Programs in event planning, customer service offered at Biltmore Park

Western Carolina University’s Office of Professional Growth and Enrichment is offering programs in event planning and customer service at the university’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville.

The event planning certificate program will focus on the many facets of being an event planner, from managing people and projects to increasing exposure and dollars for organizations. The six program workshops are being offered each semester, meeting on Thursday or Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Participants can earn a certificate by attending the six designated event planning workshops at their own pace.

The cost per workshop is $119, or attendees may receive a 10-percent discount by registering for all six workshops for $640. Registration includes lunch and continuing education credits. More information is available at

The “Customer Service Train-the-Trainer Program” is designed to help businesses incorporate an in-house training program that will empower managers and supervisors to effectively train staff at different times throughout the year.

The certificate program will be offered over a span of four Mondays – Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30. Instruction will focus on effective customer service skills, which requires hands-on-training and group activities to help trainees internalize problem solving and communication skills.

One of the program instructors, Neela Munoz, brings an extensive theater background to her work as a facilitator and coach. Munoz uses her directing experience to help clients show up and make an impact, while staying true to their own style. Susan Fouts, executive director of WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach, will lead two of the four courses. Fouts said she aims to help participants learn the impact of external customer service and how it creates the eternal customer. She will provide structural feedback to help participants develop their customer service skills and increase their levels of interest and learning.

The cost of the “Customer Service Train-the-Trainer Program” is $429. More information about that program can be found at

For more information about both programs, contact Jill Thompson at or call 828-227-3070.