The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce hosts a State of Our Community Luncheon every year, but this year the business leaders had some truly great successes to celebrate.
Past luncheons have always been upbeat, but there was a new mood in the air at the Wednesday, Aug. 24 business related get together after a year of announcements that a new Toyota battery factory and a supersonic jet maker are opening up shop in the area.
More than 850 community members, business leaders and elected officials attended the lunch that had the theme “Greensboro on the Leading Edge.”
The chamber’s largest event of the year, the luncheon is always an upbeat “Ra! Ra! Greensboro and Guilford County” affair, but in past years the area has often had a subtext that Greensboro and the area were always on the verge of economic development greatness – but always only came close but no cigar when it came to landing giant projects.
No more: Now the city and surrounding area are in the big leagues and more major business announcements are expected in the future.
Every year, the answer to the question of “How is the state of our community?” is always “Fantastic!” – however, this year, when it comes to business recruitment, that answer is truer than ever.
At the 2022 event, which sold out and had a waiting list of hopeful attendees, local leaders focused on ways that the Greensboro area is currently a leader in cutting-edge technologies in different industries.
Those highlighted at the event included the Greensboro Science Center, White Oak Legacy Foundation, UNC-Greensboro, Volvo Group North America, and North Carolina A&T State University.
“Greensboro is indeed on the leading edge of technology, education, and manufacturing, and there are so many opportunities for our community to continually grow across Greensboro and Guilford County,” said Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen, who recounted his experiences visiting these sites and learning about the leading technology there.
Christensen, known for being the area’s biggest Duke fan, didn’t like how the NCAA Final Four turned out this year, but he very much enjoyed the ways things turned out when it comes to economic development in Guilford County in late 2021 and early 2022.
Two awards were also presented at the event: the Stanley Frank Economic and Workforce Development Award and the Hubert B. Humphrey, Jr. School Improvement Award.
The Stanley Frank Award was presented to Kevin Baker for his work as the executive director of the Piedmont Triad International Airport, where Boom Supersonic will be building ultra-fast ultra-cool jets, and where the new aviation megasite is expected to bring in a whole lot more companies.
The award –named for one of Greensboro’s most respected benefactors, the late Stanley Frank– is presented each year to someone who’s made a major difference in helping of building a better Greensboro and Guilford County.
The Hubert B. Humphrey, Jr. School Improvement Award was given to Southwest Guilford High School Principal Angela Monell. The school received $12,000 to be used for the professional development of staff members. Presented jointly by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the award is based on “10 objective, data-driven performance metrics” that reveal the progress of each school from the beginning of the school year to the end.
The Humphrey Award is named for Hubert B. Humphrey, Jr., who was an exceptional lawyer, civic leader, public servant, and philanthropist. Humphrey was named one of the Best Lawyers in America, served in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly, was a chair of the board of trustees at both Wake Forest University and UNCG, and served as a trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for more than 20 years.