First in Future: President and CEO of Community Foundation of Western North Carolina Elizabeth Brazas

Summary:  Here is a fact, North Carolina citizens are getting older. Currently, there are about 1.6 million citizens who are over 65. Over the next 20 years, one million more citizens will be added to that demographic.

However, this demographic shift presents some amazing opportunities, as many of these older citizens will want to give back to the places they live. Across our state,  community foundations are busy helping North Carolinians address big community problems.

This week’s First in Future guest is Elizabeth Brazas, the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, located in a part of the state that will have an even larger number of citizens over 65 than state average in the upcoming years, thanks in part to Western North Carolina becoming a haven for retirees.

During the podcast, you will get a lot of insights from Elizabeth—about strategic planning, the role of philanthropy, and respecting the differences between counties. You will also learn about a “mafia” that works for good, balancing permanence and fluidity in a fast-changing world and why not everybody in western North Carolina likes top 10 lists.

This installment of First in Future is part of a special TV series produced in collaboration with UNC-TV, and is recorded in UNC-TV’s Studios. Taped segments will air on the North Carolina Channel. Visit for specific air dates.

Listen to the podcast: