Friends of the Downtown: 2015 Programs

January 29th, 2015 – Robert Poitras, owner of the Carolina Brewery, discussed 20 Years of Doing Business in Downtown Chapel Hill — the lessons he has learned since founding the Brewery and the vision he has for the future of business on West Franklin Street.

February 26th, 2015 – Cancelled due to snow.

March 26th, 2015 – Dwane Brinson, Orange County’s Tax Administrator, discussed the 2017 property tax revaluation, followup questions from the audience.

May 28th, 2015 – Dina Rousset, LaUNCh Chapel Hill’s Program Manager, presented an in-depth update on LaUNCh and 1789 Venture Lab. Their entrepreneurs presented their business plans and answered insightful questions.

June 25th, 2015 – Della Pollack and Hudson Vaughn of the Jackson Centerexplained the center’s initiatives to help preserve the Northside and Pine Knollsneighborhoods. Then Delores Bailey shared updates about EmPOWERment efforts in these communities.

August 27th, 2015 – Another great presertation by Rick Steinbacher, Senior Associate Athletic Director 
for External Communications at UNC. A former Tar Heels Football Captain, Rick now manages all UNC-Chapel Hill athletic department external communications. He gave an inside (linebacker) perspective on how the football team will perform this year and about other upcoming UNC sports events.

September 24th, 2015 – Friends of the Downtown Candidate Forum, moderated by Gregg Gerdau — the kick-off event for the election season, focusing on questions of interest to the Downtown. Chapel HIll Mayor and Council candidates were asked questions prepared by our Board members.

October 29th, 2015 – Police Chief Chris Blue discussed Safety Downtown – the New Challenges. He outlined recent changes in safety in our Downtown and answered wide-ranging questions from our group.

December 3rd, 2015 – Jed Simmons who serves as Media, Communication, and Technology Entrepreneur in Residence and Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship at UNC Chapel Hill, gave an inspiring presentation about entrepreneurship. He drew on his experience at YouTube, CNN, and Next New Networks, one of the first companies to build original programing for YouTube.