After 35 years of chamber of commerce management, including 22 years as President & CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, today I announced my retirement.
Jetsetter Magazine has released its list of Coolest Southern Towns, and Wilmington was ranked at #6.
Chamber InterCity Visit to Richmond, Virginia could yield valuable insights on how to handle our city's burgeoning growth.
It's hard not to when you've been declared "The Next Big Thing" by national media.
Nestled between the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean, Wilmington, North Carolina strikes an enviable balance between a casual lifestyle and global business opportunities. Entrepreneurial zeal permeates every facet of the community, giving it the vibrancy of a city much larger in size, with the ease of living found in a small town.
It's easy to see why we're so passionate about our home. Every day is an opportunity for a beach vacation only minutes away… experiencing pure creativity at an original theater performance… launching a start-up with the support of innovative minds and angel investors… checking out body art and a local band at an eclectic tavern… holding a business meeting in an outdoor cafe… or welcoming a new neighbor and their customs.
With the state's largest National Register Historic District, Wilmington has a keen sense of tradition and preservation, as well as a need to push beyond the conventional. The city leverages this balance to attract global corporations like GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Verizon Wireless, PPD, GE Aviation, and Corning. Businesses large and small fall in love with the historic charm, quality of life, big-city amenities and skilled workforce.
In the past 10 years, the overall population growth in Southeastern North Carolina has hovered above 30%. Until the international economic downturn, the economic growth rate had consistently remained above the national average, reaching 8% in the mid-’90s and above the NC and national averages for most of the first decade of the new century. Both were helped by Wilmington’s diverse, balanced economy, that includes strong pockets of tourism, filmmaking, pharmaceuticals and related industries, financial, retail, construction, service, education and government.
To fuel the growing need for skilled workers, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce's flagship initiative, Cape Fear Future, seeks to further develop the area's knowledge sector economy to promote economic development and ensure the future prosperity of the region. Cape Fear Future has three main focus areas: quality of life, entrepreneurship, and education/workforce development.
We're not just partial to Wilmington because we're lucky enough to live here. In 2014, Wilmington was voted "America's Best Riverfront" by USA Today and was ranked #5 on Forbes list of America's Smartest Cities. In 2011, Outside Magazine named Wilmington "One of the Best Towns" and declared the area to be "The Next Big Thing." Bloomberg Business Week ranked Wilmington "The #7 Most Fun, Affordable City." Forbes rated the area one of the 15 best in the country for business and careers. And the accolades just keep coming… one of the 100 Best Arts Towns… Best Places to Launch a Business… Top 10 Recreation Cities.
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce works every day to strengthen the regional economy and enhance quality of life in the community by harnessing the collective vision and power of local business...so we can keep the accolades coming.
But don't take our word for it, or anyone else's. Experience life filled with balance and vibrancy, whether your passion is kayaking, antiquing in a refurbished cotton market, golfing on a course designed by Jack Nicklaus, sailing the Atlantic, or simply scouting a site for your business that your employees will love.