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CONNECT Conference 2017

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Name: CONNECT Conference 2017
Date: August 10, 2017
Time: 11:30 AM - 6:30 PM EDT
Registration: Sorry, public registration for this event has been closed.
Event Description:
Click here for Sponsor/Exhibitor Opportunities

Join 200 local and regional business leaders, Chamber members, elected officials and economic development professionals for discussion, news and predictions about Garner's economic prospects.

The CONNECT Conference, is a half-day economic development conference presented by the Garner Chamber of Commerce with the Town of Garner.

Thursday, August 10, from Noon to 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Marquise Ballroom.

BONUS BUS TOUR.  Watch for details.

$89 - Conference & bus tour (lunch and dinner)
$79 - Conference (lunch and dinner)
$35 - Reception and dinner only


Join us as we examine developments that will impact Garner's image, business climate and quality of life for years to come.

10 am - 10:30 am
Bonus Bus Registration & Coffee

10:30 am - noon
Bus Tour

noon - 1 pm
Conference Registration and Lunch

1 pm - 5 pm
Conference Sessions

5 pm - 6:30 pm
Reception and Dinner



Is Garner a "news desert?"

Since the 1960s, Garner has plugged in to news about the town through one or more community newspapers. With recent changes, however, reporting on our community has become severely limited. Where will we get the news we need about our community? How will we stay connected? Will Garner exist in what experts call a "news shadow?" Could it even become a "news desert?" 

Our panelists, who will address these questions and others from various perspectives, will consist of John Drescher, executive editor of the News & Observer; Craig Anderson, project director for the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local News at UNC-Chapel Hill; and 'William Needham Finley IV,' founder and main contributor to itbinsider.com, an edgy and sometimes satirical blog that reports news inside Raleigh's beltline. 


The evolution of business

By 2050, the world’s population will be at 10 billion people; how will we feed almost twice as many people with the same amount of land and water?  A company in Garner has an answer. Learn about the innovative and unique technology that could change the way the world eats....from right here in Garner. Rody Hawkins, President/CEO of Improved Nature will tell about their company's mission and why they chose Garner. 
Stephen Hathaway, Vice President of Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, will share their commitment to being the industry leader in medical diagnostic solutions and healthcare IT and how that mission is being accomplished from Garner.
No matter the industry, as the world of business evolves, so must its workforce.  Wake Tech's Anthony Caison, Vice President of Workforce Continuing Education,  will discuss the evolving workforce and how to be future-ready.

Garner's housing boom

More than 3,000 housing units are approved for construction in Garner.  Where are these homes? What will this boom mean for our town?

Meet & Greet Adrienne Cole

Meet and visit with Adrienne Cole, a longtime economic development executive who has been named the first woman to lead the 129-year-old Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Scenes from prior year CONNECT:
Event Media:
Event Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

  • Town of Garner

Venue Sponsor

  • The Grand Marquise Ballroom, LLC

Community Sponsor

  • AT&T - Raleigh
  • Duke Energy
  • North State Bank
  • S&A Communications
  • WakeMed Health & Hospitals

Lunch Sponsor

  • Chick-fil-A at Garner Towne Square

Reception Sponsor

  • All Star Waste Services

Bus Sponsor

  • Highland Baptist Church
  • RushHour Karting

Break Sponsor

  • Strategic Behavioral Center - Garner

Dessert Sponsor

  • Cheesecakes Plus

Coffee Sponsor

  • Lorraine's Coffee House and Music

Reception Featuring

  • Alaksha's Custom Catering/Curry in a Hurry
  • Brice's Brewing Company

Conference Sponsor

  • Accentuate Staffing
  • ALCO Custom Cabinets, Inc.
  • Denny's
  • John D. Adams and Company, CPAs, PLLC
  • Partners Commercial Realty, LLC
  • Square 1 Bank a division of Pacific Western Bank

NextGen Sponsor

  • Carolina Comfort Air, Inc.
  • PSNC Energy
  • State Farm - Meg Hunter

Audio Visual Sponsor

  • Capital Production Group, LLC


  • Bryan-Lee Funeral Home
  • Coldwell Banker/HPW - Schilling
  • Economy Exterminators, Inc.
  • Forms & Supply, Inc.
  • Frigi Temp
  • Gina Miller, RE/MAX United, “The Tapestry”
  • Matthews Motors
  • New Penn Financial
  • Planet Fitness
  • Poole Family YMCA
  • The Alternative Mailing & Shipping Solutions
  • VR Business Brokers of the Triangle

Water Sponsor

  • Community of Hope Ministries
Grand Marquise Ballroom
225 New Fidelity Court
Garner, NC
Date/Time Information:
Thursday, August 10
11:30 am to 6:30 pm
Contact Information:
Garner Chamber of Commerce
$89 - Conference with bus tour (includes lunch and dinner)

$79 - Conference (includes lunch and dinner)

$35 - Reception and dinner only
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