Miles Kirksey photo

Miles Kirksey is the engagement coordinator for the North Carolina Rural Center.

The Burke County Chamber of Commerce and Burke County United Way Emerging Leaders are excited to host Miles Kirksey as speaker for the Emerging Leaders meeting, which will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Rutherford College Town Hall at 980 Malcolm Blvd. in Rutherford College.

The “Emerging Leaders, Young Professionals of Burke County” is a networking organization for Burke County young adults ages 21 to 40 who have an interest in young people and opportunities to learn more about their community .

Miles Kirksey is a native of Morganton and has spent more than 24 years in the area. He joined the North Carolina Rural Center as an engagement coordinator in December of 2018 , organizing advocacy events across the state’s 80 rural counties. He works with the small business community, the Rural Center’s leadership alumni network and other rural constituents in his mission to help rural communities across North Carolina.

“We are excited that Miles Kirksey has agreed to come back to Burke County to share about advocacy at the NC Rural Center,” said Hollie Phillips, member relations specialist with the Chamber of Commerce and staff member of the Emerging Leaders program. “He will bring good information and help us to learn more about advocacy and what is happening in our state.”

In addition to Kirksey, the Emerging Leaders will have the opportunity to meet and greet with Mayor Gary McClure of Rutherford College. McClure is a huge advocate of Rutherford College and Burke County , and his enthusiasm is contagious. He will share information about the history of Rutherford College and show off the beautiful town hall.

JD’s Smokehouse will cater the event, which will include networking, learning, eating and more.

To learn more about this Emerging Leaders or how to join, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 828-437-3021 or email Hollie Phillips at

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