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Charleston Mayor Joe Riley to Speak in Boone

BOONE–Joe Riley, considered one of the most visionary and effective governmental leaders in the United States, will speak at 9 a.m., Friday, July 19, at the Broyhill Conference Center at Appalachian State University in Boone. This presentation is free and open to the public.

As mayor of Charleston, S.C., Riley has distinguished himself as a national leader in such areas as affordable housing, economic development, parks and public spaces and citizen participation.

Under his leadership, Charleston has experienced a remarkable revitalization of its historic downtown business district, seen the creation and growth of the Spoleto Festival USA, and developed a nationally acclaimed affordable housing program.

His appearance is the second of a three-part series titled “Building an Economically Healthy Downtown: The Basis for a Prosperous Community.” The final speaker in the series, Pulitzer-prize winning writer Tom Hylton, will speak Sept. 19-20.

The series is sponsored by a partnership of organizations that include Appalachian State University, N.C. Division of Community Assistance, Asheville Downtown Association, AdvantageWest, HandMade in America, Quality Forward, and Asheville City Development Office. Funding for the events has been made possible by grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission and AdvantageWest Regional Partnership.

NOTE: For a detailed description of some of Mayor Riley’s many accomplishments during his seven terms as mayor, please refer the web site:

Contact: Dr. Garry V. Cooper, AICP, Department of Geography and Planning, Appalachian State University, 828-262-7051