111 regional business leaders and elected officials traveled to North Carolina to learn best practices from Raleigh-Durham leaders. Topics on the Austin Chamber's 19th Intercity Trip included workforce development, education, affordability, housing density, public safety mobility, and economic development.

We were thrilled to have leaders from all over Raleigh-Durham join us to share their thoughts on a variety of topics throughout our three days in the area. We heard from non-profits, universities, governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development organizations, and the private sector about how they are working to make the Research Triangle area a better place to work and live.

Day 1 Sessions & Events
  • Welcome Lunch: Welcome to Raleigh

    Adrienne Cole, President and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber, extended a gracious welcome to attendees, marking the beginning of the Austin Intercity Trip to Raleigh-Durham. In her comprehensive overview, she painted a vivid portrait of the region, encompassing not only its robust business environment but also its rich cultural tapestry and dynamic communities. Cole underscored Raleigh-Durham's economic diversity, emphasizing its role as a nexus for innovation, technology, and education.

  • Mid-Afternoon Session: Hot Topics and Challenges

    Gina Stephens, Publisher of Raleigh Magazine, provided a deep dive into the multifaceted challenges confronting the Raleigh area. Her presentation spanned a gamut of critical topics, including urban development, transportation, education, and sustainability. Attendees departed with a nuanced understanding of the complex issues local leaders and communities are actively addressing.

Day 2 Sessions & Events
  • Raleigh Mayor Breakfast

    Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin of Raleigh delivered an inspiring address centered on audacious undertakings and fearless leadership. She emphasized the significance of cultivating a city council that champions innovation and progress, emphasizing that daring to dream big is the linchpin propelling Raleigh forward and in turn should be the focus of all city leaders.

  • Mid-Morning Session: Higher Education and Talent Pipelines

    Dr. Scott Ralls, President of Wake Technical College, dove into the pivotal role of education in the region's growth. Wake Technical College is one of the largest community colleges in the nation and works to serve employers and students alike. His presentation touched on the importance of reaching underserved communities and how education serves as the cornerstone for nurturing a skilled workforce that can drive the region's future prosperity.

  • Lunch Session: Public & Private Collaboration

    Michael Haley and Ashley Cagle, economic development professionals, educated our groups on the unique dynamics of their successful economic development partnership and how it attracts businesses to the region. Attendees gained valuable insights into the power of collaboration between the public and private sectors in fostering economic development.

  • Mid Afternoon Session: Corporate Philanthropy

    The session on corporate philanthropy featured David Meeker, Liz McLean, and Johnny Hackett, three leaders in the field. Their discussions went beyond monetary contributions and highlighted the profound impact that corporations can have on communities. Attendees left with a deeper appreciation for the multifaceted role of corporate giving in Raleigh-Durham.

  • Dinner: Regional Leadership

    We were excited to welcome North Carolina State Representative Maria Cervania (Former Austinite) and NC State Vice Chancellor Alyson Williams in a unique conversation with St. Edward's University President Dr. Monste Fuentes. They did a Q&A session that delved into the importance of policy and programs that enhance the lives of the region's residents. Their thought-provoking discussions resonated with attendees who are committed to working towards regional progress. The focus of both leaders was encouraging elected officials and everyone in attendance to focus on we can make Austinite's lives better.

Day 3 Sessions & Events
  • Breakfast Session: Transportation

    Joe Milazzo and Jay Irby, leaders at the Regional Transportation Alliance, the region's transportation business advocacy organization. The Q&A session focussed on regional transportation and highlighted the pivotal role of the business community in improving air service and regional mobility. Their insights emphasized the intricate connection between transportation and economic development.

  • Mid-Morning Session: Adaptive Reuse and Redevelopment

    Adam Klein, Director of the American Tobacco Campus, provided details on how his organization worked on the transformation of a former tobacco factory into a dynamic live, work, and play destination in Durham. Attendees gained a profound understanding of the revitalization and adaptive reuse efforts that shape the region.

  • Durham Mayor's Lunch

    Mayor Elaine O’Neal of Durham shared her vision for the city, emphasizing the importance of people-centric leadership and community engagement. Her passionate address resonated with attendees and showcased Durham's unique character and potential.

  • Mid-Afternoon Session: Research Triangle Park

    Linda Hall, Executive Vice President & CFO of the Research Triangle Foundation, offered insights into the Research Triangle Park's resilience amidst economic challenges. Attendees left with a comprehensive understanding of the region's expanding opportunities for businesses and innovation. Throughout the conference, attendees gained valuable insights into the multifaceted aspects of the Raleigh-Durham region, from its economic vitality and educational initiatives to its dynamic sports culture and community leadership. The conference not only provided a platform for discussing challenges but also celebrated the rich tapestry of these vibrant communities.

Related Categories: Chamber, Membership