the Wilmington Convention Center  |  September 15-18, 2018 Wilmington, NC
September 15-18, 2018

Resilient Communities

Stories with Impact: January

We need your help! Be the star of your own story. Learn how »

These are resilient communities. Here are their stories.


For video with subtitles, click here. | View the trailer here.

North Carolina is comprised of some of the country’s greatest landscapes, landmarks, towns, and people that attracts scores of people to relocate to the state or have a vacation home. As idyllic as our sandy beaches, mountain terrains, and small town Main Streets are, North Carolina and its communities have experienced more than its fair share of trials and tribulations, natural disasters, economic downturns, civil unrest, stress, misfortune, and change. From the 1984 Carolinas tornado outbreak to Hurricane Matthew to the 2017 political protests in Charlotte and the 1979 Greensboro massacre to The Great Recession unemployment and dying industries, such as textiles and tobacco, North Carolinians have adapted and persevered. We’re fighters, problem-solvers, hold-our-head-up-head agents of change, keeping one foot in front of the other. We’re resilient.

We’re fighters, problem-solvers, hold-our-head-up-high agents of change, keeping one foot in front of the other. We’re resilient.

Over the past couple of months, NC REALTORS® staff traveled to select towns and communities to explore the untold stories of resiliency, determination, rebranding, and renewed purpose that surrounds us. We intentionally sought out those communities that are tough-as-nails – that when against all odds, they dug deep, tapped into an innate fighting spirit, and thrived under pressure to grow and adapt. We reached communities that are not in the spotlight, diligently serving its community members the best way they know how with the resources they have, and we gave these towns – and the people – a face and a voice as part of our XCHANGE ’18 storytelling campaign.

We interviewed Mayors, town managers, residents, developers, REALTORS®, city council members, small business owners, and more. We learned about their legacies, their plight to remain relevant, in business, and in some cases, even “on the map.” Each of these communities – Reidsville, Eden, Saxapahaw, Rutherfordton, Stoneville, and Lumberton – have their unique identities, history, and unique characteristics and charm that define them.

Each of these communities – Reidsville, Eden, Saxapahaw, Rutherfordton, Stoneville, and Lumberton – have their unique identities, history, and unique characteristics and charm that define them.

Many of them are also overcoming similar challenges and building community in similar ways. From rebranding their communities to revamping Main Street and enticing small businesses owners to identifying creative ways to drive consumers to businesses downtown (like new wayfinding and greenways) to preserving historic buildings and bringing in new industry such as breweries, data centers, and championship world-class venues, these communities share many common threads and qualities. They have a clear vision and sense of purpose, seek and celebrate the positive in every situation, have a long-term view, are patient and persistent, they ask tough questions and make even tougher decisions, their leaders and residents lead by example, and they build relationships of trust.

In the end, we discovered the true essence of the human spirit – neighbor helping neighbor and community helping community – and how the will to survive, at any cost, rests within each of us. We just need to own it.

Be the star of your own story.

At the heart of America are cities, towns, and communities that are the pulse of all Americans – friends, family, and colleagues. It’s our communities, from coast-to-coast and small towns to urban meccas, that help make us who we are. They help to define us, celebrating, supporting, shaping, and lifting us in our time of need. Within every community are untold stories – of resiliency, hardships, growth, entrepreneurship, personal development, history, and homeownership – itching to be brought into the spotlight. It’s our mission to tell these stories and share them with the world as part of our #XCHANGE18 unconventional convention.

We need your help! As REALTORS®, you are epic relationship builders, close-knit community members, and master problem-solvers. You have your fingers on the pulse of the neighborhoods, towns, communities, and cities you live, work, and play in. These are your stories. Be the star of your own story by helping us bring them to life.

Below are the monthly themes we are crafting stories around. If you see a topic you identify with, please email Tracey Gould at tgould@ncrealtors.org.

  • Workforce Housing/Jobs
  • Creative Use of Real Estate
  • Economic Development/Smart Growth
  • Advocacy and Legislative Impact
  • Education
  • Historic Preservation/Downtown Main Street Programs/National Small Business Week

Pre-registration for the Conference is closed. Onsite registration will be available.