Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Legislative Luncheon

“Being a voice for business is critical work for the Asheville Chamber,” said Kit Cramer, President and CEO of the Asheville Chamber, at the annual Legislative Luncheon on April 20th.

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce's 2012 Legislative Luncheon
During the luncheon attended by over 150 people, the Chamber unveiled the top priorities of the Chamber’s 2012 state legislative agenda:
  • Job Creation including supporting programs that help businesses, regardless of size, to create and maintain jobs.
  • Regulatory Reform
  • Tax Reform/Fiscal Issues including examining the Unemployment Trust Fund
  • Education/Workforce including supporting early education

Find more detail on the Chamber’s state and federal priorities here.

The Chamber’s legislative agenda was presented ahead of the annual legislative visit which is scheduled for May 22-23. This year the Asheville Chamber will be joined by six regional Chambers for the annual Raleigh visit. “Together we’re more powerful,” said Cramer.

The event gave Chamber members an opportunity to meet and hear from the WNC state delegation who each had a turn at the mic. 

Staff, Chamber members and legislators mingle during annual Legislative Luncheon

Here are just a few of the comments from the 11 legislators:

Senator Martin Nesbitt, Jr.
·         “I truly believe you have a legislature focused on the priorities of business in the community,” said Senator Ralph Hise.

·         “I hope going forward we can continue to make NC a better place for business,” said Senator Tom Apodaca.

·         “We are a fiscally strong state,” said Senator Martin Nesbitt, Jr., noting stability, quality of life and ability to educate workforce as strong points for our region.

·         “In order to build the workforce that we’ll need for our small, medium and large businesses, we’re going to have to have quality schools," said Representative Susan Fisher.

Senator Ralph Hise
·         Representative Chuck McGrady noted quality of life is key for our area in attracting businesses such as New Belgium.

Senator Tom Apodaca

Read coverage of the event in the Asheville Citizen-Times and Mountain Xpress.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chamber recognizes John Miles of integritive as Entrepreneur of the Month

integritive logo

John Miles of integritiveThe Chamber is pleased to recognize Entrepreneur of the Month John Miles of integritive for being a critical piece of building the entrepreneurial scene in Asheville.

“We have watched integritive continue to grow and thrive despite a difficult economy,” said Pam Lewis, the Chamber’s Director of Entrepreneurship. “We are proud to have John Miles firmly rooted in the Asheville community and helping build the bigger brand of creative talent in Asheville.” 

John launched integritive in 2001 as an Asheville firm specializing in integrated online strategies which includes web design and development, strategic planning, social media and e-marketing. Since then, the company has grown to 24 living wage certified jobs with local and global clients including The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Mission Health and the Asheville Regional Airport locally and, on a global scale, long-standing client blues legend Taj Mahal.

“Ten years ago, I wanted to start a different kind of company,” John said. “One that would not only provide a job for me and a few others, but a company that would create, and uphold, a values-driven culture able to deliver exceptional outcomes to our clients.  I'm particularly proud of the fact that we have surpassed those initial goals, employing over 24 effective, positive and collaborative individuals that have helped me co-create an incredibly happy work place for all.”

John has infused values into every aspect of the company, starting with the name: “‘Integritive’ comes from combining ‘integration’ (lots of services under one roof) with ‘integrity’ (an all-too-rare commodity in marketing).” But being a values-driven organization goes way beyond a name. 

With a company tagline of “how we do anything is how we do everything,” integritive is dedicated to sustainability (from solar web hosting and a green facility to staff commuting via alternative transportation) and has a strong commitment to service.

“We're committed to service not because it pays the bills. And not because you expect it. But simply because it's what we expect of ourselves.” 

“Everyone at integritive has an entrepreneur mindset,” John said. “We are all responsible for innovative solutions to client riddles.  Everyone understands that if we find solutions for our clients, we are helping them grow and in return, so do we.”  

That inclusive approach earned integritive recent recognition on the WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces alongside companies such as Groupon, Zappos.com and hulu. The WorldBlu List is a global list honoring organizations that operate according to ten principles of organizational democracy, such as transparency and accountability.

What’s next on the horizon? “It's all about adding value to the community and sustaining the mindful, purposeful growth we've identified as our path,” John said. “We've adopted a long term focus in our strategy that doesn't echo the 'fast growth' mindset so often found in tech or web companies. We're in it for the long haul and we're on track to grow in the strategy, web design and development, social media/online PR, and mobile spaces.”