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  • Writer's pictureCameron Cochran

Pandemic Pushes Annual Meeting Online

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Posted Thursday, October 1, 2020

By Brie Handgraaf, Wilson Daily Times

The Wilson Forward annual meeting is going virtual, but organizers say the change allows more people to participate.

“In prior years, our event has been hosted on the campus of Barton College with attendance at full capacity,” said Wilson Forward Executive Director Paula Benson. “We will miss the handshakes and networking, but we expect this year’s meeting to provide insight, encouragement and new perspectives on the impact of a pandemic and a recession in the midst of an election year. Even in the absence of sitting beside each other, we believe the synergy will be present.”

Keynote speakers include Leslie Boney, Institute of Emerging Issues director; Lane Mills, Wilson County Schools superintendent; and Dante Pittman, a Wilson native who returned to work for the city after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Before the pandemic, we selected the title ‘Reconnect’ for this year’s event. Our mission has always been to connect and reconnect people, organizations and resources to build partnerships reflective of the challenges and opportunities as they are presented to Wilson,” Benson said. “As we realized the unique circumstances and uncharted paths created by COVID-19, we extended our title to ‘Reconnect Differently.’ The past six months have transformed the way all of us work, play and learn, and we anticipate in the year ahead, we will continue seeking different ways to connect with each other and build solutions to move forward.”

The virtual event starts at 9 a.m. on Oct. 8, and registration is required to participate. Visit to register.

“Wilson Forward has always been an organization that is continually looking for ways to connect in new and innovative ways. Our community has seen both incredible growth and positive results after implementing and championing programs that speak to the needs of the people,” said Associate Director Cameron Cochran. “In the midst of all of the challenges today, we are a community that is practiced in innovation and collaboration, and we will continue to reimagine connection in ways that move Wilson forward.”

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