Leaders and Community Meet to Discuss Wilmington’s “moonshot”

On the evening of June 5th, the Cape Fear Economic Development Council collaborated with the Renaissance Wilmington Foundation to gather leadership and the community in one place to plan and project an audacious goal for the future of Wilmington’s technological and economic growth. You can read more about the event in this Wilmington Star-News article.

Touching on business development, job creation, engineering, entrepreneurship, education, and festivals, each presenter provided a “moonshot” suggestion for exponential growth in the Cape Fear region’s economic profile. With panels followed by an informative Q&A and dialogues, the event laid down the foundation for establishing an identity around our proficiencies and causes, and actionable steps to put the Port City on the map that charts the future.

Now that’s grounded: Alliance for Cape Fear Trees

Cape Fear Economic Development Council Director Paul Pascarosa took part in a tree-planting last week as a member of the newly formed Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, which has as its mission the actual planting of trees in places that need them.

Pascarosa and other committee members met at Greenfield Lake to plant six red-bud trees donated by the garden club in an effort to improve the urban forest. Pascarosa, who’s served the community in a number of ways as a resident here, really favors this his hands-on, tangible approach to making a difference in the area.

See the following news item from the Wilmington Star News for more information and to become involved.


Press Release: Cape Fear Economic Development Council Announces Changes to its Board of Directors

For Immediate Release:

Wilmington, North Carolina – January 26, 2016 – The CFEDC announced that Scott Johnson has been appointed chairman of the board of directors. Paul Pascarosa has been appointed vice-chairman. Additionally, Bruce Holsten and Dana Brancato‐Daeche have now joined the board. CFEDC has a total of 12 board members.

“CFEDC continues to foster collaboration and economic development in our area, and I am honored to have the opportunity in this new role,” said Johnson. “I look forward to working with stakeholders across the greater Wilmington area to expand our shared regional vision.”

“I am continually impressed with the caliber of people in our community and the passionate commitment those people demonstrate to enhancing quality of life here. Outgoing CFEDC chair, Hillary Hoggard Meinheit, illustrated these qualities in spades, as does this new group of CFEDC board members, officers and community leaders. I am excited about what we will accomplish together in 2016!” Lloyd Smith, co-founder of CFEDC.

ScottScott Johnson has been with Marriott International Corporate Headquarters in Bethesda, MD, for 12 years and currently works in the Global Communications & Public Affairs department. Prior to joining Marriott, Johnson was the founder and chief executive officer of an online ecommerce auction company. Johnson earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s degree through Harvard’s Sustainability and Environmental Management Program. Additionally, he also serves on the Sustainability Technologies Program Advisory Committee at Cape Fear Community College. He has lived, with his wife and two children, in Wilmington, NC since 2005.

Pascarosa cropPaul Pascarosa has been in the environmental consulting industry since 2004 and has a degree in environmental science from UNCW. In August 2014, he founded Headwater Environmental, Inc. (HEnv), an environmental consulting firm based in Wilmington with numerous projects throughout the region. Pascarosa also is a member of the Society of Wetland Scientists, National Association of Environmental Professionals, and Wilmington Downtown, Inc. While running a company and forming client relationships, Pascarosa is busy with his growing family. His wife is a teacher at Blair Elementary, and they have two young children.

BruceHolstenBruce Holsten is Managing Director of American Harbor Capital Strategies Ltd, a strategic management and political consulting firm. He has been directly involved with M&A, equity and venture-based capital funding for numerous for-profit and nonprofit companies and organizations around the world. A native North Carolinian, he began his professional career as Assistant to the Mayor of Chapel Hill, NC before moving overseas to London, and then Johannesburg, South Africa. His professional career includes lengthy stints in international finance, investment banking and venture capital with a focus on mining, manufacturing, entertainment and hospitality. He returned to North Carolina after 18 years abroad where he became CEO of the Research Triangle-based integrated marketing communications firm, Woodward, Hastings & Holsten Ltd, serving multinational companies including Glaxo, Nortel, Burroughs-Wellcome, Sarah Lee, the University of North Carolina System and Duke Hospitals, as well as helping launch the North Carolina World Trade Center. In 2002, Holsten founded the American Harbor Group in Wilmington, NC, which consisted of mortgage, insurance and real estate companies. He serves on numerous Boards and committees including the Greater Wilmington and Pleasure Island Chambers of Commerce; North Carolina Coastal Federation Board of Advisors; New Hanover County Comprehensive Land Use Planning Committee; New Hanover County Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and the southeastern NC FOCUS initiative and is founder and president of the Pleasure Island Foundation for a Sustainable Community.

