Connect Raleigh Series

Last updated Feb. 12, 2019 - 10:04 am

About the Series

This series features nationally known speakers who engage the community in dialogue about issues and topics related to Raleigh being one of the best places to live, work, and play. These topics may include smart growth practices, placemaking, sustainability, civic innovation, and many others.

Do you have an idea for the next lecture? Help us plan upcoming lectures by emailing

This series is organized by a team of employees from multiple City departments who are part of the City's strategic planning initiative. The goal of this initiative is to carry out a speakers' series with national experts to educate our organization and community on strategic and innovative topics.

Learn more about the Strategic Plan.

Connect Raleigh Featuring Mark Fenton

Mark Fenton

On Thursday, Oct. 25, we hosted a lecture featuring Mark Fenton, a public health, planning, and transportation consultant/professor and former host of the PBS series “America’s Walking”. Mark shared easy steps that residents can take to become more active and put their health first while living in an urban environment.

A panel discussion highlighting related city, county, and non-profit initiatives followed the lecture. Panelists included:

  • Regina Pettaway – Director, Wake County Human Services
    Ken Bowers – Director, City of Raleigh Planning
    Ken Hisler – Assistant Director, City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources
    Sara Merz – Executive Director, Advocates for Health in Action
    Regina Petteway – Director, Wake County Human Services
  • Ken Bowers – Director, Raleigh City Planning
  • Ken Hisler – Assistant Director, City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources
  • Sara Merz – Executive Director, Advocates for Health in Action
This lecture was sponsored in partnership with WakeMed. 

Questions about this lecture? Email

Connect Raleigh Featuring Jason Mayden

Jason Mayden

In April, we kicked off National Small Business Week with a lecture featuring Jason Mayden, CEO and co-founder of Super Heroic, Inc. and former design executive for Nike. Mr. Mayden shared his experiences working for a Fortune 500 company as well as what he has learned from starting his own business.

The event was sponsored by the City of Raleigh, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and Wake Tech Small Business Center.

A panel discussion sponsored by Wake Tech Small Business Center also was held and attendees had an opportunity to meet with the following local organizations who offer resources for small business owners:

  • Business Link North Carolina;
  • Women’s Business Center of North Carolina;
  • Carolina Small Business Development Fund;
  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce;
  • The City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development;
  • The City of Raleigh Minority Women’s Enterprise Program;
  • Small Business Administration; and,
  • Wake Tech Community College.

Connect Raleigh Featuring Peter Kageyama

Peter Kageyama Event

In November 2017, Peter Kageyama, an acclaimed community development consultant and the author of "For the Love of Cities," hosted the first lecture in this series. Throughout his talk, Mr. Kageyama highlighted what makes Raleigh a desirable, engaged, and innovative community. He also shared with the audience how demonstrating their love for Raleigh through public service and community involvement can help make the city a better place to live. Following the lecture, Mr. Kageyama hosted a meet and greet and book signing for attendees. The event also featured Shaw University's drumline and winners of the iDEA Raleigh competition: A pop-up parkour playspace at Dix Park and Big Chess Across the City.

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