The Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce welcomes

Karen Barnes, Executive Director and Visionary Leader at Venture Café.

Join us on Tuesday, August 13 at 6:30 pm as Karen speaks about accelerating the innovation economy in Winston-Salem through her visionary message. The meeting will be held at the newly developed ACCESS Center for Equity + Success, located at the Bailey Power Plant, 486 Patterson Ave, Winston-Salem, NC. The WSBCC and Venture Café have partnered to help promote equity and success among all businesses in the Winston-Salem Ecosystem. We hope you will join us for this special presentation. Refreshments served!

About our Presenter

Karen is the founding executive director of Venture Cafe Winston Salem where she’s responsible for building and leading the organization’s growth in the Piedmont Triad. Venture Cafe Winston Salem seeks to align, amplify and accelerate the local innovation and entrepreneurship economy and since its launch, the community has enthusiastically embraced these efforts. She is a two-time Triad Business Journal Power Player, but more importantly, she is a community weaver and connector.

A Winston Salem native, Karen’s been an entrepreneur since grade school when she picked vegetables from her dad’s garden and sold them around the neighborhood from her red wagon. Prior to joining Venture Cafe, Karen worked as the founder of her own marketing and communications consulting firm, founding partner and director of operations for an artificial intelligence startup, and strategic lead for several advertising agencies working with Fortune 100 clients, including Boeing, ConAgra Foods, MillerCoors, Johnson & Johnson, Steelcase, Georgia-Pacific, Toshiba, Hanes, General Mills and Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Barnes has a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from The American University, and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Hollins University. When she’s not building communities, you can likely find her outside with her wife and dog.

Submitted by Gloria Hairston, Program and Events, Winston-Salem Black Chamber of Commerce


  • Occurred Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm


Bailey Power Plant

486 Patterson Ave
Winston-Salem, NC 27101


Valerie Benton Smith - Membership Chairperson

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