Pam Lewis, Asheville’s high-profile entrepreneurship leader, is out at Asheville chamber

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Pam_Lewis_Here’s the announcement from Kit Cramer, head of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce:

Strategic partners and key collaborators of Venture Asheville: I wanted you to know that Pam Lewis is no longer with us. Pam has done some great work for us in the past and her departure will likely raise a lot of questions. Professional ethics will not allow us to discuss the particulars of personnel issues.

Knowledge based entrepreneurship and the business technology sector will continue to be a key part of our economic development strategy. During this transition period Laura Johnson will assume the role of point person on Venture Asheville projects. Should you or anyone you talk to have programmatic or logistical questions regarding any of our programming, please contact Laura at [email protected] or 828-2258-6137. Should you have philosophical questions about how we will move forward with entrepreneurship, you are welcome to call me.

Our plan is to pull together a team of strategic partners and collaborators to discuss the next phase of development for entrepreneurship. As we’ve often said, economic development is a team sport and we look forward to working with you to maintain the momentum we’ve established while taking our efforts to new heights.


Kit Cramer, President & CEO

Lewis has served as director of entrepreneurship for the Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition since 2011. She came to that job after working in a similar capacity at the AdvantageWest economic development group. Lewis took the EDC job as local economic development officials made major strides toward nurturing existing entrepreneurs and wooing others to come to Asheville.

UPDATED: Here’s Lewis’ official response to me. She referred all follow-up questions to her attorney, Grant Osborne. From Lewis:

I don’t share the same value system as the chamber. I’ve always operated by a personal code of ethics and professionalism and did so while working at the chamber.

Lewis added that there are wonderful opportunities for entrepreneurs in Asheville and the community “has to believe it is as good as it is.” Lewis tells me she will continue to work on the Startup Weekend event in Asheville, set for Oct. 4 at the Enka campus of A-B Tech.

Image link for Pam Lewis.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  2. Pam Lewis October 3, 2013

    Leah represents the future of Asheville. She along with some of the young talent being hired at Sanesco should give us all hope that our children can return to this town and find meaningful employment. Thank you, Leah – but it’s all you and your generation.

  3. Leah Hyatt October 2, 2013

    Pam Lewis single-handedly improved the image of Asheville, my hometown. She has introduced so many high-profile visitors to this town, and helped motivate locals to become business-aggressive with modern inspirations to develop advanced business solutions. Her progress alone has expanded entrepreneurship for this town well beyond what others’ efforts have produced in the past. Pam has pushed individual introductions, scoring long-term jobs for many locals based off her networking abilities alone; this woman knows everyone in town and is a great reference! She has opened more doors and given more opportunities to locals connecting them with jobs and job contacts, and seems to be more successful than the local staffing agency. I will appreciate her efforts for years to come and will always support her. Our town needs paradigms of “Pam Lewis” and this suspicious version of a news story will end up being someone’s biggest regret.
    Leah Hyatt

  4. doghaus28815 September 28, 2013

    the “chamber of commerce”? what a joke. just a cabal of the “good ol’ boys” of old asheville money. guess they got their old bones rattled by a woman, or women, that think on their own.

    1. indie September 29, 2013

      Odd, the CEO is a woman.

      1. Vlad Emrick September 29, 2013

        Not to mention half of the chamber board’s executive committee.

  5. Josie September 27, 2013

    Wow. What a huge loss for the community. Such a shame.

  6. Jose Ibarra September 27, 2013

    Good luck Pam. We wish you luck. Thanks for everything you do.


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