It’s no secret that Western North Carolina is a
popular location for mid-life and older adults to live, work and
play. The influx of new residents with relatively good health,
financial stability and an active lifestyle contribute to the
vitality of the community and consume local goods and services,
offering considerable potential for business growth and economic
The question is: How do you tap into that market?
An upcoming event will launch an economic development initiative for
Western North Carolina based on the so-called “silver industry” –
consumers age 50 and older. “Boomers and Beyond: A Summit on
Business and Aging” is aimed at anyone interested in discovering the
economic potential of this target market; in particular, prospective
or current business owners and entrepreneurs, leaders of non-profit
organizations, government officials and students.
Organized by AdvantageWest, Land-of-Sky Regional Council, UNC
Asheville's N.C. Center for Creative Retirement, N.C. Center for
Health and Aging and Western Carolina University, the event will
take place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 14, at the N.C. Center for Creative
Retirement on the UNC Asheville campus. Cost for the summit, which
includes lunch and a networking reception after the program, is $50
by April 3 or $60 thereafter, with a special student rate of $20.
An array of local, regional and national speakers will present
information on trends in retirement; the role of retirees as
entrepreneurs, business partners and consumers; resources for
technical support in advancing business development; and tools for
entrepreneurs to be successful targeting the boomers-and-beyond
Among the presenters are:
• Glenn Ruffenach, founding editor of the Wall Street Journal’s
“Encore” section, targeting consumers 50 and older.
• Dr. Harry R. “Rick” Moody, director of academic affairs for AARP,
on the subject of “age branding,” the new science of marketing to
consumers 50 and older.
• David A. Woodcock Jr., renowned entrepreneur and corporate leader,
known for developing and marketing Formula 409.
Other speakers will include business owners, economists, education
leaders, and professionals in economic development and research.
Space is limited and pre-registration is encouraged by visiting
or www.mahec.net. For more
information, contact event coordinator Beth Lazer at