(828) 898-5605 info@averycounty.com


Avery County Chamber of Commerce President presents a ceremonial fund reimbursement check to President and co-Owner Bill Shillito

Avery County Chamber of Commerce President presents a ceremonial fund reimbursement check to President and co-Owner Bill Shillito (LightLeap by North Carolina Wireless). The occasion marks a milestone in the ongoing efforts of The Avery County Commissioners, the County Managers Office, and the Chamber of Commerce to expand Broadband capabilities in all parts of Avery County. The primary focus on this effort is the unserved and underserved regions of the county.   This recent milestone includes the expansion of the capabilities of LightLeap by more than doubling our thru put capacity. With this increased infrastructure capacity, we were able to expand deeper into the underserved areas of the County by adding Mini-Pops (points of presence) that allows us to reach additional house-holds stated Mr. Shillito. The critical element in this expansion of broadband capability in Avery County was the recent release of Appalachian Regional Commission grant.  The funds were made available thru the efforts of The Avery County Manager’s Office, the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, and the High County Council of Governments. The County Manager released a Request for Proposal (RFP).  The aim of the RFP was to expand Broadband in Avery County, with a focus on unserved areas of the County. LightLeap was chosen as the best respondent to that RFP.  With a solid proposal in hand the County applied for a grant with the help of the NC Dept of Information of Technology representatives to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The ARC approved the grant. The Grant must be administered thru a Non-profit entity.  The Avery County Chamber offered to fill this critical role. Chamber Executive Director, Melynda Pepple stated that the Chamber continues to be highly motivated to assist this effort and chartered as a Non-profit Organization that strives for the growth and progress of our great county, this was a natural fit for us to foster this grant. Ms. Pepple turned to the High-Country Council of Governments to assist in the intricate details of managing a complex contract and agreement required by the Grant agreement.  Ms. Pepple stated that the High-Country COG is instrumental in implementing the detailed work required. The primary aim of the grant is to expand broadband to unserved and underserved regions of Avery County.  The results to date of the grant are a doubling of capacity on the fixed wireless infrastructure in Avery County.  This additional capacity has allowed LightLeap to expand coverage areas with additional Mini-pops in the Jonas Ridge region and further south. With these additions LightLeap now reaches an additional 96 households with non-data capped broadband service. The original goal of the grant was to reach 75 households. The success of the project is directly attributable to the excellent team work among the participants: The Avery County Manager’s Office, the Avery County Chamber or Commerce, the High-Country COG, the NC Department of IT, and private partner LightLeap by NC Wireless.   LightLeap is ably assisted in identifying, installing and servicing new households by Highland Electronics (Radio Shack) in Newland.  The owner Doug Gragg stated that it is exciting to see the additional households covered and that I can now fulfill their internet needs. LightLeap by NC Wireless is excited to announce a partnership with RiverStreet of Wilkesboro, NC. RiverStreet is an extension of Wilkes Communications. RiverStreet is a leader in providing high-speed broadband to rural areas of NC. The combination of this leadership of fiber provider and the expertise of LightLeap by NCW in the fixed wireless efforts makes a formidable team.  Our goal is to continue to find low-cost methods to grow the broadband reach to all citizens of North Carolina. The partnership allows that to occur and advances time lines to do so stated Greg Coltrain of VP of…

February Featured Business of the Month – Andrew Roby General Contractor

We would like to congratulate our February 2019 Featured Business of the Month, Andrew Roby General Contractor! Andrew Roby is the premier custom residential contractor in the Carolinas, with local offices in Charlotte and Boone, NC. Specializing in custom home construction, full home remodels and additions, and kitchen and bath renovations, Andrew Roby “makes it home” for clients through exceptional quality, craftsmanship and customer service for life. Andrew Roby has deep roots in Charlotte, serving the region since 1950 when Andrew Roby, a Hungarian immigrant, founded a one-man remodeling and handyman service. Two years after starting the company, Roby hired Glenn Haston as Superintendent. The two would work together for over 25 years, establishing the growing organization’s reputation. In 1976, Haston bought the firm outright and today, the second and third generations of Haston’s extended family work for the company. Under their leadership, the company expanded to Boone in 2012 to bring its services to you! Over the last 69 years, Andrew Roby has built an extensive portfolio of projects, thriving on lifetime bonds with homeowners, architects and designers. If you’re ready to build or renovate, call us today at 828.963.4747. We’d love to hear more about your plans and help you bring your vision to life! Andrew Roby is a proud member of the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and the High Country Home Builders Association. Each fall, the company hosts its annual Pitchin’ for Wishes Cornhole Tourney benefiting Make-A-Wish® Central & Western NC to help grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses in the 51 counties from Burlington west.    
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Our Woolly Worm Festival earns state recognition!

