Boone Chamber of Commerce Logo

Boone Chamber of Commerce Logo

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce on June 6 announced that registration for the second annual Insight Series is now open.

The Insight Series focuses on leadership development and career affirmation while connecting in a small group setting with established business leaders. The series is held over four monthly sessions from June through September.

Each gathering includes a panel of two current or former CEOs and community leaders who provide their career origin stories, experiences and advice to those seeking higher professional aspirations.

Opportunity for Q&A with the panelists as well as networking within the group of local professionals creates an energized atmosphere for career reflection and goal setting.

Sessions will be hosted at Fairway Cafe at Boone Golf Club June 27, July 25, Aug. 22, and Sept. 26. Sessions will run from 6-8 p.m., except for the September session, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We created this series to provide the opportunity for our local professionals to hear from leaders who have established themselves across a variety of business settings,” said David Jackson, president/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “How did they become a leader? How has their decision making evolved? How have they found the balance of success and setbacks? These are all questions that each of our panelists can answer uniquely, and hopefully their responses will serve as motivation and affirmation to our attendees.”

Cost to attend the series is $250 for Boone Area Chamber of Commerce members and $300 for non-members, and includes course materials, food and drinks at each session and a commemorative gift. Registration is limited to the first 20 participants and can be accessed at this link.

Confirmed panelists for 2019 include:

Zak Ammar, founder/CEO of Vixster. Ammar received his MBA in supply chain management at Appalachian State University. His skillset includes leadership, financial analysis, logistics, sales and project management. Ammar’s passion and vision is to revolutionize the waste and recycling industry, and to reduce the overall amount of recyclable material in our landfills. Ammar is incoming chair of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and teaches entrepreneurship to eighth-grade students at Blowing Rock School.

N.C. Sen. Deanna Ballard, District 45. Ballard is a three-term N.C. senator and director of the Office of the President/CEO for Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization headquartered in Boone, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association based in Charlotte. Her work for the organizations includes helping to direct administrative, financial and operational activities on behalf of the president/CEO, Franklin Graham, in order to coordinate complex humanitarian and ministry efforts across multiple offices around the world. She also advises and assists senior leadership and other stakeholders in determining effective strategy to move the organizations forward in accordance with their core missions.

Jean Davis, president/CEO, MCNC. Davis is serving her fifth year as head of the nonprofit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network, which provides true high-performance broadband connectivity for community institutions in public and private education, nonprofit health care, public safety and many federal, state and private research institutions. Davis came to MCNC from the N.C. Department of Commerce, where she served as both COO and executive director of business, industry and trade. Her background includes executive management experience with major technology multinationals, entrepreneurial startups and government.

Avery Hall, senior vice president, commercial banking leader, Wells Fargo. Hall has worked for the company since starting with First Union in the Retail Management Associate program in December of 1993. Hall is charged with coaching and developing a team of 10 bankers to provide the following business solutions to clients: capital financing, deposit and cash management services, merchant services, business succession planning, wealth management services and employee benefit services. A four-time All-Southern Conference and two-time All-American football player at Appalachian State, he has long been a champion of civic engagement, serving on numerous boards and committees throughout the state, including two terms as a member of the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees.

Bobby Martin, founder/chairman, Vertical IQ, a leading provider of sales research insight for banks. He is an angel investor and serves as an active board member with several innovative start-ups, including Local Eye Site, Boardroom Insiders, MyLifeSite, Sageworks and etailinsights. While he is a national speaker, he is still a hometown guy and focuses most of his investments in North Carolina where he has lived and worked. Martin is the author of “The Hockey Stick Principles: The Four Key Stages to Entrepreneurial Success,” which was named an800CEORead Bestseller.

Michael Maybee, president/CEO of Watauga Opportunities Inc., has led the Boone-based manufacturing company since the late 1980s. WOI produces a variety of products within three manufacturing sectors: medical devices, custom plastic thermoforming and packaging/subassembly. WOI also serves as a nonprofit community rehabilitation program providing vocational training, job placement, employment opportunities, community opportunities and residential services to adults who have barriers to employment and community inclusion.

For more information on the Insight Series, contact David Jackson at the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce at (828) 264-2225 or by email at

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