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  • Writer's pictureVistanet

A Win-Win Partnership for Black-Owned Businesses in WNC

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Professional phone systems, discounts and support offered

Rika Harrison of the Western North Carolina Minority Business Association and the WNC Black Business Expo partnered with Andrea Robel of Vistanet Telecommunications to benefit black and minority business owners throughout WNC.

The Affinity Program provides discounts on advanced business phone systems that use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Additionally, the partnership establishes a vibrant referral process coupled with matching donations to the Association. It’s a win-win that supports both members and the organization supporting its members.

VoIP is how today’s businesses connect. It’s the most advanced technology and allows business owners and employees to make phone calls over the internet. VoIP provides more capabilities than traditional analog communications for nearly half the cost, with features such as call recording, auto attendants, voicemail to email, and customized caller ID. The cloud-based telephone service also allows its subscribers to take calls from anywhere with a broadband connection.

Andrea Robel, owner of Vistanet, a local, 8(a) Woman-Owned, HUB Certified company is a member of the City of Asheville’s Women Business Enterprise through the Business Inclusion Office. Also, a member of the Asheville, Hendersonville, and Haywood Area Chambers of Commerce, Robel has more than 40 years in the telecommunications industry. She is the Secretary-Treasurer of the national organization Cloud Voice Alliance.

Rika Harrison is the founder of the Western North Carolina Minority Business Association. She has more than 20 years of experience in management consultation, team building, professional development and strategic implementation. She’s an advertising rep for the Tribune Papers, an editorial committee member of The Envoy magazine and founder/owner of Pit to Palace Media. Harrison also authored the book, Where’s Daddy?

Harrison is also the founder and executive director of the WNC Black Business Expo, an annual conference. She created the conference to bring together local and regional businesses and entrepreneurs for three days of educational workshops, networking events, and a trade show.

Andrea Robel and Rika Harrison. A power duo determined to help black business owners achieve their goals.

Happening April 8 - 10, 2022 at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Asheville, NC 28801

The two Asheville women believe their joint efforts will not only help minority-owned businesses take advantage of the most up-to-date communications technology available but also focus on the importance of inclusive partnerships. Watch for details of the upcoming program and its benefits through Vistanet ( and the inaugural WNC Black Business Expo (, set to take place April 8–10, 2022, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Asheville.

For more information or to set up interviews, contact Mari Peterson at or 828-419-6961 or

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