Coastal Economic Summit

About the Summit

Join us for the Currituck Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Coastal Economic Summit on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 9:00am – 12:00pm at the Currituck Cooperative Extension Center for the Northeastern North Carolina coastal region’s economic forecasting event, sponsored by Twiddy & Company Realtors.  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

Whitney Knollenberg, Ph.D 
Assistant Professor
Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management
North Carolina State University

As a faculty member in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at NC State University Dr. Whitney Knollenberg’s research focuses on helping tourism industry leaders communicate the value of tourism and develop tourism in a way that maximizes its positive impacts. She has done this in a variety of contexts including studies of tourism advocacy and tourism workforce development. Whitney’s research also identifies how synergies can be built between tourism and other industries such as agriculture and craft beverage production. She holds a Ph.D. in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Virginia Tech, an M.S. in Sustainable Tourism from East Carolina University, and a B.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Resources from Michigan State University.

Jane Harrison, Ph.D 
Coastal Economics Specialist
North Carolina Sea Grant

Jane Harrison, North Carolina Sea Grant coastal economics specialist, applies economic analysis and other social science methods to meet the needs of coastal stakeholders. She regularly collaborates with city planners and elected officials, private businesses, and residents to safeguard natural resources and make smart, long-term investments in infrastructure.

She leads development of the NC Oyster Trail, which offers unique tourism experiences centered on our state’s tasty oysters. The Trail’s mission is to provide oyster tourism experiences that help sustain and grow N.C. oyster supply and demand, resulting in economic, environmental, and social benefits to the state’s seafood industry and coastal communities.

In addition, Harrison is a graduate faculty member in the College of Natural Resources and an affiliate faculty member in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at NC State University. She teaches economic development, a course on the unique development challenges of, and strategies being pursued in, rural and urban areas of North Carolina.


Willo Kelly
Chief Executive Officer
Outer Banks Association of Realtors



Tameron Kugler
Currituck County Travel and Tourism



Daniel Lewis
Outer Banks Restaurant Association




Dave Whitmer
Northeastern Workforce Development Board



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