For the first time, our Annual Meeting was held virtually. Attendees enjoyed the benefit of networking (via Zoom) and heard from several key leaders in the community. Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the event:
Mike Golden, Presenting Sponsor, Wells Fargo
“We are proud to continue our support of the Raleigh Chamber because empowering businesses dreams is something Wells Fargo has been doing for over 150 years.”
Adrienne Cole, President and CEO, Raleigh Chamber
“The past year has been challenging and a lot has changed. However, our team is committed to building a community that is strong, collaborative, unified, and prosperous for all.”
DeLisa Alexander, Executive Committee, Chair, Red Hat
“I am confident the Raleigh Chamber and YOU will continue to work each day to make our community a place where everyone can thrive.”
O’Hara Macken, Executive Committee, Incoming Chair, IHS Markit
“The Raleigh Chamber is a trusted pillar for our community, and we are focused on the progress of our region.”
Larry Wheeler (winner, 2019) introduced and honored this year’s winner of the A.E. Finley Distinguished Service Award, Brenda Gibson. The A.E. Finley award is presented annually to a person who has through leadership, dedication, support, and involvement made significant contributions to the community. Brenda is a leader in commercial real estate and a dedicated volunteer in our community. Congratulations, Brenda!
Attendees enjoyed a keynote from Innovative Business Thought Leader and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Dan Heath. Dan shared how business leaders can prevent problems rather than reacting to them. He asked attendees, “how many problems in our lives are we tolerating because we forgot we can fix them?”
Another highlight of our Annual Meeting is sharing our achievements from the past year. Despite the challenges related to the pandemic, we recorded many major accomplishments:
- Launched a recovery taskforce in response to the pandemic to help stabilize, adapt, and accelerate our economy and stood up a COVID-19 response website.
- Recruited 77 new and expanding companies to Wake County that led to the creation of over 5,900 jobs and capital investment of $406 million.
- Several exciting economic development announcements:
- Bandwidth announced a new global headquarters, moving from NC State Centennial Campus to a new location in Raleigh. Bandwidth announced they will bring over 1,100 jobs to Wake County.
- Envestnet, a financial technology company headquartered in Chicago, expanded their Raleigh presence with the addition of 148 new jobs.
- Hansae, a South Korean company, selected Garner for a PPE manufacturing facility further adding to the region’s list of over 700 international companies.
- Microsoft announced the creation of 500 new jobs, expanding the company’s growing presence in Morrisville.
- Even when events went virtual, Chamber members met new customers and learned new skills at 205 events, 120 of those virtual. Several events welcomed over 800 people and included attendees from around the U.S. (Women’s Leadership Conference and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Conference)
- 300 small business owners made new contacts through programs like We Connect and Hispanic and Black Business Momentum.
- The Triangle Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Alliance provided resources to encourage the success of more than 100 underserved businesses and supported economic mobility in Wake County.
- Graduated two classes of Leadership Raleigh to build the pool of ambitious young leaders.
- Focused on talent and workforce development by completing a 15-county regional skills analysis to gather information on business needs for the next three years.
- Launched a program to promote the expanded growth of the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem with a “wrap-around” program.
- Innovate Raleigh led a group of volunteers in the creation of the ‘All In For Raleigh’ campaign to generate individual donations to support the Raleigh Small Business Relief Fund.
- Kicked off a regional digital marketing campaign focused on business recruitment. The campaign will drive awareness and bring new business to the Research Triangle region.
- Expanded policy reach and developed broad priorities to increase influence in several major areas such as economic development and education. The team also kicked off work related to housing affordability, pre-k expansion, broadband investment, liability protections, and more.
- The Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition focused on leading two initiatives on enhancing transit and improving equity, including a study with NCDOT and GoTriangle to create a regional Freeway And Street-based Transit (FAST) network, and a study of a potential pilot that would expand zero fare transit in our market.
- The Regional Transportation Alliance focused on sustainable funding for essential growth at RDU, along with pushing for the full completion of 540 in eastern Wake County.
Your Chamber and business community moved forward despite challenges. We are dedicated to building a thriving economy and enhancing our community’s quality of life. We are grateful for the support of our members, partners, investors, and Chamber leadership. We look forward to working with you in the coming year!
To see quotes and screenshots from our Annual Meeting, search #AnnMtg20 on social media!