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Interviews with Innovators spotlights success at A-B Tech

September 10, 2013

Jamie King and Chris Sparks of Sparking Design

A-B Tech Community College is hosting a monthly program, “Interviews with Innovators,” featuring interviews with area professionals and A-B Tech alumni who will speak on the inside story on how they achieved their success.

Hosted by A-B Tech’s Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, Jon R. Wiener, Ph.D., the one-hour series starts at noon, Friday, September 27, in Rhododendron 351 on the Asheville campus with a session on entrepreneurship, featuring Chris Sparks and Jamie King, co-owners of Sparking Design. Sparking Design started in 2010 and is an Asheville web design firm specializing in branding, marketing web design and print projects. They started the firm after finding the job market so difficult to enter. The desire was so great to continue design work, they created their own business. 

Sparks, an A-B Tech 2010 Digital Media Technology graduate, was recently nominated for a prestigious Eisner Award, what many in the industry consider to be the Academy Awards of comics and four Harvey Awards, for his book Team Cul De Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s. He received the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award for his work at Comic Con in San Diego, where he sat on a panel during the convention. He and King, a 2009 A-B Tech graduate, worked with Andrews McMeel in Kansas City to publish the book and they both helped design the concept of the book's interior pages. 

Sparks edited the book to raise funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research. Sparks organized Team Cul de Sac when he found out his friend Richard Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Thompson is an award-winning cartoonist who created the syndicated strip “Cul de Sac” until Thompson stopped to concentrate on his health in September 2012. 

Programs for the fall semester include a panel on brewing on October 4 and non-profits on November 1. All sessions are free and open to the public.



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If you have an A-B Tech-related news tip or if you are a member of the news media who needs information about A-B Tech, contact the Community Relations and Marketing Director at 398-7117.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

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