Categorized | JAX Briefs

JAX Chamber announces 33rd annual leadership trip

The JAX Chamber will host a delegation to Charlotte, N.C., for its 33rd annual Leadership Trip from Sept. 17 to 19, 2013. Participants will learn how Charlotte’s leaders addressed key initiatives related to the city’s economic development, public- private partnerships, downtown development, education reform, sports and transportation infrastructure.

“We selected Charlotte as our destination this year because the Queen City experienced remarkable growth in areas that are also top priorities in our region and we can learn from their success,” said Chamber Chair-Elect William Rupp, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. “In recent years, the greater Charlotte area has made tremendous strides in numerous areas including public-private collaborations to boost art, culture, recreation and business throughout the region.”

Located approximately 385 miles north of Jacksonville just north of the South Carolina border, Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. It is the 18th largest and 13th fastest-growing city in the United States. Charlotte and Jacksonville have a comparable cost of living, both below the national average. While the two are considered peer cities, this is JAX Chamber’s first Leadership Trip to the Charlotte metropolitan area.

Charlotte is a major U.S. financial center, second only to New York City. Seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The region is home to hundreds of large companies including Bank of America, Wells Fargo’s East Coast operations, Lowe’s, Nucor, Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive, Family Dollar, Goodrich Corporation, SPX Corporation, Domtar and Chiquita Brands International.

Charlotte is home to numerous top-rated public and private schools. Education leaders implemented and supported dynamic programs, with policies and initiatives to strengthen area schools and improve student success. The region is also home to a number of notable universities and colleges including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Queens University of Charlotte and Davidson College, ranked in the Top 10 nationally among liberal arts colleges according to U.S. News & World Report.

Sports are an integral part of the community. Charlotte is home to the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte is a growing trucking and freight transportation hub for the East Coast. The Charlotte Area Transit Systems oversees the city’s streetcar, trolley and light-rail systems, which have helped to transform the city’s urban life.

“Much like last year’s trip to another Queen City, Cincinnati, there are numerous parallels between Jacksonville and Charlotte, and our delegation will enjoy and benefit from engaging and collaborating with their city leaders, “ said JAX Chamber Chair and Northeast Florida Market President of Bank of America Greg Smith. “The Leadership Trip to Charlotte will provide a unique opportunity to experience and learn first-hand about the challenges, successes and best practices another community faced in its efforts to create jobs and drive economic growth to its region.”

To learn more about the 33rd annual Leadership Trip, visit the JAX Chamber at


About JAX Chamber

The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to work, live and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.

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