Friends of the Downtown: 2017 Programs

December 7, 2017 Holiday Meeting with UNC Press.  John Sherer, Director of UNC Press, spoke about the mission and the future of the Press.  Several Press authors joined him for the visit. And, in keeping with the season, Press books were given out to encourage Press books as gifts.

October 26, 2017 – Unveiling Identity: The New Chapel Hill Downtown.  Roger Waldon, former Chapel Hill Planning Director, has seen Chapel Hill’s Downtown continue to evolve over the years.  The downtown is now in the middle of a transition, fueled by demographic, economic and technology changes.  He discussed these trends and how they influence the vitality of downtown communities.

September 28, 2017 – What’s New at LaUNCh?  Dina Rousset, Launch Chapel Hill’s Program Manager and Associate Director at UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, showed their expansion location and explained the various services offered.  She was excited about the latest class of entrepreneurs and we heard presentations from several of them.

August 31, 2017 – Chapel Hill Candidate Forum.  Moderated by Gregg Gerdau, this was the kick-off event for the election season, focusing on questions of interest to the Downtown.  Each Candidate — Town Council challengers, incumbents and the Mayor — had two minutes to introduce themselves, followed by a series of questions from the moderator.

No gatherings took place in June or July

May 25, 2017 – Carolina Square Tenant Update.  Jeff Furman, Vice President for Development for Northwood Ravin, updated us of all the new tenant activity, including Target opening in July.

April 27, 2017 – A Dozen New Initiatives That Will Grow Tourism in Our Backyard.  Laurie Paolicetti, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill – Orange County Visitors Bureau since 2005, has seen tourism grow to a $184 million industry.  She spoke about how we continue to grow this important revenue source.

March 30, 2017 – Property Assessment Explained!  Dwayne Brinson, Director of the Orange County Tax Office, discussed the process of the assessment that was currently underway.

February 23, 2017 – The Downtown Restaurant Business.  Greg Overbeck, co-owner and Marketing Director of the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, discussed running Downtown Restaurants.  As the owner of Spanky’s and 411 West, along with other area restaurants, he was very familiar with the issues facing Downtown restaurants.

January 26, 2017 – Live, Work And Play Downtown!  Former UNC Chancellor James Moeser and his UNC faculty wife Susan shared their experiences of living and working Downtown; attending UNC concerts, sports, speakers, and just walking around the area.