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Bright Lights, Our City

November 8, 2018

There is no place like home. It is nearly impossible to narrow down everything that makes High Point such a unique city; one filled with creativity, innovation and a strong, united community. But we can start by naming one – the driven young professionals, who have not only grown up in this city, but have returned to make a life for themselves through their work and involvement within the community. These young professionals are the bright lights within our city, guiding the community towards the right direction for the future and working to better High Point in any way they can. We wanted to recognize our city’s bright lights by sharing their positive impact on the community and what makes High Point so special for each of them.To start, we have interviewed Megan Oglesby, Brian Crowder, and Amber Williamson to discover how each have planted new roots in High Point.  Read below to learn more!

Megan Oglesby

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Megan Oglesby, a High Point native, went to Johnson Street Elementary, Griffin Middle, and High Point Central High School. Megan left High Point to attend college and then moved to Florida for her first job. However, soon after, she returned back to her hometown. She is currently the Executive Director of the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation. Megan is also involved greatly within the community, in order to bring about positive change in the community – which we can’t help but admire her for.  She continues to live in High Point with her (very tall- 6’6”!) Husband, Hunter, and son, Knox. Read below to learn how growing up and living in High Point has shaped Megan and what drew her back to her hometown!

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I was born with a significant hearing loss and wear hearing aids. My parents put me in speech therapy every day for many years.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without High Point Audiological (I’ve been with them since I was a toddler) and speech therapy.

Q. What brought you to High Point? What keeps you here?

I was born and raised in High Point. I left for college then my first job took me to Florida. I swore I would never come back to boring ol’ High Point but here I am! And I am so glad I did.  I came back, because I missed the sense of community that High Point has and a lot of my family is here. I met my husband in High Point and now I’m raising my own family here. I couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere else.

Q. What is your favorite thing about living in High Point?

If you want to make a difference and if you want to get involved in a real way you can really do any of that in High Point. Especially in the past few years, High Point is embracing change and innovation – and I love it! I also love running into people I know everywhere I go.

Q. What High Pointer do you most admire?

Christi Barbour (and her amazing team here at Barbour Spangle Design!). If this interview wasn’t conducted by BSD I would still have the same answer. Christi’s passion to show how great High Point is to the world and her intelligence, generosity, and professionalism is not only inspiring but contagious.

Q. How do you stay involved in the community?

I continue to be very involved at Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce, I’m also connected to High Point University as an ambassador and alum, and I’m on the grants selection committee at the High Point Community Foundation. I also have a hard time saying “no” to opportunities to get involved.  But what initially got me involved in our community was participating in the Leadership High Point program. It is hands down one of my favorite experiences to date!

Q. What can High Point do to support your generation?

Be open to change and invite us to be a part of the decision making.

High Point’s motto should be ____ ?

High Point Rising! Oh wait, that’s Business High Point’s motto…

High Point Favorites:

Favorite restaurant:

Fixin’s keeps drawing me in with their killer burger and ever changing menu.

Business you most admire:

Thayer Coggin. Royale Wiggin, the President and CEO, revitalized this company to what it is today. Royale is a strong, steadfast yet reserved female leader that I greatly admire.

Hidden secret:

The High Point Police Department. Our HPPD is doing amazing things and their community relations strategies are used as models across the nation!

Brian Crowder

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Brian Crowder was born and raised in High Point. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, where he also swam all four years. After completing his studies, he returned to High Point and has been working as a real estate appraiser for over 10 years. In addition, Brian has served as the head coach of High Point University’s club swim team for 8 years. This past January, he married his wife, Mary Kelly Crowder. The couple shares two dogs, Sam and Elli, together. Read below to learn more about what Brian loves the most about his hometown and how he is involved in the community.

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am TSO’s (Trans Siberian Orchestra’s) biggest fan. I also color coordinate my clothes in my closet.

Q. What brought you to High Point? What keeps you here?

I was born and raised in High Point. After graduating college, I moved back in order to learn the appraisal business.

Q. What is your favorite thing about living in High Point?

I enjoy being in a city that has a smaller feel with a sense of community without a lot of traffic, yet still has things to do and places to go.

Q. What High Pointer do you most admire?

My father, Ron Crowder, who started his own business and has been in the appraisal business for over 40 years.

Q. How do you stay involved in the community?

I currently serve on the board for the Hartley Drive branch of the YMCA. I am also a regional representative for the Appraisal Institute in order to advocate for appraisers in our community as well as all over the state and southeast United States.

Q. What can High Point do to support your generation?

I hope the businesses in our community plan and prepare for changes that could occur in the future in their respective industries in order to succeed, flourish, and support my generation, as well as the generations to follow.

High Point Favorites:

Favorite restaurant:

Biscuit Factory

Business you most admire:

Every single one of them. There’s nothing I admire more than someone taking a chance and betting on and believing in THEMSELVES.

Amber Williamson

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Amber Williamson is originally from Greensboro, NC. However, she has spent most of life in High Point since attending High Point University, where she completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies.  Currently, she is the Manager of Communications & Programs at Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce. Following December 1st, her job title will change to Director of Leadership & Programs. She credits her amazing parents and four brothers for being her rock and support system. Amber has planted strong roots for herself in the High Point community and is determined to do her part in making sure the city continues to grow.

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist

Q. What brought you to High Point? What keeps you here?

High Point became my second home as a student at HPU, but I did not truly get to know “High Point” until I began my professional career. Working at the Chamber has given me a greater appreciation of the people, organizations, and businesses who work to keep High Point rising! Education brought me here, and the High Point community keeps me here!

Q. What is your favorite thing about living in High Point?

#1 the people. #2 The Food – High Point has some of the best food in the Triad!

Q. What High Pointer do you most admire?

Tu Sen, owner of 98 Asian Bistro, is one of the most dynamic people I have met. Her heart for High Point and zeal for our city’s future is undeniable.

Q. How do you stay involved in the community?

I am very active in my church, Triad Christian Center, where I serve as a Youth Leader and Praise Team member. Additionally, I am a part of the Triad Women’s Forum and HPU’s Young Alumni Council.

Q. What can High Point do to support your generation?

Continue to provide opportunities and spaces for millennials to connect and be a part of this era of community transformation.

High Point’s motto should be ____ ?

We’re going higher!

High Point Favorites:

Favorite restaurant:

98 Asian Bistro – Chicken Pho, Shrimp Rolls, or the Shrimp Pad See Ew will always put a smile on my face.

Business you most admire:

Even as an employee, Business High Point – Chamber of Commerce continues to amaze me. The Chamber continues to find strategic ways to promote and support our government, community, schools and businesses.

Hidden secret:

Dillard’s Clearance Center, I love catching the deals!

Discovering our High Points,

The HP Discovered Team

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