On October 20-21, Banner Elk, NC will again host one of the Southeast’s quirkiest gatherings, The Woolly Worm Festival. Now in its fifth decade, the festival can proudly add a new distinction: Official State Woolly Worm Festival of North Carolina.

Avery County Receives Grant From Appalachian Regional Commission to Expand Broadband Access

Avery County was awarded a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to expand broadband in the county and North Carolina Wireless (NCW), LLC. a Fixed Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) will provide that service. The grant request was submitted to the ARC by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce a 501 (c) (3) organization whose Executive Director is Ms. Melynda Pepple, on behalf of the citizens of Avery County. Ms. Pepple was assisted by the Avery County Manager’s Office and the staff of The High Country Council of Governments in developing the grant request to the ARC. The grant was approved in early 2018. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. The grant is an award of $100,000 for the purpose of expanding broadband service to unserved and underserved areas for Avery County. The grant was awarded with further consideration of serving low-density and low-income areas of the county. Ms. Pepple and the Avery Broadband Committee received early guidance from the NC Department of IT to assist in identifying the unserved and underserved areas. After approval of the grant, a competitive process was utilized to select and Internet Service Provider to partner with the Chamber to implement the project. All methods of delivery of broadband services were considered (coax, fiber, and wireless etc). It was determined that Fixed Wireless was the most cost-effective method and provided the most coverage for the unserved homes in Avery County. “The Broadband Committee determined that NCW with their branded ‘LightLeap’ service offered the most complete and comprehensive plan for delivering the project” stated Ms. Pepple. NCW President Bill Shillito stated “We are proud and humbled to accept this award of funds; proud that the Avery Broadband Committee recognized the value that we bring to the project and humbled by the fact that the Broadband Committee identified us as offering the best and most effective approach to meet the grant’s aims. We will work hard to fulfill the aims of the grant. We are ably assisted by our local partner Mr. Doug Gragg, owner of Highland Electronics (Radio Shack), who serves as our sales and service team for Avery County. They are located at 520 Pineola St, Newland, NC 28657 and can be reached at (828) 733-5718. Mr. Gragg continues to go above and beyond his role in assisting NCW with identifying the best methods to deploy our unique capability in all parts of Avery County.” In response to the project goals, documented demand, and existing tower sites, NCW identified several areas of early focus to expand service to. Those areas include the Jonas Ridge/Pineola and the Linville Falls/Altamont areas as best early focus areas. “Now that the grant is awarded, our staff can and will complete the timelines and progress goals toward accomplishing the aims of the grant” stated Mr. Josh Strickland, CTO for NCW. For more information on LightLeap offerings by NCW including pricing, go to www.lightleap.net. You may complete a service form request at the website to assist NCW in determining demand for expansion in Avery County. Ms. Pepple stated “Many hours of work by a large number of players went into submitting the request to the ARC and selecting an ISP partner. I wish to thank the vision of the Avery County Commissioners and the Manager’s Office for their support toward this effort. I also wish to thank the Appalachian Regional Commission for seeing the need and providing the funding for this project. The High Country Council of Governments staff provided invaluable guidance and support through this entire process. We look forward to working with NCW to expand broadband in Avery…

2018 Annual Celebration

Members and non-Members alike are invited to our Annual Celebration on November 5th! This Celebration will take place at Crossnore School & Children’s Home, located at 100 DAR Dr, in Crossnore. From 5:30 to 6:30 pm, tours will be held, allowing visitors to see for themselves the Weaving Room, the Cottage, and learn about the history of Crossnore School, a staple of our community. At 6:30, a plated dinner will begin, with music for entertainment, followed by a program and awards ceremony. The winners of each award are chosen by you, our attendees, so please nominate today! Seats must be reserved and paid for by October 26. No exceptions can be made to this policy. Your reservation will not be complete without payment in full. We look forward to seeing you there! Click here to…

