Plug In! Lunch, Dinner and a Forum for All Things Garner

To many, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery put Garner on the map.

Now it’s up to the town’s civic and business leaders to keep it there, by continuing to attract the businesses and amenities that will provide a good quality of life — the things that make Garner a Water Tower Town in the best sense.

So what’s going on in Garner? Who’s planning it? Who’s paying for it? And how will you be impacted?

These and many other questions will be asked and answered at the third annual Plug in the Future conference set for Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Grand Marquise Ballroom.

A look at Garner’s economic prospects, the event will include presentations on economic forecasts, transportation, infrastructure and education. A major topic of the day will be the $6.5 million intersection at Highways 40 and 70, and how planned upgrades will impact residents and businesses.

Why did the Town of Garner commit to the project? What does a $6.5 million intersection look like? What business development is already committed to that area? Find out at Plug In the Future!

Ken Atkins, executive director of Wake County Economic Development, will once again serve as moderator of the event.

Featured presenters will include N.C. State University professor and renowned economist Mike Walden; Garner Town Council member Buck Kennedy; Sepi Asfenia of Sepi Engineering; Chuck Nuckols of Kimley-Horn; Christine Craig of WakeMed; Rich Barta of Core Properties; and Strategic Behavioral Health CEO Jim Shaheen.

The featured dinner speaker is Garner Magnet High School Principal Drew Cook, who will discuss the school’s recent bronze medal ranking in U.S. News and World Report’s list of best high schools. Wake County Public School System Superintendent Tony Tata will present the award to Cook.

In addition to panel discussions and presentations, the conference will include plenty of networking opportunities throughout the day.

The half-day conference will be held from noon until 5 p.m., at the Grand Marquise Ballroom, located at 225 New Fidelity Court in Garner, with a reception and dinner to follow. Cost for attending is $59 and includes lunch, dinner and refreshments.

For more information or to register for the Plug in the Future conference, contact the Garner Chamber of Commerce at (919) 772-6440 or visit

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