Final Opt-In Regional Summit scheduled for Cherokee on May 8

by Apr 28, 2014Happenings0 comments

The 15-month Opt-In SWNC process wraps at the end of May. So it’s time for one more check-in with the citizens and leaders of the region. And this will be the biggest gathering yet.

A Regional Summit dinner is planned for Thursday, May 8 in the Council Fire Ballroom on the second floor of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Hotel. Doors open at 5:30pm. Dinner and program begin promptly at 6pm.

The event is free and open to everyone. But since space is limited, reservations are required. Sign-up info is below.

Hosted by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the Southwestern Commission Council of Governments organization, the Summit will be part report-out of Opt-In’s draft Regional Vision and part celebration of the historic collaboration that produced it. Regional businesses and non-profits are sponsoring the dinner to assure affordability for everyone.

The event comes in the last month of a process funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Federal Highways Administration and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It’s overseen by the Southwestern Commission, which represents the state’s seven westernmost counties. A consulting team headed by TSW, an Atlanta-based planning and design firm, has worked with the Commission and with citizens and businesses to shape a draft Regional Vision. Its purpose: To better inform regional, county and town decision-making over the next two and a half decades. The near-final draft of that Vision will be the Summit’s main topic.

WCU chancellor David O. Belcher will keynote. Government, Tribal, business and non-profit leaders at the local, state and federal levels will be among the guests and presenters.

For more information about Opt-In’s background and progress to this point, check out the project website:

To sign up for the Regional Summit on May 8, register online here: or contact Ben Brown, Or contact: Ben Brown, Opt-In communications director. or (828) 508-5002.