Vision Northwest NC

BOONE — The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce introduces “Vision Northwest North Carolina: Focus On Our Future,” a five-part series presented by Skyline/Skybest & Carolina West Wireless.

This virtual series is scheduled to take place from mid-November through late-May and is aimed at driving relevant economic discussion in advance of a planned in-person Vision Northwest North Carolina summit in mid- to late 2021.

These focused conversations will center around the rebound and recovery of our current economic conditions through a coordinated approach toward outdoor economy, and the value of regional collaboration throughout this effort.

“Regional collaboration will be an important element of any economic rebound efforts here in Northwest North Carolina,” said David Jackson, president/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “We established the idea for Vision Northwest North Carolina in the spring of 2019 to focus collaboration on key economic development concepts within the 12-county Northwest Prosperity Zone. Many communities in our region have businesses and development interests within the outdoor economy landscape. This series will generate ideas on how intentional partnerships and conversations could lead to key projects that could boost our region’s economic recovery.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, headlines the first session, scheduled for Monday, Nov. 16, from 1-3 p.m., and presented by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. Cohen will provide a brief update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver remarks on the importance of emphasizing workplace wellness and catching up on deferred health care as the state continues to work through an economic rebound.

Cohen has been recognized as a national leader for her work at NCDHHS. In February 2019, Modern Healthcare named Cohen one of the “Top 25 Women Leaders in Healthcare.”

Additional sessions and keynote speakers include:

• Andrew Davis, best-selling author and keynote speaker, presents “Grow ‘em, Get ‘em, Keep ‘em,” a conversation focused on recruiting and retaining outdoor-related businesses that specialize in manufacturing and product development. This event is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, from 1-3 p.m. and is sponsored by SkyLine/SkyBest.

• Wit Tuttle, executive director for Visit NC and Amy Allison, director of the Outdoor Industry Recreation Office for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, will discuss current trends in the tourism and attraction industries, and how regional collaboration can attract guests who see recreation opportunities beyond county lines. This conversation is scheduled for Monday, March 1, 2021, from 1-3 p.m.

• Scott Hamilton, president/CEO of the Golden Leaf Foundation, will discuss best practices related to public policy and how businesses and municipalities can best present projects and ideas to funders and decision makers. This session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, from 1-3 p.m.

• A session during the month of April will focus on strategies surrounding land conservation and making public lands available to people in a responsible and collaborative manner, with a keynote speaker, date and time to be announced.

Each session also includes a panel discussion with experts representing entities from Northwest North Carolina and beyond for further discussion about the topic of the day along with potential implementation strategies.

Registration is open to the public at www.boonechamber.com/events/focusonourfuture1.

Tickets for the full series are $95, and single sessions are $35.

Vision Northwest North Carolina is a collaborative project between the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Watauga County Economic Development Commission, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, High Country Council of Governments and the Appalachian State University Career Development Center.

For more information regarding the Vision Northwest North Carolina Focus On Our Future series, contact the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce at info@boonechamber.com or 828-264-2225.

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