September Featured Business of the Month – Avery County Habitat for Humanity

We at the Avery County Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Avery County Habitat for Humanity for being our Featured Business of the Month for September! A plaque will be presented at our October 2 breakfast at Life Care of Banner Elk. For 27 years Avery Habitat has been working hand-in-hand with hard working, low income families to bring the American Dream of homeownership to the residents and workers of Avery County, investing more than $4.5 million dollars into the affordable housing landscape of the county. Utilizing thousands of volunteers from across the country, Avery Habitat has built 47 homes with the 48th currently under construction in our newest development, White Oak Knoll, just off Vale Road in Newland. More than 210 Avery County residents now live in simple, decent, affordable, efficient shelter that they own and pay a mortgage on. These mortgage payments, along with donations from generous donors from near and far, help to build more homes for families in need year after year. Partner Families must meet three main criteria: Need, Ability to Repay, and Willingness to Partner. The process is lengthy and requires hundreds of hours of Sweat Equity that in the end means a stable and safe home to raise children and beyond. At present four families are working on their Sweat Equity hours in order to proceed toward achieving homeownership. In addition to building homes and servicing mortgages, Avery Habitat operates the ReStore, a thrift store for building materials, appliances, furniture and household goods on Millers Gap Hwy south of Newland. Donations always welcome! In order to provide accommodations to out of town volunteers, Avery Habitat built the Gilmer Center, where up to 38 stay while spending a week on the build site and enjoying all that the High Country has to offer. Avery Habitat is a diverse organization helping to enact a global vision, “where everyone has a decent place to…

September 4 After Hours

Join us tonight, September 4, at 5:30 PM for a Business After Hours at The Great Train Robbery, located in Banner Elk! Chamber Members in attendance will not only be able to take advantage of a 10% discount across the entire store for the duration of the event, but will also be entered to win a Vineyard Porch Rocking Chair – a $380 value! See you there!
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August 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Crossnore School & Children’s Home

August 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Crossnore School & Children’s Home

For more than 100 years, Crossnore School & Children’s Home has provided hope and healing for children who are unable to live safely in their own homes. Crossnore offers a holistic approach to treating the whole child emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our Theory of Change model is unique to our organization and begins with meeting the most basic need by providing a safe and loving home for children from families in crisis. Within the model, each circle grows bigger to show the expansion of a child’s well-being—mind, body, and spirit.
Crossnore has expanded from Avery County to include a residential campus in Winston-Salem and a satellite office in Hendersonville. Our residential programs include on-campus group homes for children in foster care in Crossnore and Winston-Salem. Our clinical services are offered to our residential children, outpatient therapy clients, and through school-based therapies in all three of our locations. Foster care and adoption services are also available in all three locations and include training for licensure, as well as post-licensure training, support, and supervision.
Another aspect of Crossnore’s continuum of care that is offered is Youth in Transition services. Youth in Transition continues support for young adults who have graduated high school. The program concentrates on helping these young adults stabilize their housing, education, employment, transportation, and other independent living skills.
1001 Reynolds Road Winston-Salem, NC 27104
(336) 721-7600
Info @crossnore .org
100 DAR Drive PO Box 249 Crossnore, NC 28616-0249
(828) 733-4305
Info@crossnore .org

July 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Zenergy Massage Therapy

July 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Zenergy Massage Therapy

