Sunday, March 30, 2014

Durham: Smartest Place on the Planet

The Durham Chamber held it's annual meeting last Thursday, and it was a celebration of the community's intellectual capital. I was just glad to be in the Sheraton Imperial ballroom with the really smart people.

The Chamber has established a Bull City Hall of Fame with these three inaugural inductees: Mary-Dell Chilton, a plant biotechnology pioneer at Syngenta in RTP and recipient of the 2013 World Food Prize; Duke's Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, a 2012 recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry; and Blake Wilson, co-director of the Duke Hearing Center who received the 2013 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. He's a leader in cochlear implant research. International acclaim for world-class scientists!

As part of the Research Triangle - what I like to say is the “smartest place on the planet" - we compete regularly and successfully with the likes of Nashville, Boston, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area...for companies, jobs and talent. 
And that means we don’t have to defend Durham, or protect it from the slights of others. Rather, we need to promote it, to take pride in what we have, and be passionate about Durham as the great place to live, work, learn, and play. I know you join me in that.

Michael Schoenfeld
Outgoing Chair of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce
Vice President for Public Affairs & Government Relations
Duke University