The day before Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina, local chamber CEOs from red and purple states gathered at the Global Climate Summit in San Francisco to talk about their work to create resilient communities.
According to Doug Luciani, President and CEO of Traverse CONNECT/Traverse City Chamber of Commerce in Michigan, "Local chambers and the private sector have an important role to play in creating resilient communities. Local chambers are ideally suited to be the leading conveners of stakeholders on this important economic development issue."
One local chamber CEO, Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, appeared by video since he was forced to cancel his attendance due to Hurricane Florence and the need to help prepare his community for the disaster.
"Climate change is creating challenges and opportunities for us: the challenge of resilience: how our economy is going survive, how our community will survive, how we will respond to changes now and changes on the way." Nelson said. "And then the opportunities: opportunities for economic development and innovation and job growth and working together to find solutions." He encouraged those working on resilience to reach out to local chambers. (Watch video here.)
Christy Gillenwater, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber in Tennessee spoke about her community's leadership on clean energy, the development of Chattanooga's Advanced Smart Grid, and a community plan for growth and resilience. Chattanooga's leadership and investments in innovation and clean energy support community resilience, economic development and the ability to attract the best young talent to her community.
The event also featured Brian Strong, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of San Francisco, who spoke about the value local chambers bring to resiliency conversations and planning, and was moderated by Diane Doucette, Executive Director of Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy.
The event attracted many local chamber leaders and businesses interested in resilience and clean energy. The event was organized by Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.