Friends of the Downtown: 2012 Programs

December 6, 2012 – Brian Chacos, author of the Non-Profit Spotlight at, explained his plans for his new column and answered questions. Door prizes, contributed by the generous Downtown Merchants, were won by many of those attending the meeting.

October 24, 2012 – Top of the Hill owner Scott Maitland presented his latest entrepreneurial adventure — TOPO Distillery. Scott explained his decision to create North Carolina’s first organic distillery and gave a tour, showing how the process works.

September 26, 2012 – Freddie Kiger returned to inform and delight us with his latest stories. Freddie is an Civil War expert, instructor for the UNC Alumni Association, winner of three Sports Emmys for work on ESPN’s SportsCentury series, writer, researcher and leader of Civil War battlefield tours.

August 30, 2012 – Rick Steinbacher, UNC Associate Athletic Director, discussed promotion plans for the upcoming football season including flyovers, fireworks and pre-game discounts on food and beverages.

July 26, 2012 – Meg McGurk, Executive Director of the Downtown Partnership, spoke about Downtown initiatives, including the new Downtown Business Incubator. She was joined by a new downtown small business owner Morris Gelblum who explained Sweeps, the part-time student help-with-everything business.

June 28, 2012 – Travis Vencel of Trinitas Ventures showed off campus housing projects built in other university communities to address the pressures on nearby residential neighborhoods for student housing. He also outlined a proposal for a project here in Chapel Hill. Then, Aaron Nelson, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, shared plans for this fall’s Intercity trip to Bloomington, Indiana.

May 31, 2012 – Peter D. Cummings, Chairman of Ram Real Estate updated us on the progress of 140 West Franklin Street Development: the timeline for completion, the status of sales and anticipated  retail tenants.

April 26, 2012 – Rosemary Waldorf, co-chair of Chapel Hill 2020, and David Godschalk, a nationally recognized expert on comprehensive plans, discussed the status of the Chapel Hill 2020 planning process and what it hopes to accomplish, with a focus on the Downtown.

March 29, 2012 – Scott Maitland’s presentation covered many aspects of starting, maintaining and growing businesses in downtown Chapel Hill, including upcoming details about the opening of his new distillery on West Franklin Street.

February 23, 2012 – Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Tar Heel Steven Norton focused on newsroom operations and his responsibility for all the news and opinion content generated by the staff of this 119 year old newpaper.

January 26, 2012 – Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil discussed management of Chapel Hill, the upcoming 2012-2013 budget and the Chapel Hill 2020 effort.