The 2018 Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Inter-City Visit to Lawrence, Kansas

by | Oct 11, 2018 | Uncategorized

CHAPEL HILL, NC: The 2018 Inter-City Visit Delegation returned from the three-day learning experience in Lawrence, Kansas with new perspective and a passion for more partnerships.

The program featured 15 sessions and deep dive discussions with more than 100 Lawrence leaders, including the Chancellor of the University of Kansas, the President of Haskell Indian Nations University, the Mayor and Manager of the City of Lawrence, and the President & CEO of the Chamber of Lawrence, Kansas. View the full agenda.

“Of the 17-years that I’ve been a part of these learning experiences, there are always a few themes that emerge and insights that capture our attention,” said Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Partnership for a Sustainable Community. “This year in Lawrence, we saw what’s possible when you think big and work together to achieve a shared vision for a community.”

The 2018 Delegation was an impressive group of 79 local leaders, including elected officials, business owners, nonprofit directors, and university officials. Highlights from the 2018 experience in Lawrence, Kansas included:
– Talk and tours of three Lawrence hallmarks: the Bioscience & Technology Business Center, Peaslee Tech & the Lawrence College and Career Center, and Sports Pavilion Lawrence & Rock Chalk Park.
– Luncheon discussion with the Kauffman Foundation on rethinking the future of education and entrepreneurship.
– Spotlight sessions on branding a community, creating a thriving downtown, building community resiliency, and partnering in a university town.
– “Choose Your Own Adventure” sessions: a smorgasbord of conversations topics such as community history and equity as well as hands-on experiences: Walk the Wetlands, Bike the Loop, Tour the KU Campus, Savor the Arts, Learn Lawrence History, and Dive into Downtown.
WCHL / 97.9

The Hill’s News Anchor, Aaron Keck, joined the delegation and chronicled the experience with a daily dispatch:
Dispatch From LFK, Day 1: Perspective
Dispatch From LFK, Day 2: Working Together
Dispatch From LFK, Day 3: Final Thoughts

In addition, local Lawrence media covered the delegation with “Chapel Hill leaders see common issues, opportunities during Lawrence visit” and delegates captured great insights and shared those learnings widely through twitter.

“When we heard from Aaron Nelson and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro team last spring, we were thrilled to be able to not only show off our city, but also learn about their very successful and long-running inter-city visit program,” said Larry McElwain, President and CEO of The Chamber of Lawrence, Kansas. “After seeing the coordination and effort put forth by their staff, we have been both amazed and inspired by the exchange of ideas, plans, and partnerships that transpired in Lawrence over these few short days. We have been grateful for the opportunity to meet and learn from the entire group.”

About the Biennial Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference: The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and its Partnership for a Sustainable Community coordinate the biennial Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference (ICV) to help our business and community leaders: 1) learn from the experiences of another community, 2) better understand our own community assets, and 3) build relationships among each other to help us address our local challenges. Over the two decades, we’ve visited Lawrence (KS), Boulder (CO), Bloomington (IN), Athens (GA) & Greenville (SC), Asheville (NC), Ann Arbor (MI), Madison (WI).

About the Chamber: The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization that serves and advances the business interests of greater Chapel Hill, including Carrboro, southern Orange, northern Chatham, and southwest Durham counties. Members count on the Chamber to 1) connect them with people, information, and resources; 2) advocate for local business interests; 3) promote our members, community, and quality of life; and 4) help members save money. The Chamber network is getting stronger with members who share a vision for a sustainable community where business thrives. Follow us on Twitter @CarolinaChamber.

About the Partnership for a Sustainable Community: The Partnership is the Chamber’s non-profit economic and community development affiliate that applies business leadership to solve community problems and create opportunities. The Partnership convenes leaders, educates and informs the community, builds organizational capacity, and researches and reports on important community information.


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