We are here to provide you with professional massage services to help ease your aches and pains and the stress of daily life. We offer a range of massage therapies such as Swedish, integrative, pregnancy, and reflexology.
After a lifetime of loving massage therapy, Deb Casaccia became a licensed massage therapist over 12 years ago. She has attended Healing Arts Institute, Georgia Academy of Massage and the Western North Carolina School of Massage. Deb is very interested in learning new styles of massage therapy and healthy practices. She is trained in Swedish massage, deep tissue, myofascial release, advanced pregnancy massage and reflexology. She became a Reiki Master in 2013 and is 1 in 10 massage therapists in North Carolina trained to massage burn scar survivors. Deb customizes her massages to fit the needs of each individual client and strives to help others feel better. She volunteers at Cannon Hospital and lives in a cottage in Linville Land Harbor with her family. NCLMBT#11667
Our new studio is quiet, cool and delightfully calming!
Featured Business of the Month
Deb Casaccia, Owner of Zenergy Massage Therapy
Member, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
Visit us online at www.zenergy.massagetherapy.com
Call: 828-742-1899 or call/text 828-989-1555 or book online for a massage!
We are delighted to be in our new location in downtown Newland, NC at 418 Pineola St, Newland, NC 28657 sharing a space with Kerri Stephanie Skin Therapy (KSST) (kerristephanie.com)
For facial waxing, professional make up or a relaxing facial, please call Kerri- 828-260-9533

June 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Blue Ridge Partnership for Children

June 2018 Featured Business of the Month ~ Blue Ridge Partnership for Children

The Blue Ridge Partnership for Children is an independent, nonprofit organization, with a Board of Directors made up of community members from all three counties. The Board determines how best to invest local Smart Start funding to support programs designed to address community concerns in early care and education,  the health of young children, and services for their families.    Two locations serving Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties. 392 East Main Street / PO Box 1387, Burnsville, NC 28714, Phone: 828.682.0047 / Fax: 828.682.7987 215 Pineola Street / PO Box 1455, Newland, NC 28657, Phone: 828.733.2899 / Fax: 828.733.9122   Jennifer Simpson, Executive Director director@brpartnershipforchildren.org Visit us online at  www.blueridgechildren.org   or www.facebook.com/Blue-Ridge-Partnership-for-Children    What is the Blue Ridge Partnership for Children?  CLICK HERE   Blue Ridge Child Care Resource & Referral Information:  CLICK HERE                        …

2018 Avery Chamber Golf Classic Winners-Linville Golf Club

2018 Avery Chamber Golf Classic Winners-Linville Golf Club

Congratulations May 14, 2018 Avery Chamber Golf Classic Winners Linville Golf Club, Linville, NC On behalf of the Avery Chamber we sincerely “Thank” everyone who made this event possible! Host and Event Sponsors: Pictured (L-R) Keith Crain, Head Professional of Linville Golf Club; Melynda M. Pepple, Executive Director of Avery Chamber of Commerce; Tom Dale, Director of Golf of Linville Golf Club; Scott Wallace, Assistant Professional of Linville Golf Club Corporate Sponsors: Pictured (L-R) Todd Elledge, Director of Marketing of Carolina West Wireless; Edward Hinson, Executive Director of Competitive Operations of SkyLine/ SkyBest 1st Place Winners 1st Place “GROSS” Winner (L-R) Jason Eldreth, Carter Dishman, Roscoe Millsaps, John Malone 1st Place “NET Winner (L-R) Scott Boyles, Jeff Craver, Neil Cornatzer, Mark Hollingsworth -Not Pictured 2018 Golf Classic Results CLICK…

May Featured Business of the Month- LifeStore Insurance

May Featured Business of the Month- LifeStore Insurance

LifeStore Insurance – YOUR North Carolina Insurance Specialist As an independent North Carolina Insurance Agency, LifeStore Insurance has seven  locations  (Boone, Greystone, West Jefferson, Elkin, Lenoir, North Wilkesboro, and Sparta) to serve your needs. By working together, our professional insurance agents will guide you through all    available insurance options so you find the policies that best fit your specific needs. As an independent agent, we work with most major insurance carriers and many times can get you a more competitive price than you could receive from the insurance carrier directly. So whether you are looking for individual coverage, family protection, auto, business, or health insurance, investment opportunities, or a custom policy, LifeStore is there for you . . . at every stage of your life. ~     Auto     ~     Home    ~    Business      ~     Life      ~     Health     ~ Karen McNeil , CBIA , Account Executive 1675 Blowing Rock Road Boone, NC 28607 (828) 263-1524 (800) 723-4718 www.lifestoreinsurance.com Email: kmcneil@golifestore.com…

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