Report from Cary Chamber Planning Conference

cary-chamber-planning-conferenceOn Wednesday and Thursday of last week, the Cary Chamber of Commerce held its annual planning conference at The Carolina hotel in Pinehurst.  Approximately 70 elected officials, chamber officers, local businessmen and businesswomen spent some quality uninterrupted time finding out what is going on in-and-around the town, hearing economic and trend projections from influential thought leaders and developing a plan of work for the coming year.

Facts & Figures

Items I found interesting at the conference:

  • RTP has named it’s first 200 acre redevelopment tract ‘Project Archie’
    • A new physical place in the park unlike anything else in the world.
    • A best example of flexible, sustainable real estate
    • The best working laboratory on innovation
  • Wake County has continued to grow by 20,000-25,000 people per year during this recession.
    • In ~2 years, Wake County will top 1 million population
  • The 2014 Wake County budget is still below the 2009 budget
  • The proposed $810 million school bond will call for a tax increase just over 5 cents.
  • The proposed Downtown Cary Library on the ‘opportunity site’ is covered under unissued 2007 bonds and is thought to be 3rd in line for funding.
  • Low participation in Imagine Cary is of concern
    • Only 322 people attended the Area Conversations (or only .2% of our population)
    • 100 businesses responded out of 3,700 contacted (2.7%) resulting in 10% margin of error in the analysis of their responses. Cary Businesses are asked to fill out the following survey ( to improve the planning process.
  • While Cary and the region have a diversified economy, Cary is ‘very dependent’ on Information Services with 5 times the concentration as the region as a whole.
  • Cary’s population is projected to grow from 144,000 in 2013 to 193,000 in 2040 for a 1.09% growth rate.


Cary Chamber Planning Conference

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Agenda

  • Conference Overview & Lunch
  • The Economy – Mid Year Update
    • Mark Vitner, Managing Director & Senior Economist Wells Fargo Bank
  • Pathways to Opportunity
    • Bob Geolas, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation
  • Wake County Update
    • David Cooke, Wake County Manager
    • Joe Bryan, Chair – Wake County Commissioners
  • Town of Cary Update
    • Ben Shivar, Cary Town Manager
    • Members Cary Town Council
  • Roundtable Discussion – Imagine Cary
    • Jeff Ulma, Director of Planning, Town of Cary
  • Trends
    • Ted Abernathy, Southern Growth Policies Board

Thursday, July 18, 2013 Agenda

  • Candidate Update – Town of Cary
  • Education Update – Q&A
    • Bill Fletcher, Wake County School Board District 9
  • Overview 2012-2013 Chamber Year
    • Kathy Burns, Chair
  • 2013-2014 Breakout Work Sessions and Business Plan Presentation with Vice Chairs
    • Economic Development – Chuck Norman
    • Education – Carrie Cassidy
    • Governmental Relations – Kyle Greer
    • Member Business Services – Becca Smith
  • Conference Chair Comments
    • Frank Shell, Chair Elect

Cary Chamber Theme for 2013-2014 – “Cary On”

The Cary Chamber 2013-2014 Plan of Work will be published soon, so check the Chamber website ( for more information.  Join the Cary Chamber of Commerce ( and get involved.


Story and pictures by Ian Henshaw, Managing Partner at Tech Tank in Cary.

2 replies

Comments are closed.