DanaDana Brancato‐Daeche is a television and commercial producer with a career in television spanning more than a decade. Brancato‐Daeche has produced all around the world for major companies such as HBO, Ann Taylor LOFT, Benefit Cosmetics, and PYPO. A resident of Wilmington for 15 years, Brancato-Daeche sees the potential in her hometown and is passionate about bringing better paying jobs to the area and increasing incentives for first time small business owners. For the past year, she has also become a vocal advocate for raising awareness of the arts and culture scene in Wilmington. She was nominated as one of Wilma magazine’s Women to Watch for 2015 and also serves on the board of directors for the Wilmington Wine & Food Festival.

About the Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC)
Founded in 2009, the CFEDC brings together community leaders, industry, and the public to foster collaboration, transparency, inspiration and alignment around a shared regional vision. Our vision is to foster a thriving community and destination that serves as an exceptional place to live, work, learn, and play.  We envision a sustainable and innovative economy that enhances the region’s beauty and cultural resources while meeting the needs of an engaged, creative, informed, and generous people.

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A CFEDC Statement Regarding the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) law in North Carolina

Clean Energy: Another Tool in the Toolkit for Economic Development

In under a decade the clean energy industry in North Carolina has grown from individual entrepreneurs to small businesses to multi-state enterprises. This homegrown industry wants to keep its roots in our state and export their goods and services to other Southeast states who have enacted policies to replicate NC’s successes.

North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) law enacted in 2007, is allowing market competition and choice. Because of the monopoly granted to utilities, policies like the REPS law are the closest thing we have to a free market. Maintaining these policies, which help attract investment and spur innovation while providing jobs and long-term economic opportunities in our state, is of utmost importance. Since 2008, nearly $3 billion has been invested in renewable energy projects across our state, including about two-thirds built in North Carolina’s rural communities, which also results in significant property taxrevenues for local governments. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015)

Clean energy policies, such as the REPS, are promoting an environment for job creation and industry success that benefits all North Carolinians and unfortunately, a few policy makers are encouraging a rollback of this law, while most are celebrating its success.

NC’s Clean Energy Investments Are Working. (Literally.)

  • Clean energy development supported 44,549 annual full-time equivalents (FTEs), equivalent to one person working full time for a year, from 2007 to 2014.
  • Approximately $3,472.8 million was invested in clean energy development in North Carolina between 2007 and 2014, which was supported, in part, by the state government at an estimated cost of $195.6 million. Leadership in sustainable economic development and job creation | capefearedc.org
  • Clean energy investments were nearly 18 times larger than the state incentives for them.
  • Renewable energy project investment in 2014 was $651.9 million, or nearly 38 times the $17.3 million investment observed in 2007. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015).

Every Corner of the State is Benefiting, Especially Rural Areas

  • Catawba, Davidson, Duplin, Person, Robeson, and Wayne Counties experienced the greatest amount of investment—more than $100 million each.
  • Beaufort, Cabarrus, Columbus, Cleveland, Wake, Nash, Chatham, Harnett, Montgomery, Lenoir, and Davie Counties each experienced between $50 million and $100 million in investment between 2007 and 2014. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015).

Clean Energy Policies Mean Jobs, Reliable Electricity and Cost Savings – Now and in the Future

  • The net present value of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard savings compared to a conventional portfolio equals $651 million. The analysis finds the greatest annual savings occur in 2029, when the portfolio provides $287 million in savings.
  • Since the start of the REPS in 2007 through the year 2029, rates are forecasted to be lower than they would have been had the state continued to only use existing, conventional generation sources. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015).

The CFEDC supports policies that improve economic development and job growth in the Cape Fear region and North Carolina, and the results are clear that the REPS is doing exactly that and should be maintained.