Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chamber President Announces Retirement

Richard J. Lutovsky, President & CEO of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, notified the Chamber Board and staff of his intentions to retire this September. The announcement at this time gives the Board nine months to conduct a search and name a successor.

“I am proud of the accomplishments that have taken place at the Chamber and community during my ten-year tenure. We have been at the forefront of advancements in the areas of tourism, workforce and economic development, services to our members, wellness and healthcare. Our staff is outstanding and recognized as such by the national chamber community. They and our Board have delivered for our members and the Asheville area,” Lutovsky said.

“Rick and his team have built one of the most outstanding chambers in the southeast,” stated Michael Willett, Chamber Chairman and Regional President of BB&T. “Of his many successes, he must be recognized for overseeing the funding and construction of our state-of-the-art chamber building and visitor center. We are pleased that he and his wife, Janna, will be staying in Asheville after retirement.”

“My wife is a recent cancer survivor, and I have committed to spending more time with her, doing what we enjoy. Traveling will be part of that,” Lutovsky said.

“There are several initiatives that will take up much of my time over the next nine months. Foremost, are the next Advantage Asheville campaign, Advantage Asheville 2015, and the building of our healthcare plan that the North Carolina Legislature approved last session,” said Lutovsky. “We will also finish our legislative agenda for 2010, conduct the spring Total Resource Campaign and complete other ongoing endeavors. The Board will also have my full support in the transition process.

I have enjoyed every day since arriving in Western North Carolina and appreciate the support of the staff and Board, our great members and volunteers, elected officials and the community. Janna and I look forward to continuing our active involvement, but in a different way,” said Lutovsky.

Monday, January 4, 2010

EDC Announces New Director of Research

The Economic Development Coalition for Asheville – Buncombe County (EDC) announces the promotion of Heidi Reiber to the Director of Research. Reiber replaces Tom Tveidt who left the EDC staff in late November of 2009. Reiber formerly served as the research analyst at the EDC and has over eight years of analyst experience in the Asheville community.

The research department of the EDC provides valuable data on the Asheville metropolitan area to the community, its leaders, local business owners, and companies considering a move to the area. The research department specializes in industry-specific market research, economic impact studies, demographic information, as well as historical trends and area comparisons. “I look forward to working closely with our region’s businesses and partners to help our community thrive,” said Reiber.

Reiber, a lifelong resident of Asheville has a Bachelor of Science degree in management from UNC Asheville and a Masters in public affairs from Western Carolina University. Reiber intends to focus the research department’s efforts on applied research -- results driven research applied to specific real world situations, questions, or issues. “We are very pleased to have Heidi step into this leadership role. She has been a valuable member of our EDC team over the past 16 months and we know she will exceed the community’s expectations,” stated Ben Teague, Executive Director of the EDC.

Economic and demographic research information is available through the website. Reiber can be reached at 828.258.6120 or