A Future Together:
Connecting Our Urban & Rural Communities


Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM EDT
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The Clayton Center, Clayton N.C
111 East Second Street
Clayton, NC 27520


A Taste of the Region 

4:15 pm-5:45 pm

Event attendees are invited to join local vendors from across the Triangle J region for small bites and networking. Learn more 


Alana Keegan, Engagement Specialist
Triangle J Council of Governments 

We have long heard about the urban-rural divide, a phenomenon which undoubtedly pits urban and rural communities against one another. However in the Triangle J region, the diversity of our communities - in geography, demography and community- is our greatest opportunity.

Join Triangle J Council of Governments, along with elected officials, local government staff, and stakeholders from across our region to celebrate our diverse urban, rural, and suburban communities, and leverage similarities to create regional solutions for regional challenges.

Keynote Panel: Connecting Regional Businesses to Greater Opportunity 

A discussion of diverse businesses across the region, the challenges they are facing, and how local government leaders can help them continue to succeed. 


 Adrienne Cole, President & CEO, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce  

Adrienne heads the Triangle’s largest nonprofit business membership organization representing two-thirds of the private sector employment in Wake County. Previously, Cole served as the Chamber’s senior vice president of Economic Development and executive director of Wake County Economic Development where she led her team to recruit new business, support existing industries, market Wake County and the Triangle region, and help companies attract the talent needed to grow and thrive. Under Cole’s  guidance, Wake County Economic Development and the Greater Raleigh Chamber announced more than 30 corporate relocations and expansions totaling over $250 million in capital investments and creating more than 5,000 new jobs. 


Nicole Bozich, Managing Director, Situs Financial 

Nicole manages the day-to-day operations of the firms Underwriting and Due Diligence team in Robbins, NC, managing a staff of over 150 employees.  While with Situs, Ms. Bozich has managed projects of 50+ staff members located in five separate locations and has coordinated large teams of analysts in commercial real estate loan data management and due diligence projects. She has prior experience working with an acquisition due diligence team, specifically charged with financial statement audits, property financial projections and contract compliance. She received her bachelor's degree in business, with a major in accounting and a minor in corporate systems from Boston College.

  Jes Averhart, Executive Director, Leadership Triangle 

Jesica Averhart is the Executive Director of Leadership Triangle, a non-profit established to educate and develop leaders that elevate regional thought-leadership and activate change. Previously, Jesica served as the Director of Corporate Partnerships for Capitol Broadcasting - working with the American Underground and American Tobacco.  Over the last 5 years, Jes has bridged the relationships between the good work taking place within the community (both public and private) and the ideation taking place daily between companies. Originally from Evansport, Ohio, a small village of 200 people located 45 min southwest of Toledo, Jes had the good fortune of working on her grandparents farm while at the same time, learning the ropes in the family's real estate and appraisal business.  She was the first in her family to accept a corporate role after college by taking a position as a financial analyst at GE Transportation. It didn't take long before she started her own company, making her a 4th generation entrepreneur.  

 Napoleon Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development, NC Department of Commerce 

Napoleon manages the support for North Carolina’s  rural communities, leading a team of specialists that help communities make the  necessary preparations and infrastructure investments to attract business and spur  economic growth. With over 15 years of experience in finance and community economic  development, he has served in various roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career. Prior to his current role, he served as the Social Investment Officer at the Kresge  Foundation, focusing on making program- and mission-related investments into Health and Human Services sectors.