Skip to content

Get Connected & Stay Informed

Access networks, knowledge, and a team of professionals dedicated to helping you thrive.

Lower Your Business Expenses

Save money on small business health and dental services, credit card processing fees, workers’ comp coverage and more.

Increase Your Community Impact

Successful businesses create successful communities and we are passionate about both. Get informed, get engaged, and make your voice heard.

40 Community Leaders Call for Your Big Bold Ideas

40 Community Leaders Call for Your Big Bold Ideas

Member News CEO Statement Event Partnership for a Sustainable Community Connect Advocate
Chapel Hill, NC: Forty community leaders from diverse backgrounds and all sectors have joined the Big Bold Ideas Steering Committee and issued a community-wide call for big, bold ideas to help build a better community.  Submit your big bold idea now via text, 919-525-1395, or online at

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is a diverse group of community leaders, including Mayors and business owners, community activists and artists, and civic and social leaders.
  • Jessica Aylor, Vice President of Community Engagement, Triangle Community Foundation
  • Delores Bailey, Executive Director, Empowerment, Inc.
  • Creighton Blackwell, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Coastal Credit Union
  • Charles Blackwood, Orange County Sheriff
  • Martina Brooks, Senior Leadership Team, Atma Hotel Group
  • Joal Hall Broun, Chair, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education
  • Judith Cone, Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Joel Curran, Vice Chancellor of Communications, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Rani Dasi, Member, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education
  • Molly De Marco, Leadership Team, NEXT
  • Chris Ehrenfeld, Owner, Bold Construction
  • Chris Faison, Fellow, 2019 Campaign for Black Male Achievement
  • Matt Gladdek, Executive Director, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
  • Kim Grooms, Executive Director, Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA
  • Janet Hadar, Senior Vice President of Operations, UNC Hospitals
  • Madison Hayes, Executive Director, the Refugee Community Partnership
  • Pam Hemminger, Mayor, Town of Chapel Hill
  • Lilyn Hester, Head of Southeast External Affairs and Government Relations, Google
  • Barbara Jessie-Black, Executive Director, PTA Thrift Shop
  • Leigh Kempf, Vice President, Bank of America
  • Jaclyn Krohn, Director of Orange County Campus, Durham Tech
  • Lydia Lavelle, Mayor, Town of Carrboro
  • Scott Maitland, Proprietor, Top of the Hill and Topo Spirits
  • Lydia Mason, CFO, Piedmont Health
  • Aaron Nelson, President and CEO, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro
  • Tola Oguntoyinbo, Co-Founder and President,
  • Jay Patel, President, Wintergreen Hospitality
  • Roger Perry, President, East West Partners
  • Jennifer Player, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity
  • Eliazar Posada, Director of Community Engagement & Advocacy, El Centro Hispano
  • Rebecca Quinn Wolf, Senior Vice President/Director of Client and Community Relations, PNC Bank
  • John Quinterno, Leadership Team, CHALT
  • Penny Rich, Chair, Orange County Board of County Commissioners
  • Anna Richards, President, Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP
  • Devin Ross, Leadership Team, Justice United (invited)
  • Ellen Shannon, Vice President, Planning and Development, Shannon Media
  • Ruffin Slater, Founder and General Manager, Weaver Street Market
  • Kim Tesoro, CEO, Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce
  • Kevin (Kaze) Thomas, Co-Owner, Local 506 and Vibe House 405
  • Jenn Weaver, Mayor Pro Tem, Town of Hillsborough
  • Aubrey Williams, General Manager, 97.9FM WCHL and

Call for Ideas

As part of today’s announcement, the Steering Committee called on every community member to submit their biggest, boldest idea that will help make our community an ideal place to live, work, and launch and grow a business.
A Big Bold Idea is an idea that 1) will have a lasting and positive impact on our community, 2) is ambitious, measurable and accomplishable, and 3) is something you are willing to work on but cannot accomplish alone. Examples include: “No one in our community goes to bed hungry;” “All children read on grade level by grade three;” “Create 1000 units of affordable housing in the next 10 years;” and “Build 100 miles of greenways and bike trails by 2030.”


This Steering Committee has convened three times to develop the Big Bold Ideas community-wide civic improvement process, which will unfold in three phases: 

1) Phase I: Call for Big Bold Ideas. From now until Oct 12 (three weeks), the community is invited to submit their ideas at or via text at 919-525-1395. The outreach for ideas will include in-person, online, and on-air solicitations from diverse speakers in various languages. The Chamber staff will monitor submissions, cluster ideas into categories, and address any questions.

2) Phase II: Sort and Select Big Bold Ideas. In mid-October, the Steering Committee will share with the community the ideas collected and give everyone a chance to help prioritize the ideas through a web-based, crowd-sorting platform. On November 7, the Steering Committee will host a Community Selection Conference with delegates to narrow down to three Big Bold Ideas. The time and location of the conference is being determined. Those interested in serving as delegate should indicate so when they submit an idea. 

3) ​Phase III: The Big Bold Way Forward. After the Big Bold Ideas are selected on Nov 7, the Steering Committee and Chamber staff will perform research and build the business case for each idea as well as identify funders and co-champions. The implementation plans for each Big Bold Idea will be announced and discussed at The Chamber’s Annual Meeting on January 31, 2020.   

“Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro has realized some remarkable improvements in community well-being over the last decade. Now it’s time for some big ideas and bold action so everyone in our community can thrive in the future,” said Nelson.

About the Event

Today’s Big Bold Ideas announcements, including the introduction of the Steering Committee and call for Big Bold Ideas, took place during The Chamber’s State of the Community Report at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill with nearly 400 guests in attendance. Big Bold Ideas was originally introduced to the community during The Chamber’s 2019 Annual Meeting at the Carolina Club on February 1, 2019. The inspiration for Big Bold Ideas came from the "Big 5 Initiatives" in Kansas City, where the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce initiated and continues to lead a similar process for their region. Big Bold Ideas was made possible through the financial support of Atma Hotel Group, Bank of America, Bold Construction, Coastal Credit Union, and East West Partners.


Contact: Katie Loovis, 919-696-0781,

Powered By GrowthZone