Tech Council Speaker Series

Attracting upwards of 150 attendees to each event, the Speaker Series seeks to educate members of the business community and the general public about the exciting industries, companies, people and ideas driving our economy’s growth. These events also provide the ideal opportunity to meet and connect with the talented people involved and interested in developing this crucial component of our community’s future.

Tech Council’s Speaker Series Luncheon:
From Tobacco to Technology Book Launch

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Wake Forest Biotech Place
575 North Patterson Avenue
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Tickets are $25.00 and include lunch and a copy of From Tobacco to Technology.
Click here to purchase tickets


This special Tech Council Speaker Series luncheon celebrates the publication of From Tobacco to Technology by Frank Elliot, a new book about an exciting chapter in the history of our city. During the late 1980s Winston-Salem was gripped in a downward spiral of corporate relocations, mergers, bankruptcies and plant closings that pummeled the city’s self-image and eviscerated its employment base. Amid the procession of dispiriting headlines, a small group of visionaries looked to the future and forged a plan to create a new economic base that would carry Winston-Salem into the 21st Century.

From Tobacco to Technology is the definitive record of how these dedicated souls persevered in their efforts, overcoming skepticism, setbacks, bureaucratic infighting and even a catastrophic fire, to build a movement that eventually would be embraced by the community and transform a city. More than a recitation of events and dates, it goes behind the headlines to reveal the people and the forces at work during this pivotal moment in the Twin City.

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind event!


Wake Forest University President-elect Dr. Nathan O. Hatch. ©2005 Wake Forest University Office of Creative Services. Photo by Ken Bennett. All Rights Reserved. Contact: 336-758-5379.

Nathan Hatch, President of Wake Forest University, will speak on how far we have come as a city in the last few decades.




Frank Elliott (square)

Frank Elliot, Author of From Tobacco to Technology, will introduce the story of the creation of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and bringing a knowledge-based economy to Winston-Salem.



Vernon George (square)Mike Alder (square)

Vernon George, Principal of George, Henry, George Partners, and Michael Alder, Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at Brigham Young University, will be on hand to discuss the roles they played as consultants in the development of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.


Eric Tomlinson (square)John McConnell (square)

Eric Tomlinson, DSc, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and President of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, and John McConnell, CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, will lead a discussion entitled A Look at Where We Are Today And What Lies Ahead At Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.



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