Boyd Co. Inc., a site-selector company in Princeton, N.J.

"Instead, things like site accessibility, site visibility, cost of the land and utilities become increasingly important," Boyd said.

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Myles Away    0

I commented on this on another forum. So we are in the lead for this! Its kind of exciting but as we talked about on the other forum, incentives will determine how great of a deal this is for the county and city.

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Matthew    0

Winston-Salem's Alliance business park seen in lead for Dell

Matt Harrington

The Business Journal Serving the Greater Triad Area

As Dell Inc. comes closer to locating a $190 million computer assembly plant in the Triad, real estate professionals and site consultants in the area's largest counties believe the new Alliance Science & Technology Park in southeastern Winston-Salem has the best chance of being the future home of the computer giant.

The relatively flat, 190-acre site, located near the intersection of Union Cross Road and US 311, is undeveloped and would also allow Dell more flexibility for future expansion, local observers say. It would also allow for Dell suppliers to open nearby in a campus-type setting.

Leaders with Winston-Salem Business Inc., particularly board chairman and auto magnate Don Flow, have been aggressively promoting this site to Dell, while also developing a package of local tax incentives that might apply to Dell and its suppliers alike.

The site is owned by the Winston-Salem Alliance, made up of the city's largest corporations, who may also play a role in offering incentives. Dell would enable the Alliance to brand the new park nationally as a location for high-tech manufacturing.

"If I had a client of that magnitude, from my knowledge of the sites, I'd focus on the Alliance Science & Technology Park," said Richard Redding, a broker at Meridian Realty Group in Winston-Salem. "(Dell) could have their own identity, their own park and have the opportunity for expansion."

The biggest knock against the Alliance Science & Technology Park, brokers said, was that utilities had not yet been extended to the site. But some experts said that given the potential timeline of the project, hooking the site up to water and sewer wouldn't be a problem.

Jay Luke, a partner in Freeman Commercial Real Estate in Winston-Salem, said that in a deal as large Dell, getting all the details finalized took enough time that utilities would be able to be extended by the time the company was ready to start building. He envisioned construction on an actual building would start in the spring.

"(Union Cross) would be the place they'd have to go if they wanted to build immediately," Luke said.

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Matthew    0

High Point's offer was $8-9 million. The High Point site required major grading.

Dell will have to employ 1,700 to get all of the $37.2 million. Winston-Salem trapped Dell into hiring more people than their estimates. :D The Winston-Salem package rewards based on number of employees. The more employees, the more money they get.

Save the county line for a large sports project, if it comes the Triad's way again.

Over time though people will move to Kernersville and Winston-Salem to be close to where they work. The area around the plant will develop with retail, hotels, houses, suppliers factories, new companies and other developments that will pay back the money. High Point will be the only outside place to benefit. They have annexation rights along I-74 (US-311) in Forsyth County. Traffic isn't as bad in Forsyth as it is in the surrounding counties. Trust me, that drive will get old. The drive from my house to Mission St. Joseph (Where my Mom works) has her wanting to move closer to the city and we are right at the Buncombe County line. Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, Kernersville and High Point should get together and plan out how the area will develop. I know there is Legacy Smart Growth Plan, but I would like to see those groups discuss the future of that area now that Dell is there. Winston-Salem to High Point will become a high growth corridor and those two have an excellent history of working with each other.

Forsyth Technical College is also a major winner. They will get millions from the state in this deal. I agree that Winston-Salem paid for a name to draw other companies to PTRP and the other parks. They also paid for the right to say they added 1,500 new economy jobs. This project was seen as a project that would give a huge leap to the winning city in becoming new economy. Overall, if you want high paying tech jobs, Triad Simiconductor at PTRP in downtown Winston-Salem is where you should go.

---------------------------------

Dell brought up a lot of the things I talked about on the other forum about the Winston-Salem site, from location between two Interstates to paying for site work to the grading. Grading, like Danny's article points out, was a major issue to them.

By John Pletz

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Dell Inc. has picked Winston-Salem, N.C., as the site for its new manufacturing facility, which it hopes to open next fall.

Winston-Salem was one of several cities in North Carolina that were bidding for the new plant, which will produce desktop personal computers for East Coast customers.

