Baton Rouge business, political leaders plan trip to Greenville, South Carolina

The Advocate

After a four-year absence, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber is relaunching its “canvas trip” program, with a visit to Greenville, South Carolina.

Officials with BRAC, the mayor-president’s office and local business leaders will make the trip Nov. 2-4. Registration is $2,500 per person and includes transportation, lodging and meals. To sign up, go to

Adam Knapp, BRAC president and CEO, said in a statement the trip “allows participants to immerse themselves in a peer community, explore best practices first-hand, and engage in candid conversations with each other and the change agents behind the destination city’s most transformative partnerships, programs and processes.”

This will be the 11th Regional Canvas Benchmarking Workshop, but the first one since 2018, when BRAC and city leaders visited Cincinnati. The program was started in 2003 and led to visits to Austin, Texas; Nashville; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh.

Recently, the trips have been held every two or three years, but the COVID pandemic led to a pause. Chamber officials said they felt more confident to plan another event for the fall. 

Greenville is the 60th largest metro area in the U.S., with a population of about 930,000. Baton Rouge ranks a few spots behind at number 66. The region was formerly a textile capital, but it adapted to attract major global brands such as BMW, Michelin and 3M.

John Snow, a partner with Emergent Method, is a co-chairperson for the trip. Snow is a native of South Carolina who has seen the changes that have happened in Greenville.

“Greenville is known for its bustling downtown, among many other things, and I see many opportunities for Baton Rouge to leverage similar strategies to enhance our downtown core,” he said in a statement.

Topics that will be covered during the trip include: Partnerships in development and quality of place, inclusive entrepreneurship, business and education partnerships, attracting and retaining talent and diversifying industries within an economy.

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