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Wilmington Chamber Forms Supply Chain, Logistics Council

By Emma Dill, posted Apr 18, 2024
The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce is forming a council focused on the region's supply chain and logistics industry. (File photo)
A new council from the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce will put a spotlight on supply chain and logistics firms in the Cape Fear region.

The Supply Chain and Logistics Council, which will hold its first meeting next month, aims to bring together various industry stakeholders for “cross-sectoral dialogue and cooperation.”

Forming the council seemed like a good way to focus on Wilmington’s growing port and other logistics companies that call the region home, said Megan Mullins, the chief marketing and engagement officer at the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.  

“For us, there is somewhat of a natural next step when it comes to the supply chain and logistics industry and just convening that group on a regular cadence,” she said, “and trying to better understand what needs will be ongoing for that industry to help them continue growing.”

The chamber has a handful of existing councils focused on specific types of businesses and business owners, including the African American Business Council, Latin American Business Council and Women Business Owners Council.

“For us, it just continues to create better segmentation around the membership that we have, convening people around common interests or demographics or whatever the case may be [and] trying to better fine-tune the needs that they may have to help them continue to grow,” Mullins said.

The chamber opted to focus on the supply chain and logistics sector because of the growth potential identified in chamber workforce studies in 2020 and 2023 and the Economic Mobility Report adopted in 2022 by New Hanover County leaders. The 2022 report identified the supply chain and warehousing sector as a “critical sector for growth in our community,” Mullins said.

“It's not just a local economic driver. The port of North Carolina drives the economy statewide and drives business activity all across the state,” Mullins said. “So what's good for us in Wilmington, at the state port here is good for folks in Raleigh and Charlotte, too.”

The board will be headed up by four co-chairs: North Carolina State Ports Authority Executive Director Brian Clark; Michael Braddock, chief revenue officer at Frontier Scientific Solutions; Laurie King, senior director of drayage operations at NFI Industries (formerly MCO Transport); and Shawn Synnestvedt, operations manager with Confluent Logistics.

Like other councils the chamber has established, the co-chairs will bring industry expertise to help guide the focus and discussion, Mullins said.

They will help lead the council’s first meeting, which will be held on May 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Venue at Wilmington Brewing Company. The council plans to hold events quarterly in October and in January and April 2025. The meetings will include time for networking, program content and sponsor remarks, according to the event description.

“I think we're at the tip of the spear in learning more about what folks in this sector might be from us from an advocacy perspective, from a talent and workforce development focused perspective,” she said, “and so we're excited to get started.”
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