Registration Open for 2nd-annual Insight Series

Posted By: David Jackson Chamber News ,

2019 Insight Series

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce registration for the 2nd-annual Insight Series is now open. 

The Insight Series focuses on leadership development and career affirmation while connecting in a small group setting with established business leaders. The series is held over four monthly sessions from June through September.

Each gathering includes a panel of two current or former CEOs and community leaders who provide their career origin stories, experiences, and advice to those seeking higher professional aspirations.

Opportunity for Q&A with the panelists as well as networking within the group of local professionals creates an energized atmosphere for career reflection and goal setting.

Sessions will be hosted at Fairway Cafe at Boone Golf Club June 27th, July 25th, August 22nd, and September 26th. Sessions will run from 6-8pm, except for the September session, which will be held from 11am-1pm.

Cost to attend the series is $250 for Boone Area Chamber of Commerce members and $300 for non-members, and includes course materials, food/drinks at each session, and a commemorative gift. Registration is limited to the first 20 participants and can be accessed at this link.

Confirmed panelists for the 2019 series include:


Zak Ammar, Founder/CEO, Vixster - received his MBA – Supply Chain Management at Appalachian State University. His skillset includes leadership, financial analysis, logistics, sales, and project management. Zak’s passion and vision is to revolutionize the waste & recycling industry, and to reduce the overall amount of recyclable material in our landfills. Ammar is incoming Chair of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and teaches Entrepreneurship to eighth-grade students at Blowing Rock School.

Senator Deanna Ballard, North Carolina Senate, District 45 - three-term NC Senator and Director of the Office of the President/CEO for Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization headquartered in Boone and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association based in Charlotte. Her work for the organizations includes helping to direct administrative, financial, and operational activities on behalf of the president/CEO, Franklin Graham, in order to coordinate complex humanitarian and ministry efforts across multiple offices around the world. She also advises and assists senior leadership and other stakeholders in determining effective strategy to move the organizations forward in accordance with their core missions.

Jean Davis, President/CEO, MCNC - serving fifth-year as head of the non-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), which provides true high-performance broadband connectivity for community institutions in K-20 public and private education, non-profit health care, public safety and many federal, state and private research institutions. Davis came to MCNC from the N.C. Department of Commerce, where she served as both COO and Executive Director of Business, Industry and Trade. Her background includes executive management experience with major technology multinationals, entrepreneurial startups and government.

Avery Hall, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Leader, Wells Fargo, has worked for the company since starting with First Union in the Retail Management Associate program in December of 1993. Hall is charged with coaching and developing a team of 10 bankers to provide the following business solutions to clients: capital financing, deposit and cash management services, merchant services, business succession planning, wealth management services, and employee benefit services.  A four-time All-Southern Conference and two-time All-American football player at Appalachian State, he has long been a champion of civic engagement, serving on numerous boards and committees throughout the State, including two-terms as a member of the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees.

Bobby Martin, Founder/Chairman, Vertical IQ, a leading provider of sales research insight for banks. He is an angel investor and serves as an active board member with several innovative start-ups, including Local Eye Site, Boardroom Insiders, MyLifeSite, Sageworks, and etailinsights. While he is a national speaker, he is still a hometown guy and focuses most of his investments in North Carolina where he has lived and worked. Bobby is the author of The Hockey Stick Principles: The Four Key Stages to Entrepreneurial Success,  which was named an800CEORead Bestseller.

Michael Maybee, President/CEO, Watauga Opportunities, Inc., has led the Boone-based manufacturing company since the late 1980s. WOI produces a variety of products within three manufacturing sectors: medical devices, custom plastic thermoforming, and packaging/subassembly. WOI also serves as a non-profit community rehabilitation program providing vocational training, job placement, employment opportunities, community opportunities and residential services to adults who have barriers to employment and community inclusion.

Dr. Sheri Everts, Chancellor of Appalachian State University, Everts joined Appalachian State University as its eighth leader in July 2014. Previously, she had been provost and vice president for academic affairs at Illinois State University since 2008. A Nebraska native who attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse, Everts graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in English instruction and secondary education. After teaching middle school and high school English in Kansas and Nebraska, she returned to UNL, where she earned a master’s degree in literacy education and English (1991) and a doctorate in administration, curriculum and instruction (1994). Under Everts’ leadership, Appalachian has distinguished itself as the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina. By ensuring a sound foundation in terms of the university’s physical infrastructure and the goals and strategic initiatives that empower human potential, Appalachian provides the highest quality setting in which students can grow and learn how to navigate life successfully. 

Daisy Magnus-Aryitey, Director of Code the Dream, Daisy moved to the U.S. from Ghana at the age of 4. She lived in New Mexico, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York before settling in North Carolina in 2009. She wrote her first line of code in a Code the Dream class, and within a year was working as a full-time software developer at Duke University. Daisy is excited to be back with Code the Dream, helping students fall in love with programming and opening doors to opportunities that will change their lives and their community.