MHAworks Attends 2022 Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference

Oct 27 2022

MHAworks met alongside more than 70 other local leaders in Asheville, North Carolina for the Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference put on by The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro. The goal of this conference is for leaders in Asheville and Chapel Hill to build relationships among each other to help address local challenges.

The three-day conference began with a trip to Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter, a district focused on research, business and education in biomedical science, information technology, digital media, clinical services and advanced materials. While in Winston-Salem, the delegates met with local leaders to learn about the strategies Winston-Salem implemented for downtown wet lab development and forming strong partnerships with universities and the community that accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship.

After visiting Winston-Salem, the delegates headed to Asheville for an orientation, networking activities and an ongoing reception with Asheville leaders. The first day concluded with a small group discussion in downtown Asheville.

The second day of the conference began with an exploration of downtown Asheville and a discussion focusing on downtown redevelopment strategies, housing, community land use planning and public infrastructure. A panel discussion on development and redevelopment at Pack’s Tavern was led by Peter Alberice, director of MHAworks’ Asheville office, Clark Duncan, executive director of Asheville Economic Development Coalition and SVP, and Nikki Reid, director of City of Asheville Community and Economic Development. This panel discussed several of The Chamber’s learning objectives for the event including development and redevelopment, planning communities and equity.

During the panel discussion, Alberice showcased the Four Points Asheville, a new, mixed-use development at 22 Woodfin Street. This new development will bring full-time activity to the site and will support the growth of pedestrian-oriented development in downtown. This development provided delegates with an example of how cities can best take advantage of an urban site to provide multiple different resources for the community.

After a lunch break, delegates engaged in another panel discussion on education and workforce development with a focus on improving outcomes and student success. The second day concluded with a celebratory dinner at one of Asheville’s most popular restaurants.

The final day of the conference the delegation had a conversation that focused on housing affordability and innovative and successful affordable housing strategies. Afterwards, the delegates explored the River Arts District to learn how Asheville differentiates itself from its competitors and uses storytelling and marketing to promote the city and the region it is located in.  

“This conference is an excellent step towards improving both communities. We are excited to implement the strategies that we have learned from this event into our own projects going forward,” said MHAworks Business Development Director, George Hining.