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Introducing 2019 Chamber Leadership
Chamber elects 2019 officers, mobilizes hundreds of volunteers and new members, and readies the 1,000-member network for a banner year
CHAPEL HILL, NC: The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce elected its 2019 Officers, is mobilizing hundreds of volunteers and new members, and readying its network of 1,000-member employers for a successful year.
“We are poised for a banner year in 2019,” said newly-elected Board Chair Creighton Blackwell, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Coastal Credit Union. “The Chamber has one of the most diverse and engaged boards of directors and roster of volunteers in its history, with a strong and growing network of employers and a powerful agenda that will help build a more sustainable community where business thrives.”
The Chamber network, led by a volunteer Board of Directors and eight professional staff, are well-positioned in 2019 to advance the business interests of Greater Chapel Hill Carrboro.
The Chamber’s vision is “to be a globally recognized community with the talent, infrastructure, and investment that drives the success of local employers and supports world-class education, public amenities, and thriving downtowns.”
Board of Directors
The Chamber has a 34-member Board of Directors, led by five elected officers and four appointed committee chairs. Nine directors were elected for new or continued terms in 2019.
- Chair: Creighton Blackwell, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Coastal Credit Union (pictured)
- Immediate Past Chair: Reagan Greene Pruitt, Vice President, Marketing & Community Engagement, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
- Vice Chair: Ellen Shannon, Co-founder and Vice President of Planning & Development, Shannon Media, Inc and Chapel Hill Magazine
- Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair: Joel Levy, President and CEO, Joel I. Levy CPA, PLLC
- General Counsel: H. Arthur (Arty) Bolick II, Attorney and Partner, Brooks Pierce
- Secretary and CEO: Aaron Nelson, President and CEO, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
- Government Affairs Committee Chair: Tom Wiltberger, Co-owner, Broker, REALTOR®, Terra Nova Global Properties
- Membership Committee Chair: Helen Antipov, Sales Manager, Brookdale Senior Living
- Chair of the Partnership for a Sustainable Community: Robert (Bob) Saunders, Attorney and Partner, Brooks Pierce
- Newly Elected and Reelected Board Members: Karin Demarco, AICPA; John Kiley, SCORE; Tom Proctor, Vacuum Cleaner Hospital; Brett Bushnell, Tri Local Realty LLC; Vakesia Graves, Duke Energy; Tola Oguntoyinbo, ShineBiG.com; Betsy Brucker, Armacell; Matt Nash, Chapel Hill Country Club; Chris Ehrenfeld, Domicile Realty; Jay Patel, The Franklin Hotel; Denny Marcin, Pinnacle Financial Partners; Kim Grooms, YMCA of the Triangle; Lydia Mason, Piedmont Health; Pam Hemminger, Chapel Hill Town Council; David Andrews, Town of Carrboro; and Earl McKee, Orange County Board of County Commissioners.
- Additional Board Members: Antoine Puech, Prestige Associates; Dan Lehman, UNC Health Care; Paige Zinn, Jennings; Gerald Ramoin, Hendrick Southpoint; Daniel Eller, Eller Capital Partners; Antwine Jackson, Enitech IT; Bill Ingram, Durham Tech; Joel Curran, UNC Chapel Hill; and Pam Baldwin, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
Chamber Ambassadors are volunteers who build relationships with our Chamber’s newest members, facilitate networking among members, and encourage meaningful participation and involvement in Chamber programs.
The 2019 Ambassadors: Irene Briggaman, Community Volunteer; John Cole, CMIT Solutions of Chapel Hill; Sarah Hamlett, Catherine French Design; Jim McNeely, Servpro of South Durham and Orange County; Kavita Patel, Courtyard by Marriott Chapel Hill; Connolly Walker, Pam Herndon State Farm; Katie Coleman Walker, Fidelity Bank; Jeffrey Wehner, The Wehnwood Partnership, Chuck Whalen, Aflac; and Nancy Williams, Carolina Capital Solutions.
Carrboro Business Alliance
The Carrboro Business Alliance – a sister organization to the Chamber - has grown over the last year to nearly 100 members and is well-positioned for 2019 with an ambitious agenda and a strong Leadership Council.
The 2019 Leadership Council: Chair Bridget Pemberton-Smith, Cameron's; Vice Chair: Chrystina Elle Passanisi, Sofia's Boutique; Tyler Huntington, Tyler's Restaurant and Taproom; Nathan Milian, Carr Mill Mall; Dan Mayer, The ArtsCenter; Wendy Smith, Cameron's; Barbara Jessie Black, PTA Thrift Shops; Scott Conary, Open Eye Cafe; Betsey Elbogen, Perch Coworking; Debra Markley, Piedmont Health; and Rae Mosher, Carrburritos.
The Chamber has four commitments to its membership: 1) to connect members with the people and information they need to thrive; 2) to advocate for the business interests of our community; 3) to promote a thriving economy and community; and 4) to save members money.
Volunteer- and staff-led working groups and committees are the vehicles through which the Chamber delivers on these commitments. In 2019, Connolly Walker, Pam Herndon State Farm, will chair the Chapel Hill Young Professionals, Camille Berry, Community Home Trust, will Chair the Chamber’s Award Selection Committee, Chamber staff, SCORE, and the Small Business Response will co-lead Taking Care of Business, and Chamber staff and the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce will co-lead Carolina Women in Business.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as the 2018 Chair of the Chamber,” said Immediate Past Chair, Reagan Greene Pruitt, Vice President, Marketing & Community Engagement, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. “2018 was an exceptional year – we delivered the most successful membership drive in our Chamber’s history and achieved several key public policy wins and organized an Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference. We are powerfully-positioned to advance the business interests of the greater chapel hill community in 2019 and beyond, and I look forward to continuing my involvement.”
About the Chamber
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization that serves and advances the business interests of the greater Chapel Hill community, including Carrboro, southern Orange, northern Chatham, and southwest Durham counties. The Chamber network is getting stronger with nearly 1,000 members, who employ more than 80,000 workers. Together, we are committed to building a sustainable community where business thrives. Members count on the Chamber to 1) connect them with key people, information, and resources; 2) advocate for local business interests; 3) promote our members, community, and quality of life; and 4) help members save money. Follow us on Twitter @CarolinaChamber.
Katie Loovis, VP for External Affairs, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, KLoovis@carolinachamber.org, (919) 696-0781 (cell)