The 500,000-square-foot facility is the first U.S. plant for Dell since 1999, when it began work on plants in Nashville, Tenn., and on Parmer Lane in North Austin.

Winston-Salem and Forsyth County won the bidding for the project, offering a package of incentives worth more than $37 million. Added to the $242 million in state contributions, it's the largest incentive package in North Carolina history.

Winston-Salem beat out nearby Greensboro, and Guilford and Davidson counties. In addition to job-training grants and tax rebates, the Winston-Salem offer includes paving roads and parking lots on the Dell campus.

"One of things that distinguished their proposal was their ability and willingness to help with site preparation," Dell spokeswoman Cathie Hargett said. "Speed is very important to us. This site also was relatively flat for the region, which will help. Grading and filling adds time and cost to the project."

Location also played an important role: The site is close to Interstate 40 and U.S. 311, Hargett said.

A North Carolina plant will allow Dell to ship products to customers in New York City, Boston and other East Coast cities within a day. But for Dell employees involved with setting up the new site, a visit to North Carolina is a half-day trip. Unlike Nashville, no airline serves their airport directly from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all require a stop at another hub.

Construction of the factory will begin in January, and it should open in September. Although the operation is likely to be run by an existing Dell manager, the company plans to hire nearly all the workers from North Carolina. The plant will employ about 700 workers within a year, with total payroll hitting 1,500 employees within five years. The jobs are expected to pay about $28,000 a year.

Dell expects to begin screening applicants in February or March and start hiring in April or May, Hargett said. Workers will be trained in Austin or Nashville during the summer.

The North Carolina site is 189 acres, slightly larger than the Nashville facility but less than a third the size of the 600-acre Parmer Lane campus, where Dell manufactures desktop PCs, servers and storage equipment.

The North Carolina decision caps a busy year for Dell expansions. The company has opened a distribution center near Cincinnati for printers, ink supplies and other small products. It's building a call center in downtown Oklahoma City that will employ about 500 people. The company also is building a call center in Edmonton, Alberta.

[email protected]; 445-3601

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twincity    5

I've heard others say Greensboro will be the real winner. In terms of the number of high paying jobs, Greensboro based RF Micro is better for the economy than Dell. RF Micro, a cumputer-chip companies has just as many jobs in Greensboro as what is projected with Dell in WInston-Salem and RF Micro pays their employees much higher. Unlike Dell, RF Micro has its headqaurters and a couple manufacturing facilities in Greensboro. Of Course RF Micro has manufacturing facilities worldwide like Dell as well. Dell will be Winston-Salem's RF Micro in a sense. One Great thing about it though is the Dell name and that may be what Forsyth County is paying for, just to brand the Dell name in Forsyth County. But this is still great economic news for an area that lost so many jobs. Its unfortunate that the Triad governments didnt work together to locate the plant somewhere near the Guilford/Foryth County. I think Forsyth wanted to rush this thing through so there really wouldnt be enough time to do that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Greensboro has RFmicro but its not going to have the same impact as Dell on the local economy. the spin-off jobs from Dell are estimated between 4000 and 8000, most will be in the Forsyth county or even Winston-Salem. I doubt Winston will let HP annex much further into Forsyth. Ill take more jobs over higher paying jobs any day. Plus the Dell jobs range from 18,000 and 140,000 so there are good paying jobs coming with the deal also.

I really dont see how Dell will have a significant impact on Greensboro and its funny how the city's leaders are really down-playing Forsyth's win. "greensboro is the real winner" yeah right. The real winner is Winston-Salem, Kernersville and High Point. This could be the beginning of a strong relationship between the three.Greensboro and Burlington are growing closer, now Winston K-ville and HP are quiclky growing closer.

The exciting thing about the plant is that it will be the largest and most advanced Dell plant in the world. This company in providing stable jobs, since we all know the future will definitly depend on computers. Still now wrod on the logistics company that iscoming with Dell's plant. I wonder how manyt they will employ?

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yadkinv    0

I agree with all said here, but guess what, unless things change, when the Dell reps land at PTI, the pilots will say welcome to Greensboro! Major W-S blunder 30 years past!

