Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CAYLA intern shares his summer experience

We were pleased to once again host a CAYLA intern in our offices this summer. The City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA) is committed to providing its students with a) a meaningful summer work experience, b) leadership development through seminars and community service, and c) college preparatory activities, including year-long academic support. Michael Davis, this year's intern, brought joyful enthusiasm to the office and a willingness to pitch in any way.

Hello, my name is Michael Davis. Currently, I attend Asheville High School where I’m an active leader within school and the community. This is my last year in the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA). It was started in 2007 with the head leadership of the former mayor Terry Bellamy.  Erika Germer is the current coordinator for the program.

My internship with the Asheville Chamber of Commerce is drawing to a close, and I wanted to share some of my experiences and thank the many Chamber staff and Chamber members across Asheville that I’ve had the opportunity to meet that made me feel at home, especially Chamber President Kit Cramer. I can truly say that so far being at the chamber my life has been impacted and changed forever.  Here is a look at my summer:

Week 1, Finance and Operations Department:  The first week at the Asheville Chamber I began the week off with the finance department.  Tonya Wiggins showed me how she tied up the loose ends of the former year and brought in the new year. I helped her prep for the new year, file, store old documents and prepare for the annual audit.  She informed me as we were going through and binding ALL of the documents for the audit, that each year when they were audited that it was 100% perfect. This blew my mind!

Week 2, Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) & Visitors Center:  Second week at the Chamber I went to  the CVB department. When arriving there, I felt the love for each and every one of the staff.  I can say that we ate and worked and had a great time. I saw that with this particular department is about bringing in tourism and getting people to come visit and stay to bring in more money for the city.  More room nights for visitors means more jobs for the people who live here. Joining them with the summer social and meeting all of those who worked for the hotels was really great. I can say that working with them really started to get my mind to look at how valuable tourism is to our economy.

Week 3, Chamber Public Policy Department:  For a few days I had the chance to work with two amazing guys, Toby and Jeff, who made public policy come to life for me. Meeting with different community as well elected officials was, I believe, one of the most best things that has happened by far.  

Week 4, Economic Development Coalition (EDC):  As time passed I went to EDC. I must say that the people in that department are brilliant. After taking an advance placement course on micro,and macro economics, some of the projects and topic that they were doing really expanded my knowledge of how the economic world really worked.  From research, to recruitment of new companies, helping local industry expand or working with local entrepreneurs in Venture Asheville, it’s great to see how many people in this town work together to create jobs and improve our economy.

Week 5, Chamber Member Services Department:  My final week at the Chamber I was honored to be with the Member Services Team. Updating the contact sheets, attending Business After Hours and meeting all of the members and ambassadors was such a great experience.  These people love what they do, helping local businesses grow and be successful.  It starts with loving people, I loved every minute of being at the Chamber.

I must say to everyone anyone who is reading this, that the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is the best place to work as well as to find out information about OUR community. They are very community oriented, and I really do love it! Thank you again to the Chamber for allowing me to have this opportunity.

Thanks to Michael for all his work this summer! We all wish him well in his senior year.

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