AI Summit

May 30, 2024 AI Summit

On May 30th, Western North Carolina hosted an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit at Blue Ridge Community College’s “Blue Ridge Conference Hall” in Flat Rock, NC.

AI Summit 2024
AI Summit 2024

Keynote Topics

  • AI and adversarial use.
  • AI policy updates.
  • AI to help grow communities.

Panel Topics

  • How people are using AI in their lives.
  • How educators are using AI or preparing to.
  • How the workforce is using AI.

AI Summit 2024

The AI Summit for May 30, 2024 was held at Blue Ridge Community College Campus in Flat Rock, NC in the Technology Education Conference Hall.    

The purpose of the conference was:  

  1. Knowledge Sharing: exchange information and experiences about AI tech and its applications. 
  2. Problem Solving: troubleshoot and get advice on AI-related issues. 
  3. Networking: Connect with others in the AI field, from hobbyists to professionals. 
  4. Staying Updated: Keep up with the latest in AI trends and tools. 
  5. Innovation and Inspiration: Forums spark new ideas and foster innovative thinking in AI. 

This is only an in-person event. 

Our educational and workforce planning partners for this event include:

  • A-B Technical Community College
  • Blue Ridge Community College
  • Carolina Cyber Center-Montreat
  • Land of Sky Regional Council
  • Mountain Area Workforce Development Board
  • UNCA – University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • WCU – Western Carolina University

We had a broad audience, including but not limited to small to large businesses across sectors, educators, IT workers, students, government, entrepreneurs, and the public. 



BRCC AI Lab Open – 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Registration & Coffee, Juice & Danish (8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.) 

Welcome – Dr. Laura Leatherwood – President BRCC (9:30 – 9:40 a.m.)

Introduction – Marc Czarnecki, MAWDB -Preparing for AI’s impact on the workforce (9:40 – 9:45 a.m.)

Keynote Speakers – (9:45 a.m.-noon)

Lunch – Socialize and network – (noon to 1:00 p.m.)

Panel Discussions – Steve Newman, ERC Broadband (1:00 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.)

    • Social Panel – AI’s impact related to society, culture or education
    • Education Panel – AI’s impact on the field of education
    • Professional Panel – AI’s impact on professions
    • Total time for each panel is 45 minutes:
      • Each panelist will present or speak for up to 6 minutes
      • Moderator-lead panel Q+A for ~18 minutes
      • Audience questions for ~9 minutes

Closing – Nathan Ramsey, Director of MAWDB (3:55 – 4:00 p.m.)

BRCC AI Lab Open – 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Networking at Trailside Brewing (4:30 p.m.) – 873 Lenox Park Dr, Hendersonville, NC 28739

We will also recognize the winners of the content title and the event image.

  • Title “A.I. Summit: Reaching New Heights with AI” – Winner name: Heidi Anugrah

  • Image – (brAIn hUb) – Winner name: Adena Allen

  • Title and Image 2nd Place Winner: Laura Emory

Panel Discussions


  • Moderator: Jeffrey Kaplan
  • Aaron Bernard, Instructor, Blue Ridge Community College
  • April Cyr, Help Desk Associate & Student, A-B Technical Community College
  • Ben O’Connor, Co-Founder & CFO, Higher Learning Technologies



Why did students and business leaders attend the AI Summit?

Sarah Benoit – AI Summit Call to Action

Sarah Benoit of the JB Media Group, shares a call-to-action on the topic of artificial intelligence.

Julio Barros – on the AI Summit 

AI Summit, Thanks to Our Sponsors

Land-of-Sky Regional Council’s Mountain Area Workforce Development Board,  leaders from area educational institutes, and businesses are planning a 2025 event!  

Please email or if you are interested in participating.