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Matthew    0

As it turns out Dell was more intrested in I-40 (the nation's major East-West highway) instead of I-85 (Southeast regional highway). As I've said before, I-40 and I-74 are the two most important highways to outside companies. I-40 being the major East-West highway in the nation and I-74 (US-311) giving port access and access to I-81 and the Northeast. Dell said they wanted access to I-40, not I-85 or faster access to I-95. They wanted excellent highway infrastructure at the site and the Winston-Salem site had the best highway infrastructure of the sites offered. They wanted to be in the center and the Winston-Salem site is in the exact center of the Triad! Most important was the need for flat land and fast construction. The Winston-Salem Alliance site was the only one offering flat land and they could open faster with less construction costs at that site. This is why Winston-Salem dropped the Union Cross site and focused on the Alliance site. Overall Winston-Salem had the preffered site (as Danny and Myles have posted) all along and didn't need $37.2 million in incentives. Winston-Salem and Forsyth could've stayed at $12 million combined incentives and still got it. :(

On a positive note, Dell will pay taxes to Winston-Salem and Forsyth County! This is why Winston-Salem was so quick to annex the site. The site, buildings and all the equipment are taxable. The land will be in Dell's name and taxable. Those 189 acres were in Winston-Salem's name and non-taxable. The money will be paid back. This is why Winston-Salem was saying Dell will start paying the city back immediately.

2,000 new jobs are expected to be created around the Dell plant by suppliers (around 50 suppliers are expected). They have plenty of land around the site and Dell requires them to be close. They will use local companies, when they can, to fill many of their needs. This will be, in the words of Michael Dell, the most technologically advanced plant in the nation. People are already in contact with Anderson about opening businesses in and around the site. This site is 6 miles from Downtown Kernersville, 10 miles from Downtown High Point, 24 miles from Lexington and 21 miles from Greensboro.

Think about this, a lot of people will see Winston-Salem on their Dells and when similar companies come to the Triad, they will see Dell in Winston-Salem. That name is worth a lot. Published Dell materials will say Winston-Salem, when they list their facilities. Winston-Salem is expecting 4,000 new economy jobs from this and another 4,000 jobs from near-by non-computer businesses to serve local residents. One of the largest new home communites in the Triad is located across the street and they are ready to market their variety of homes in the mixed use development to new Dell employees from outside Winston-Salem. This will result in a housing boon for the area around the factory and increased spending in Winston-Salem. It will also lead to more taxable property and income for both the city and county. Lots of good news!

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cityboi    244

Actually the key reason why they moved to Winston-Salem had very little to do with I-40 or 1-74. It was because the Forsyth County site was already flat and Winston-Salem was able to meet Dell's time line alot quicker. Winston-Salem was just more prepared for Dell. Greensboro, High Point and Davidson County were caught off guard with Dell coming. I think if Greensboro were better prepared and more aggresive at approaching Dell, the turn out would be very different.

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twincity    5

Actually the key reason why they moved to Winston-Salem had very little to do with I-40 or 1-74. It was because the Forsyth County site was already flat and Winston-Salem was able to meet Dell's time line alot quicker. Winston-Salem was just more prepared for Dell. Greensboro, High Point and Davidson County were caught off guard with Dell coming. I think if Greensboro were better prepared and more aggresive at approaching Dell, the turn out would be very different.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Dell was Winston-Salem's project from the beginning. Dell was originally interested in Winston-Salem, not Greensboro, and ended up choosing Winston-Salem, after all the surrounding municipalities tried to lure the company. Greensboro was not caught off guard and there is no way Greensboro could have been better prepared....like you posted before, they were talking with Dell 10 months ago. Thats hella time to get your incentive package together and site prepared. Greensboro just under-estimated W-S and after that 37 mil incentive package was announced, city leaders knew that they didnt have a chance. Thats when all the bad talking started surfacing about Forsyth and its "inferior site". Alliance was already labeled the leading site, newspapers were announcing Dells expansion in Winston-salem according to some outside forum members and Winston-Salem rezoned the site while NCDOT made plans to widen Union Cross Rd. This all happened way before the announcement. This was not a tough decison for Dell and Winston-Salem won the battle long before it was announced. A superior site, superior business leaders, with superior incentives....what company is going to turn that down.

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