Garner Chamber’s CONNECT Conference to Focus on Foundation and Growth

GARNER, N.C. -- A lot has happened in Garner since it received designation as an All-America City last year. The foundation has been laid for the Town’s continued growth in business, population and amenities. On Thursday, Aug. 14, the Garner Chamber will present CONNECT: A Conference Addressing Garner’s Economic Prospects, to be held at the Grand Marquise Ballroom, 121 New Fidelity Court in Garner. The fifth annual Connect conference will bring together business and civic leaders to address major developments impacting the town’s economic climate and quality of life. The Chamber is also offering an optional bus tour for developers interested in learning more about what Garner has to offer.

Emcees Lee Ann Nance, executive vice president of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and Adrienne Cole, executive director of Wake County Economic Development, will preside over a packed agenda.

Noon – Registration and lunch

1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Conference Sessions

    Wake County: 3 Perspectives, 3 County Managers, 3 Decades of Leadership – Panel discussion featuring former Wake County managers Richard Stevens and David Cooke and current manager Jim Hartmann.

    Garner Technology Center – Tony Beasley, Economic Development Director

    Emerging and Converging in Garner – Industry leaders in information technology, life sciences and clean technologies explore the potential of Garner Technology Center.

    Status of Garner Bond Projects – Hardin Watkins, Town Manager

    Status of 70/White Oak Road – Tony Chalk, Town Engineer

    What’s Next at White Oak – Rich Barta, Core Properties

    School Construction Update – Christine Kushner, Chair, Wake County School Board

5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Reception and Dinner

    Speakers from MoonRunners Saloon and Broadslab Distillery will discuss what happens when Northern and Southern cultures collide in Garner and team up for a national product launch.

“Garner is poised for greater economic success, and this event will connect business leaders, citizens and elected officials together in order to create the future that is right for businesses and residents,” said Neal Padgett, president of the Garner Chamber. “There will also be plenty of opportunities for networking during the welcome and post-conference reception and dinner.”

Sponsors for this year’s CONNECT conference include Presenting Sponsor the Town of Garner; Venue Sponsor The Grand Marquise Ballroom; Community Partners Duke Energy, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, S&A Cherokee and WakeMed; Reception Sponsor All Star Waste Services; Lunch Sponsor Chick-fil-A; Audio Visual Sponsor Capital Production Group; and Sponsors Carolina Clipz, Aversboro Coffee, Cheesecakes Plus and Menchie’s.

Registration is only $79 and includes lunch and dinner. More information about the conference is available at

To register for the CONNECT conference, contact the Garner Chamber at (919) 772-6440 or visit

About the Garner Chamber of Commerce
The Garner Chamber of Commerce is an active organization made up of nearly 600 businesses and community groups. For more than 40 years, the Garner Chamber has worked to advance Garner’s economic vitality and enhance the area’s quality of life. For more information, visit, call (919) 772-6440 or email

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