Vision Northwest North Carolina: Creating Tomorrow's Workforce

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Hosts the 2022 Vision NWNC Event.


Thursday, May 19, 2022
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (EDT)

Leon Levine Hall of Appalachian State University

1179 State Farm Road Boone, NC 28607-4943 United States

Vision Northwest North Carolina 

As we work to build coalitions to engage in important regional conversations, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce announces the 2022 Vision Northwest North Carolina one-day summit, focused on Creating Tomorrow's Workforce.  

The event, presented by SkyLine/SkyBest and Carolina West Wireless, will take place on Thursday, May 19th, 2022 at the Leon Levine Hall of Appalachian State University.

Additional event support comes from Appalachian Commercial Real Estate, LifeStore Bank, Blue Ridge Energy, Peak Insurance Group, Beech Mountain Resort, Mast General Store, Spangler Restoration, and Watauga County Economic Development Commission.

The event is organized by a regional partnership that includes the Boone Area, Blowing Rock, and Ashe County Chambers of Commerce, Watauga County Economic Development Commission, Appalachian State Career Development Center, High Country Council of Governments, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Registration Options

In-Person Ticket ($115) - Includes networking opportunities, breakfast, lunch, post-event reception, recordings of all sessions.

Virtual Ticket ($115) - Includes live access to keynote and breakout sessions, recordings of all sessions, and unlimited access to the virtual event program. 

Agenda at a Glance
  • 8:00-9:00am - Registration/Networking/Continental Breakfast

Presented by Peak Insurance Group

COVID Economic Realities & Solutions Forward

Presented by SkyLine/SkyBest

  • 10:30-10:45am - Break & Networking

 Presented by Appalachian Commercial Real Estate 

  • 10:45-12:00pm - Morning Breakout Session
    • Labor Realities & Opportunites
      • Zach Barricklow & Craig Delucia, NC Tech Paths
      • Yolanda Adams, Que Pasa Appalachia
      • Tracie Metz, MyFutureNC
    • Affordable Childcare & the Workforce Behind the Workforce
      • Crystal Kelly, Elevate Watauga
      • Joedy Eller & Bob Washburn, LifeStore Bank
      • Diedre McMahon, Southwestern Child Development Center
    • Employer-led Housing Wins
      • Travis Birdsell, Ashe County Extension
      • Carrie McClain, Hart-T-Tree Farm
      • Michelle Pelayo, Ashe County Migrant Education Program 
  • 12:00-12:45pm - Lunch/Networking

Presented by Blue Ridge Energy

Culture Over Wages

Presented by Carolina West Wireless

  • 2:15-2:30pm - Break & Networking 

Presented by LifeStore Bank

  • 2:30-4:00pm - Afternoon Breakout Session
    • Creating Culture & Social Engagement in Today's Workforce
      • Crystal Spencer, Blue Ridge Energy
      • Eric Fulcher, Design Foundry
      • Adam Zembruski, Hospiamo
    • Keys to Employee Longevity
      • Tara Brossa & Anthony Brumfield, Hampton Inn & Suites of Boone
      • John Pooler, Tyson Foods
      • Tammy Johnson, Stallergenes Greer 
    • Creating a "Friendly" Workspace
      • Lisa Cooper, Mast General Store
      • Ariana Williamson, Wilkes Recovery Initiative
      • Jennifer Swenk, Sparta Candle Co.
  • 4:00-5:30pm - Networking Reception 

Presented by Mast General Store


Morning Keynote Session

COVID Economic Realities and Solutions Moving Forward

Presented by SkyLine/SkyBest

Keynote: Ron Hetrick, Author, The Demographic Drought 

Panel Discussion: COVID Impacts & Trends in NW North Carolina

  • Dr. Leah Bouchard, Director of Research & Data Management, NC Rural Center 

  • Dr. Harry Davis, Professor of Banking, NC Bankers Association, Appalachian State University

  • Dr. Pat Mitchell, Former Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development, NC Commerce, Professor of Public Administration, Appalachian State University


Afternoon Keynote Session

Culture Over Wages

Presented by Carolina West Wireless

Keynote: Adrienne Cole, President & CEO, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce

Panel Discussion: Building Culture in Today's Workforce

  • Chuck Eyler, President, Peak Insurance Group

  • Kendra Blevins, Training and Recruiting Coordinator, GE Aviation

  • Karen Warlick, Human Resource Manager, Blue Ridge Energy

For questions regarding registration, promo codes, or agenda, please contact us at info@boonechamber.com or call 828-264-2225.

Keynote Presenters

Ron Hetrick is the Senior Labor Economist and VP of Staffing Product at Emsi Burning Glass.

With 30 years experience in labor economics, he is a leading expert in the current state of the U.S. labor market. Hetrick is passionate about educating companies concerning the labor world that surrounds them. (READ MORE)


Adrienne Cole is the president and CEO of the Raleigh Chamber and leads the Triangle’s largest business membership organization representing two-thirds of the private sector employment in Wake County.

In this role, Adrienne and her team support the interests of the local business community while building a thriving regional economy, enhancing the community’s quality of life, and strengthening member businesses. (READ MORE) 

For More Information:

David Jackson

David Jackson

President/CEO, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce