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Meet the Chamber board of directors, team, and community investors.

Wake Forest Area Chamber Team

Ann Welton Portrait
Ann Welton

President

After a long career in marketing and communications, Ann joined the Chamber in early 2016. She put together a “dream team” of talented staff members and loves working with them every day. Since moving to Wake Forest 14 years ago, she’s been involved in a variety of non-profits from ARTS Wake Forest to the Historic Preservation Commission and is fully invested in Wake Forest.

Ann says, “Working for the Chamber has been the most challenging, and also the most satisfying job of my entire career. I love the community involvement and the knowledge that we really are making a difference with the work we do here.”

Neosha Smith Portrait
Neosha Smith

Communications Director

Neosha produces all Chamber communications. From emails and newsletters to applications and ads, she does it all. She’s worked in radio, for the NC Education Lottery, and started in Chamber world at the Raleigh Chamber and Wake County Economic Development. A writer who has trained herself to also be a graphic designer, she fell in love with grammar in the fifth grade!

Although she lives in North Raleigh, both Neosha and her husband come to work in Wake Forest every day! Neosha says, “I enjoy the small town feel of Wake Forest and the camaraderie that exists at the Chamber, both between the staff and our members.”

Carol Fekaris Portrait
Carol Fekaris

Events Specialist

Carol is an organizer at heart. The mother of three adult sons, she honed her skills at a variety of volunteer and administrative jobs as they were growing up. She pulls together Chamber events of all sizes, from Ribbon Cuttings to Expos - and never misses a detail.

A Wake Forest resident for 12 years, she joined the Chamber in December 2017. Carol says, “Being organized and making the ordinary feel special is what I do best.  Wake Forest is a great town and I love our history and its story. Working with our chamber members has shown me that Wake Forest is truly a community.”

Corey Hutcherson Portrait
Corey Hutcherson

VP Operations & Executive Director of the Chamber Foundation

Corey is the Chamber’s longest tenured employee. Since joining the team, he’s served in membership, community relations and operations. Since 2017 he has spearheaded the work of the Chamber Foundation and is currently its Executive Director. A former teacher, Corey’s passion for youth shows in his work with youth leadership, financial literacy, and career readiness.

A Wake Forest resident with his wife and three young children, Corey feels fortunate that he can work, live, and play all in one great community. Corey says, “With my background in education and my desire to make a difference in the lives of young people, this is the right job for me. I’m excited about the future of our Foundation.”

Jennifer Hardy Portrait
Jennifer Hardy

Membership Development Director

Jennifer’s role is to recruit and support Chamber businesses. With a background in marketing, she’s an expert in working with business owners, retailers, and restaurants as they develop their plans for marketing to increase sales.

A member of the Chamber staff since April 2018, she was born and bred in Raleigh. Jennifer says, “Although I was born in Raleigh, I’ve been in Wake Forest nearly all my life. The Chamber allows me to do what I love – meet new people and help them get connected to this friendly and helpful community.”

Nancy Franz Portrait
Nancy Franz

Front Desk & Accounting

Nancy welcomes members, visitors, and guests to the Chamber while balancing her workload of administrative and accounting support. She joined the Chamber in 2016 and has almost 30 years of experience in all things related to running an office. She served in the Navy for five years, which explains her attention to detail and her love of paperwork!

A Wake Forest resident for seven years, Nancy says, “I work primarily behind the scenes but the longer I am here, the more opportunity I get to meet and know our members. They’re an active and fun group who believe in the Chamber!”

Liz Simpers Portrait
Liz Simpers

Development Director for the Chamber Foundation

Liz is the newest member of the Chamber team. She served our community for 10 years as the Associate Executive Branch Director for the YMCA of the Triangle where she was responsible for board development and was a key leader in philanthropy and development. With a background in communication and graphic design as well as fundraising, Liz is growing the Foundation by telling our story.

Liz was elected as a Town of Wake Forest Commissioner in 2017. “This really is my dream job. I’m excited about the impact we’re making in our wonderful community. I plan on living in Wake Forest forever!”

Blanche Taylor Portrait
Blanche Taylor

Membership Services Manager

Blanche is an experienced membership services manager. She joined the Chamber in 2015 and has been making friends and bringing in new members ever since. With a career in non-profits, she works hard to create a sense of community among our members in the Chamber.

A resident of North Raleigh, she travels into the Town of Wake Forest regularly. She’s also the proud mother of a student at Wake Forest University! Blanche says, “I absolutely love having the opportunity to meet so many amazing people on a daily basis. I have made wonderful friends as a result of my role at the Chamber!”

Jeannie Thomson Portrait
Jeannie Thomson

Membership Specialist

Jeannie started with the Chamber as a volunteer and she fit so well with our team, we kept her! A professional photographer with her own successful business, she reaches out to our members to ensure our data is correct and kept up to date. When Jeannie calls, please answer the phone!

Jeannie says, “I love being a part of this team. And talking to Chamber members is always rewarding. It’s such a great organization!”

Board of Directors

Jodi Darrohn-Chair

President
Blue Wave Pressure Washing
(919) 862-0202

Andi Curtis

Government Affairs
WakeMed
(919) 350-7590

Charlotte Deal

Office Manager
Allied Rehab Inc. (PT, OT, ST)
(919) 556-1700

Gordon Coleman

Owner
GCJ Productions
(252) 903-2314

Dawn Daria

Owner
Flow Circus
(919) 604-3462

June Sadowski

Vice President
North State Bank
(919) 719-1772

Don Bowman

Manager of Engineering
Wake Electric Membership Corp.
(919) 863-6487

Robbie Earnhardt

Owner
Superior Tooling
(919) 570-9762

Dawn Satterwhite

HR Director
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
(919) 761-2209

Amanda Cochrane

Account Executive
Town of Wake Forest
(919) 307-4119

Carter Harrell

Senior Vice President
Wake Forest Federal
(919) 556-5146

Charlie Hamaty

Owner
Charlie's Kabob Grill
(919) 554-0938

Marty Coward

Financial Advisor
Edward Jones
(919) 792-0316

Joe Kimray

General Manager
B & W Hardware Co.
(919) 556-3562

Keith Shackleford

Attorney
Warren, Shackleford, and Thomas Attorneys PLLC
(919) 556-5198

Community Champions

Community Leaders

Community Partners

Community Builders

Allen Tate Realtors
Atlantic Tire & Service
B & W Hardware Co.
Bumgarner & Martin Orthodontics
Capital Powersports
Carolina Hurricanes
Duke Raleigh Hospital
Fidelity Bank
Focus Design Builders LLC

Granite Construction Services, Inc.
Hasentree/Toll Brothers
Heritage Club/1250 Heritage Club Restaurant
Mitchell & Nemitz, CPA
Neat NC
Regions Bank
State Employees’ Credit Union
The Sutherland

Ting
Wake Forest Federal
Warren Shackleford, Attorneys PLLC
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton

Wake Forest Information

Below are some quick facts about Wake Forest. For complete details on all aspects of living in Wake Forest, visit the Wake Forest Economic Development website. This site includes a variety of community data, including population, education, cost of living, taxes, recreation, arts and culture, industry, major employers, and more.

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Population

Wake Forest: 45,260
Wake County: 1,092,305

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Climate

Average annual temperature: 60.8 degrees
Annual precipitation: 46.68 inches

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Healthcare

World-renowned healthcare providers, including WakeMed Health & Hospitals, UNC Rex Healthcare, and Raleigh Duke Hospital.

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Education

• Award-winning Wake County K-12 public education system (WCPSS) with 48 Magnet school programs, 28 NC STEM designated schools, 18 Career Academies, 2 single-gender Leadership Academies, and 3 Early College programs

• 84 private schools in Wake County serve over 17,589 students, and 20 Charter Schools granted through the WCPSS

• Three top-tier research universities are within close proximity: North Carolina State University (Raleigh), Duke University (Durham), and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill)

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Education

• Award-winning Wake County K-12 public education system (WCPSS) with 48 Magnet school programs, 28 NC STEM designated schools, 18 Career Academies, 2 single-gender Leadership Academies, and 3 Early College programs

• 84 private schools in Wake County serve over 17,589 students, and 20 Charter Schools granted through the WCPSS

• Three top-tier research universities are within close proximity: North Carolina State University (Raleigh), Duke University (Durham), and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill)

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Transportation

Wake Forest is a short distance away from I-95, I-85 and I-40 providing major thoroughfares to all of the key destinations up and down the East Coast and across the region. Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) Airport serves the region.

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Outdoor Activities

Enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities including golfing, hiking, cycling, fishing, boating, swimming and more. The 30,000-acre Falls Lake Recreation Area is minutes away!

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Quality of Life

Wake Forest has 561 acres of local parks, open space, and natural land and trails, which includes five baseball/softball fields, three soccer fields, one pool, six picnic areas, eight playgrounds, eight lighted tennis courts, a dog park, the Wake Forest Community House, Flaherty Park and Joyner Park Community Centers, and more than six miles of greenway trails.

Interested in cultural amenities and events? A plethora take place in Wake Forest: Friday Night on White (April-September), Farmer’s Market, Six Sundays in Spring concerts at Joyner Park, Mardi Gras Street Festival, Holiday Open House, Historic Home Tour, Meet in the Street arts and crafts festival, ARTS Wake Forest events, Forest Moon Community Theater, Wake Forest Renaissance Centre programming and more!

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