Critical Issues Luncheons

October 25, 2017: City Council Candidates Forum

A field of 12 candidates for City Council will be on the ballot for this month's primary election in Asheville.  The October 10th vote will narrow that number to six and, presumably, encourage voters to focus more closely on the remaining contenders. With that in mind, Leadership Asheville Forum … [Read more...]

May 24, 2017: Confronting the Opioid Epidemic

The statistics are alarming.  Drug overdoses – mainly from prescription drugs and heroin – are now the leading cause of accidental death in North Carolina.  The opioid epidemic not only causes premature deaths, it tears families apart and places a heavy burden on healthcare facilities and law … [Read more...]

April 26, 2017: Civil Rights–My Pathway: Extending the Boundaries

In 1961, Oralene Graves Simmons became the first African-American student to attend all-white Mars Hill College.  In the years since then, she has worked tirelessly on behalf of racial equality.  She founded the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayer Breakfast and currently serves as president of … [Read more...]

March 22, 2017:Report Card from Raleigh

Although most of the political headlines seem to come from Washington, North Carolina also is experiencing some turbulent times right now.  The newly-elected Democratic governor is facing off against a solidly Republican General Assembly.   Will HB-2 be modified or repealed?   Can North Carolina … [Read more...]

February 22, 2017: Asheville Amadeus Festival

Special Preview: The  Asheville Amadeus Festival It’s back for 2017 and bigger than ever.  This year’s celebration of Mozart’s life and music will run for 10 days from March 10th to 19th. The series of events will involve more than a dozen community partners and include concerts, … [Read more...]

January 25, 2017:What’s Ahead for the Global Economy in 2017

What’s Ahead for the Global Economy in 2017? Will consumers' net worth set new records?  Are lower gasoline prices here to stay?  Will rising interest rates slow the strong housing market?   And – most important of all – what will 2017 mean for the economies of Asheville and North … [Read more...]

November 16, 2016:International Challenges Facing the New U.S. President

Regardless of who wins the November 8th election, the new President will face a daunting array of global issues. They include, but are not limited to, the ongoing conflict in Syria, the battle against international terrorism and the problems posed by an increasingly belligerent North Korea.  At … [Read more...]

October 26, 2016:Buncombe County Chairman Candidates

Republican Chuck Archerd and Democrat Brownie Newman, the two rival candidates for chair of the Buncombe County Commission, will take part in a lunchtime forum at Leadership Asheville Forum’s October 26th Critical Issues event. Accountant and investor Chuck Archerd was chosen by the Buncombe … [Read more...]

September 28, 2016:The State of the City & County

The year 2016 brought new challenges for government at all levels -- including Asheville and Buncombe County.  The city is experiencing a major downtown development boom while trying to balance growth with the desire to preserve Asheville's unique character.  Now, residents are being asked to … [Read more...]

August 24, 2016:New Smoky Mountain Park Chief

He’s the new superintendent of America’s most-visited national park, and 46-year-old Cassius Cash will be the featured speaker at Leadership Asheville Forum’s kick-off luncheon event on Wednesday, August 24th.  Coincidentally, the National Park Service will celebrate its centennial the following day … [Read more...]

May 25, 2016:Mission Hospital Gets a Checkup

  With well over 10,000 employees, Mission Health Systems is Buncombe County's largest employer, and the 6th largest health system in North Carolina.  It has received numerous awards and recognitions.  In 2014, U.S. News & World Report named it a "Best Hospital."  In that same year, Mission CEO … [Read more...]

April 27, 2016:Two Top UNC Board Members Discuss the University’s Future

The recently-appointed chairman and vice-chair of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors will be the featured speakers at LAF’s April 27th Critical Issues event.  It's a particularly timely program, given that North Carolina voters recently approved a $2 billion bond issue -- much of … [Read more...]

March 23, 2016:New WCQS General Manager Outlines Future of Station

For more than 35 years, WCQS has been the public radio station that serves Asheville and Western North Carolina -- these days with classical music, jazz and news, both local and from National Public Radio. At LAF's March 23rd Critical Issues Event, General Manager David Feingold will talk about … [Read more...]

February 24, 2016:New Asheville Police Chief

Tammy Hooper took over as head of Asheville’s troubled police department on July 20, 2015.  Now, after seven months on the job, she is earning high marks from her colleagues, from outside agencies and from neighborhood groups. In a recent interview, she told the Asheville Citizen-Times her … [Read more...]