About Us

Who We Are

The Heart of Cary Association is a collection of local businesses, nonprofits and residents that are all passionate about building a vibrant community in the greater Cary area. We use our influence and generous contributions from both HOCA members and general community members to help promote our local business and nonprofit partners to the community at large. We also work to help usher in progressive, but historically conscious, revitalization and community improvement projects throughout the downtown area. Throughout the year, our association members represent the local community in several structured volunteer opportunities designed to help strengthen our community from within. Together we can build something beautiful. Together we are The Heart of Cary.

Our History

The Heart of Cary Association was founded by several community leaders in 1977 as a nonprofit organization after operating as a group as the Downtown Development Committee in the Cary Chamber of Commerce. These signatures of these distinguished Cary citizens can be found as endorsements from a Town Council meeting dated September 26, 1996 that designated the official downtown area. William Curtis Westbrook, Sr. signed the Articles of Incorporation for the Heart of Cary Association on March 27, 1997 and they were received by the NC Secretary of State office on April 8, 1997.

Our Mission

The Mission of the Heart of Cary Association, Inc. is to inform, engage, support and empower member merchants, organizations, and residents of downtown Cary as well as its adjacent residential neighborhoods. This mission is carried out with our vision that through service, networking, and informational event session, we actively cultivate a downtown community that is vibrant, inclusive, diverse, dynamic, and fun for everyone who lives, works and visits Downtown Cary.

Our Principles

As an organization, we believe in three primary duties that we have formally adopted:

Duty of Due Care – To take care of the nonprofit by ensuring prudent use of all assets, including facility, people, and goodwill; and provide oversight for all activities that advance the nonprofit’s effectiveness and sustainability.

Duty of Loyalty – To make decisions in the best interest of the nonprofit corporation; not in his or her self-interest. Board members must put the interests of the nonprofit before any personal or professional concerns and avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Duty of Obedience – To ensure that the nonprofit obeys applicable laws and acts in accordance with ethical practices; that the nonprofit adheres to its stated corporate purposes, and that all of its activities advance its mission.

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Connected to the Heart of Downtown Cary since 1997

Our Mission is to inform, engage, support and empower merchants, organizations, and residents of Downtown Cary.

We do it by hosting membership meetings that feature speakers, announcements on current events in downtown and a meal. We also host events that bring people to downtown Cary and political forums. Members are encouraged to become involved through committees and by serving on the Board of Directors.

The Heart of Cary Association is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board oversees all committees. We have recently formed a merchants’ committee. Soon we will also form committees for nonprofits and residents. These committees will represent our three main stakeholders, and will meet to ensure that their interests are being taken into account within the Heart of Cary Association.

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