The Van Winkle Law Firm, with offices in Asheville, Charlotte and Hendersonville, will host the opening and closing receptions for Moogfest 2014. Van Winkle will kick off the festival with a welcome reception for Governor Pat McCrory and other dignitaries on Wednesday, April 23 before an opening panel on economic development. The firm will mark the festival closing on Sunday, April 27 with a final party at Moog Music. Both events are by invitation only.
Van Winkle President Phil Smith said the firm’s role with Moogfest reflects its support of economic development and job growth in Western North Carolina. “We share Moogfest’s vision to expand our region’s diversity of creative and tech businesses with Asheville serving as a center of innovation in the region,” said Smith. “This year’s event will pave the way for a much larger economic movement, and Van Winkle believes in the community-based, collaborative approach to support and expand our business community.”
Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, a partner at Van Winkle, will be one of the opening panelists along with Hickory Mayor Rudy White; Robert T. “Bob” Geolas, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina; Mike Adams, President, Moog Music; Representative Nathan Ramsey; and Casey Steinbacher, President and CEO of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.
The panel will focus on the future of economic development and the roles of education and technology. Dr. Michael Walden, a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University, will moderate. Dr. Walden has teaching, research, and extension responsibilities at NCSU in the areas of consumer economics, economic outlook, and public policy.
“Moog has the potential to be a game changer – bringing high-tech jobs and economic growth to Asheville,” Manheimer said. “We know from the success of the SXSW festival in Austin that this formula presents opportunities for partnerships and business expansion.”
Sunday’s closing party will be held at Moog Music’s headquarters at 160 Broadway. Invitees include artists, panelists, media, staff and others who helped make Moogfest 2014 possible, from staff members to sponsors and volunteers.
“We want everyone to come downtown and support what Moogfest has to offer,” said Manheimer. “There’s a wealth of free programming, and it’s an unprecedented opportunity to interact with some of the world’s most forward-thinkers.”
This year’s festival takes place April 23-27 and has retooled its focus to include music, technology, art and innovation.