Denise has owned and operated Main Street Shoes in Burnsville since its beginning in 2016.  She graduated from Mountain Heritage High School and has a degree as a dental hygienist from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. Denise believes that small businesses are important for the growth of a small town. She successfully ran for a seat on the Burnsville Town Council to be a part of that growth and to enhance the community by bringing new ideas to the table, while preserving the town’s values and character.

Denise Collier
Chair | Small Business Committee

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Chamber of Commerce Committees

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Karen Kennedy
Chair | Scholarship Committee

Karen ‘s professional life is in marketing and business consultation. Immediately prior to her retirement from full-time employment and moving to North Carolina, she founded and managed a full-service marketing, advertising, and PR agency near Washington, DC; the business employed more than 50 professionals and handled all promotional activities for clients including Fortune 500 companies, tourism entities, business development consortiums, universities, healthcare firms, high-tech companies, and a range of startups. She has also taught at the college level. Not understanding how to retire, she continues to consult for various firms. 

Karen founded and continues to run a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation which awards competitive scholarships to students in rural Jamaica. Started in 2004, this foundation has assisted 30 students with some $200,000 in scholarships. 

She is devoted to making a meaningful difference in people’s lives, being active in various community-based organizations from venture capital firms to art studio tours. Karen holds a BS degree in journalism from Boston University.

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