“Adrienne possesses the expertise to lead the Chamber to accomplish all of our goals,” said Greg Winkler, chair of the Chamber Board of Directors. Last year the Chamber developed a new strategic plan and established five top priorities which include creating jobs and economic investments, advancing transportation solutions, fostering diversity and inclusion in the business community, expanding the Chamber’s foundation, and growing value for its members.
“As the first female president of the Chamber, Adrienne will bring a fresh perspective to its 129-year history,” Winkler said. “Her unique talents and creativity will be a great asset to advance our region.”
Cole brings more than 20 years of business leadership experience to her new role. Under Cole’s guidance, Wake County Economic Development and the Greater Raleigh Chamber announced more than 30 corporate relocations and expansions totaling over $250 million in capital investments and creating more than 5,000 new jobs.
Cole’s additional career accomplishments include:
- Worked to secure and improve state and local economic development incentives
- As an RDU Board member, assisted in the recruitment of the Delta Paris flight
- Recruited Campbell Law School to Raleigh
- Facilitated Red Hat’s headquarters expansion to downtown Raleigh
- Served as economic development leader in Pamlico and Carteret counties and for the city of Raleigh
Jill Wells Heath, president and CEO of CALYX Engineers + Consultants and past chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, chaired the search committee that worked with Waverly Partners, LLC. “Our national search of chamber executives provided very competitive candidates,” Heath said. “Adrienne’s wide breadth of knowledge and experience was unmatched.”
“I’m so excited to serve the community my family and I have called home for many years,” Cole said. “I am very proud to lead the Greater Raleigh Chamber and to continue the tradition of collaboration that makes Raleigh, Wake County, and the Triangle region special.”
Cole is a graduate of Meredith College and received a master’s degree in public administration from Appalachian State University.