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The Chamber Announces $1.4M Initiative Targeting Workforce Development, Small Business Support, and Housing

The Chamber Announces $1.4M Initiative Targeting Workforce Development, Small Business Support, and Housing

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –  On December 19, 2023, The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro announced a $1.4 million campaign to fund a new five-year economic and community impact plan. The Campaign for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro builds on the foundation laid by the Big Bold Ideas initiative, expanding on its housing, education, innovation, and workforce development priorities.

For nearly a year, Chamber volunteers and staff have worked with local and regional business leaders to identify community priorities, develop strategies to address them, and to raise the funds needed to deliver substantial and lasting positive impact on our community and our economy. With input and significant financial commitments from the business community, The Campaign for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro will address key local challenges of workforce development, small business success, and affordable housing.   

“To tackle the big challenges facing our community and our economy, The Chamber is strengthening its partnerships and generating substantial new resources to apply to the task,” said 2023 Chamber Board Chair Lori Doherty, President of Doherty Home Inspections. “After careful consideration and input from nearly 100 stakeholders, we are thrilled to launch The Campaign for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro and I am excited about the positive community impact it will make.”

On Thursday, December 7, The Chamber hosted a Campaign Launch Party at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and celebrated entering the public phase of its fundraising campaign by announcing a $1.4 million campaign goal and that The Chamber and its charitable Partnership for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro had secured $1,097,000 in campaign pledges – 78% of the campaign’s goal.

“Investing in our community’s future means addressing our unique local challenges head-on,” said Chamber president Aaron Nelson. “With strategic investments aimed at workforce development, small business growth, and housing affordability, we are building a brighter, more prosperous, and more resilient Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro where opportunity flourishes.”

“This campaign is a first of its kind initiative,” added Campaign Co-Chair Scott Maitland, proprietor of Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery. “It is a new chapter in our community’s business-leadership history.”

The Campaign for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro is Co-chaired by Creighton Blackwell (Coastal Credit Union) and Scott Maitland (Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery).  Campaign Cabinet members include Elie Abou-Rjeileh (Olmaz Jewelers), Sweta Adkin (Adkin CPA PLLC), Manish Atma (Atma Hotel Group), Mitchell Collins (Fifth Third Bank), Lori Doherty (Doherty Home Inspections), Ali Evans (2022 Leadership Chapel Hill-Carrboro President), Reagan Greene (2018 Chamber Board Chair), Kelly Holcombe (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina), Joel Levy (Joel I. Levy, CPA PLLC), John Kiley (Retired Executive), Dan Lehman (UNC Health), Chris McClure (UNC-Chapel Hill), Lauren Rivers (Rivers Agency), and Wes Rowe (Wintergreen Hospitality).

The campaign is also led by an Honorary Campaign Council that includes President JB Buxton (Durham Tech), Vakesia Graves (Duke Energy), Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz (UNC-Chapel Hill), President Janet Hadar (UNC Hospitals), Lilyn Hester (Google), Superintendent Nyah Hamlett (Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools), Mayor Pam Hemminger (Former Mayor of Chapel Hill), Roger Perry (East West Partners), Damon Seils (Former Mayor of Carrboro), Ellen Shannon (Triangle Media Partners), and Brian Toomey (Piedmont Health).

Early Leadership-Level Investors (>$5,000) include: (as of 12/13/2023)

ATMA Hotel Group
Brandwein’s Bagels
BOLD Companies
Bryan Properties
Carol Woods
Carolina Meadows
The Carolina Inn
Chapel Hill Tire
Coastal Credit Union
Congruence Counseling Group
East West Partners
Eller Capital Partners
Reagan Greene
Hendrick Southpoint Auto Mall
Holman Family Dentistry
Kelly Holcombe
Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties
Infinity Bridges Inc.
Jes & Co.
Jon Mills
Millhouse Properties
Aaron & Sonja Nelson
Olmaz Jewelers
Posada Strategies
Research Triangle Park
Rivers Agency
ShineBig Feedback
Subway of Carrboro, Pittsboro, and Chapel Hill
Tar Heel Sports Properties
Trevor Holman Photography
Triangle Media Partners
Trinsic Residential Group
Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
UNC Health
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wintergreen Hospitality

Additional information about the campaign and the five-year plan and the independent economic impact analysis is available at

About The Chamber: The Chamber is a membership organization that serves and advances the business interests of the Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, including the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro as well as southern Orange, northern Chatham, and southwest Durham counties. The Chamber's network includes over 600-member enterprises that employ more than 95,000 workers throughout the region. Together with its network, The Chamber is committed to building a sustainable community where business thrives.

Contact: Aury St. Germain, Director of Communications and Business Development, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro,, 828-674-8982 (direct)

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