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Tuesday, 04 June 2019 12:05


Leadership Asheville, a program of UNC Asheville, will host its 2019 Buzz Breakfast series with the theme, “How Do We Build a Connected Community?”

The breakfasts, to be held June 20, July 25 and Aug. 14 at the Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville, are open to the public and provide a chance to hear" thoughtful panel discussions and network with a broad array of community leaders, including Leadership Asheville alumni," a UNCA press release noted. 

“Every year the Institute for Emerging Issues announces the top challenges facing our state and this past year they identified the disconnection of our communities as the number one challenge. Creating connections and building a thriving community for all is at the heart of what we do,” Ed Manning, executive director for Leadership Asheville, said in the release.

“We are excited to bring together community leaders including the new city and county managers and our new chancellor to explore the possibilities that we have for creating a connected community. In June, our program will focus on defining a connected community and what communities exist here currently. In July, we look at what is being done already to connect our community and then in August we explore the possibilities for being a connected and thriving community.  Leadership Asheville’s flagship program enables people to network with each other and with organizations throughout our community over the course of a year – the Buzz Breakfasts bring many alumni back together to reconnect with each other and with community leaders.”

The breakfasts will begin at 8 a.m. and the programs "start promptly" at 8:30 a.m. in the Expo Center of the Crowne Plaza, 1 Resort Dr., Asheville, the release noted. Tickets are $25; $60 for the series. For more information and tickets, visit

Thursday, June 20 – What Is a Connected Community?

  • Kimberlee Archie, Equity and Inclusion Manager, City of Asheville
  • Rev. Amy Cantrell, Beloved Asheville
  • Keynon Lake, Founder, My Daddy Taught Me That
  • Stephanie Monson Dahl, Strategic Development Office Director, City of Asheville
  • Darin Waters, Executive Director of Community Engagement, UNC Asheville

Thursday, July 25 – What Are We Doing Now to Connect Community?

  • Erica Anderson, Director of Economic and Community Development, Land of Sky Regional Council
  • Chris Joyell, Asheville Design Center Director, Mountain True
  • Catherine Mitchell, Executive Director, River Front Development Group
  • Ray Rapp, Chair, Western North Carolina Rail Committee, Inc.
  • Meghan Rogers, Executive Director, Asheville Downtown Association

Wednesday, August 14 - What Is Our Vision for a Connected Community?

  • Stephanie Brown, President and CEO, Explore Asheville
  • Nancy J. Cable, Chancellor, UNC Asheville
  • Debra Campbell, City Manager, City of Asheville
  • Lakesha McDay, Diversity, Community Engagement and Relations, Dogwood Health Trust
  • Avril Pinder, County Manager, Buncombe County

Presenting sponsors for the Leadership Asheville Buzz Breakfast series are Ward and Smith, P.A. Attorneys at Law, and Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP.

Leadership Asheville, a program of UNCA, engages participants in collaborative community leadership projects, providing personal leadership development and community education and orientation. Many of Asheville’s civic and business leaders are Leadership Asheville alumni. Leadership Asheville’s 38th annual program will begin in September. 

For Buzz Breakfast details and more information about Leadership Asheville, visit


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