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Chamber Annual Meeting to Focus On “What Makes Good Communities Great”

Area business leaders will gather on Friday, April 19 from 12:00-1:30, at the Wilmington Convention Center, for the 146th Annual Meeting of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, to hear from Jay Garner, a leader and innovator in economic development. He will discuss the characteristics that successful communities in North America have in common as they work to advance their economic vitality. According to Garner, communities and regions that are adaptable, flexible, have an excellent product to present and understand the value of quality public and private leadership are those that consistently win in the economic development arena, whether it’s in business recruitment, entrepreneurial development or business retention and expansion.

Garner is the president and founder of Garner Economics, LLC, an economic development and site location consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta. He has served for more than 30 years in professional roles in economic development and site location. Jay often lectures and provides counsel on creating and implementing proactive global business development strategies and tactics. His firm is a leader in providing assistance to corporate clients in their site selection process. He is a founding member and a member of the board of directors for the Site Selectors Guild, a prestigious group of the top site location consultants globally.

Garner has led over 25 trade and business development missions on four continents leading to the creation of thousands of jobs and several billion dollars in capital investment. He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a Fellow Member and an Honorary Life Member, the three highest professional designations awarded to those in the economic development profession by the International Economic Development Council. As a practitioner, Jay was selected as one of ten outstanding leaders in economic development in the United States by Site Selection magazine while leading the economic development program in Mobile, Ala. The same publication also recognized him for running one of the ten best development organizations in the U.S. for six consecutive years.

The Annual Meeting Keynote Sponsor is Progress Energy. The Presenting Sponsor is AT&T. Other sponsors include: McGuireWoods LLP; New Hanover Regional Medical Center; Williford High & Co. CPAs; Andrew Consulting Engineers; Cape Fear Community College; Longley Supply Company; Murchison, Taylor & Gibson; NewBridge Bank; Pathfinder Wealth Consulting; Delaney Radiologists; and First Bank.

Attendance at the Annual Meeting is open to Wilmington Chamber members and non-members at a cost of $45 per person. Contact Nikki Jedlicka, Member Services Director, for tickets: 910.762.2611 ext. 203 or