Coastal Economic Summit

About the Summit

Join us for the Currituck Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Coastal Economic Summit Presented By Twiddy & Company Realtors, Friday, October 13, 2023 9:00am – 12:00pm at the Currituck Cooperative Extension Center, for the Northeastern North Carolina coastal region’s economic forecasting event.  The Summit presents the opportunity for attendees to gain insights on the future of the northern Outer Banks economy as we inform and provide outreach opportunities surrounding current issues affecting the North Carolina coast’s Outer Banks tourism industries and communities, such as housing, workforce issues, and service areas.

While the Outer Banks is experiencing many of the same challenges as the rest of the country and the world, our leaders are focused on both our short-term recovery and long-term growth and strength. The Coastal Economic Summit will focus on our current economic state and the ways in which this landscape will help shape the economic future of the region.


Keynote Speakers

Thomas I. Barkin 
President and Chief Executive Officer
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Thomas I. Barkin took office on January 1, 2018, as the eighth president and chief executive officer of the Fifth District, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Mr. Barkin was previously a senior partner and the chief risk officer at McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, and had served as the organization’s chief financial officer. He currently serves on the Emory University Board of Trustees.

Prior to being named president and chief executive officer, Mr. Barkin served on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from 2009 to 2014, chairing the Reserve Bank’s board from 2013 to 2014.

Mr. Barkin received his AB, MBA, and law degrees from Harvard University. He is married with two children.

Ann Savage 
Tourism Extension Associate
North Carolina State University Extension

Ann Savage is a Tourism Extension Associate with NC State Extension. Savage is responsible for creating and supporting resource and program development that enables the growth of prosperous, sustainable tourism destinations across North Carolina. She collaborates with extension offices and specialists across the state to support tourism management and development, outdoor recreation, and economic development initiatives. Examples of this work include an outdoor recreation leadership development program, supporting the growth of the North Carolina Oyster Trail, educating stakeholders on their role in tourism, and identifying resilience needs for coastal tourism-dependent communities. Savage often collaborates for research and education projects with Visit NC (NC Destination Marketing Organization), the North Carolina Division of State Parks, Recreation Resources Service, NC Sea Grant, among others.


Clemmon W. “Win” Bridgers, Jr., PE
Division Engineer, Division One
NC Department of Transportation

  • Native of Northampton County NC
  • Graduated NCSU in 1989 with BS in Civil Engineering, Construction Option
  • Professional Engineer since 1994
  • Began work with NCDOT in 1991. Has 32 years of service, and have held the following previous positions:
    • Assistant Resident Engineer, Ahoskie
    • County Maintenance Engineer, Ahoskie
    • Resident Engineer, Williamston
    • District Engineer, Ahoskie
    • Assistant Division Maintenance Engineer, Div 1, Edenton
    • Project Development Engineer, Div 1, Edenton
    • Division Maintenance Engineer, Div 1, Edenton
    • Deputy Division Engineer, Div 1, Edenton
    • Division One Engineer, effective May 2022

Ryan Brumfield, PE
Director, Integrated Mobility Division
N.C. Department of Transportation

Ryan Brumfield is the Director of NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division. Ryan joined the Integrated Mobility Division in April 2020 as the Innovations and Data Branch Manager. Ryan was previously the Senior Transportation Advisor for the Appalachian Regional Commission where he led efforts to improve transportation access to opportunities and services for Appalachian residents and businesses. Prior to his work with ARC, Ryan was with the Federal Highway Administration for seven years, most recently as the national manager of the TIGER (recently BUILD, now RAISE) discretionary grant program.  Ryan has bachelors and masters degrees in civil engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is a registered professional engineer.

Nicholas Didow
President and CEO
Harbor Towns Inc

Nicholas Didow is President and CEO of Harbor Towns Inc, the new private 501/c/3 nonprofit organization in the Albemarle Sound region.   The mission of Harbor Towns Inc is to design, implement, operate, and manage regional tourism-based economic development strategies to benefit the Albemarle Sound area of northeastern North Carolina including, but not limited to, a public-private water transportation system of ferry boats, taxi boats, dinner boats, charter boats, and other vessels.   Harbor Towns Inc has consistently identified three major initiatives that must be properly coordinated to increase tourism, maximize economic impact, create jobs and careers, and be sustainable across the region: themed renewal of the five historical Harbor Towns of Elizabeth City, Hertford, Edenton, Plymouth, and Columbia; upgrades for the major existing regional eco and historical tourism sites; and, a regional water transportation system.   Working in partnership with community leader across the region, progress on each of these three major initiatives is happening daily with the predicted outcomes.

Professor Didow is a native of Monroe, North Carolina.   He holds a PhD in Marketing from Northwestern University and was a tenured professor at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School for over forty years.   He is still associated with the University as Professor Emeritus.   His academic publications are in marketing strategy and consumer behavior.   He is also known for his long record of public service as he has worked with hundreds of community and business leaders to improve the quality of life in their communities.   Also an award-winning instructor, Didow was selected by Poets&Quants in 2018 as one of our country’s top 50 undergraduate business professors.

A special thank you to our partners for their generous support.