Annual Award Winners

2017 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

 

STARRLIGHT MEAD has been a great community partner and has shown steady growth.  They now have 42 stores carrying their products.  Their wholesale sales have doubled since last year. They continually add to their product line and have increased their employee size from 2 to 8.  Their engagement and support of the community has grown as well.  

 

Starrlight Mead participates in events and projects whenever possible, not always eyeing the benefit to the business but to guests and the community. Even though they have had a reasonably small staff and have only been in business 7 years, their reach is amazing, particularly when making decision about how to spend one’s discretionary income. They consistently face challenges with the economic climate and all the other factors that any small business owner knows, with positivity. 

 

Becky and Ben Starr, owners of Starrlight Mead, are the embodiment of small business owners and are passionate about their product. Starrlight Mead is a charter member of the HeartOfNCTrails.com.  They have, from Day One, had a plan, done their research, honed their craft and thought innovatively. They’re not afraid of hard work. Starrlight Mead gives back to the community, its guests, and Chatham County by investing and reinvesting, but also by looking beyond their business and with an attitude of collaboration.


2017 DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

 

BECKY LOFLIN works closely with many different businesses in Chatham County and has always maintained a positive reputation.  When issues arise, she moves toward collaboration and resolution rather than conflict.  She is innovative and motivated, coming up with new ideas, thinking of creative ways to raise money through events, building partnerships and making things happen.

 

Ms. Loflin has had a positive and diverse social impact on the community.  She is involved in many civic and social groups and is passionate about helping those less fortunate, using  her social and business connections to ensure that people are housed, fed, clothed, and successful.  Anyone who is trying to win favor or start a new initiative in Chatham County looks to her for support.  Her endorsement is powerful. 

 

Becky has made a significant contribution to the business community, giving more than 40 years to the Chatham Business Community. Though her work at Van Thomas and currently with Chatham Habitat for Humanity, she has made great connections and always looks for ways for people to work together to do more as a team.  It’s hard to quantify Becky Loflin’s enormous contributions to the business community.  She is not concerned with taking credit, but often, when you talk to people who have done great work in their businesses, made good connections, and had an impact, Becky has advised them at some point. 

 

Becky has demonstrated stability as a business leader, exhibiting strong leadership skills.  She is a quiet but effective leader. She once approached a business about making a significant donation to support the construction of one of Chatham Habitat for Humanity’s homes. When she spoke with the business man, he said that he would do it for Becky, but that he wouldn’t have done it for anyone else. Instead of letting the moment pass, Becky said, “Well, if that’s the case, then I need to bring you to meet this family. I don’t want you to do this for me.   I want you to see how important it is.” That business became one of Habitat’s biggest donors. The businessman now gives personally, and is a huge advocate for Habitat for Humanity. 

 

Becky Loflin echoes all the qualities of a Distinguished Business Person of the Year.  She always goes the extra mile. She has boundless, enthusiastic energy and passion in her work. She is an amazing advocate for volunteers, contributors, and supporters. Like a pastor, she keeps up with her “people,” and like a fox, she knows how to nurture them. 


2017 CITIZENSHIP & SERVICE AWARD OF THE YEAR

 

DAISY WOMBLE has a long history of service to Chatham County.   In her retirement she has chose to dedicate her time to groups, like the Chatham Health Alliance, Family Violence and Rape Crisis, Chatham County Partnership for Children, and others.  She is passionate about helping  fellow Chatham residents and improving the community we live in.  

 

Ms. Womble saw the need for a more coordinated approach to solving Chatham's health issues, and dedicated additional time and effort to establish a strong foundation for the Alliance. It takes a unique individual to fill a role such as this, requiring additional time, flexibility and innovativeness. She also led the launch of a new era of fundraising for the Partnership for Children by serving as the Development Chair for two years, developing the first ever Fundraising Benefit Auction for Chatham County Young Children, "Blue Jeans and Bling".

 

Daisy is always available when you need her and has served on numerous boards, always being a thoughtful Board member and influencing policies and programs with her passion and caring. Her vast knowledge, experience and skills have made a positive difference for Chatham residents.  Others may give up on an idea or plan, while she sees it through and makes it happen.

 

Daisy Womble was born in Siler City and has lived in Chatham County all of her life, except for when she attended college in Greensboro. She went to school at Chatham Central HS, UNCG and UNC Chapel Hill.  She worked with Chatham DSS for 26 years and then worked for Chatham County Schools for 8 years.

 

Daisy Womble embodies all of the values the Citizenship and Service Award represents - integrity, stewardship, inclusion, teamwork, and accountability.  Daisy is a lady that serves as an inspiration for many.


2017 CHAMBER AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR

 

ERICA SANDERS has been an ambassador for quite some time now. She has been a strong asset to the Chamber since the first day she joined the Ambassador Team.  She has an astounding impact on everyone she meets and is genuine through and through.  

 

As a Chamber Ambassador, Erica has been loyal, dedicated, reliable, respected and a proud representative of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce.  Her leadership skills are continually demonstrated through her teamwork, her professionalism, ethics and motivation.  She is the epitome of what a Chamber Ambassador should be and thank goodness, she is one of ours!

 

Erica Sanders is employed and highly respected as the a Loan Originator and Branch Manager for Carolina Home Mortgage in Pittsboro and has been a Chamber Ambassador since 2013, having served as the Ambassador Chair since October of 2014.   Erica was instrumental in starting the first Young Professional Group for the Chatham Chamber.

 

Erica is married to Mark Sanders, her high school sweetheart.  Mark is the co-owner of Sanders Automotive on 15-501 in Pittsboro.  Erica and Mark have 2 beautiful daughters, Kinley and Sylvie.  Erica enjoys four wheeling, working out and time with family and friends. 

 

The Chamber is extremely proud to have Erica Sander’s as part of its Ambassador team.  The staff cannot imagine Chamber life without her.  


2016 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

 

GLASS & WINDOW WAREHOUSE transformed a family owned, small home improvement company and added a full service Glass Shop, providing local, regional and state services.  They opened their glass business the same day the federal government announced that the US was in the worst recession it had been in for years.  Judy and Mike Harrelson were not discouraged by this news; however they did think it would take longer than hoped to build a successful business.  Within one year, the business was doing very well and the service area was growing. Glass and Window Warehouse services businesses, the residential community and automotive and heavy industry... They currently have about 4000 satisfied repeat clients.

 

Mike Harrelson is a licensed General Contractor and lends his experience to the glass business to provide a quality of service not seen in many glass companies. Mike grew up in his family’s hardware store and has been in the building and service industry his entire life.  Due to needs of the community, Glass and Window Warehouse took on a UPS shipping portal in 2010. They offer fax and color copy services as well.

 

Glass and Window Warehouse, owned by Mike and Judy Harrelson have grown consistently over the past 8 years and continue to grow.  They are ethical in their business practices and make customer service a priority.

 

As one customer said, “If all businesses were as efficient and nice as you are, what a pleasure it would be to get things done.”

 

Mike and Judy are not just good business leaders; they are community leaders as well.  They support local business and make a point daily to help others succeed.  Mike and Judy constantly initiate connections between businesses, leaders and residents.  They as well as their business are a great asset to Chatham County.

 

Mike is a member of the Silk Hope Ruritans, Mount Vernon Masonic lodge, Columbus Masonic lodge, Greensboro Scottish Rite and Siler City’s Order of the Eastern Star. Judy is a member of Siler City’s Order of the Eastern Star and has also a Melaleuca Business.


2016 DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

 

PERRY HUNT, Distinguished Business Person of the Year graduated from NC State University with a degree in Forestry. After a few years working as a procurement buyer for Coastal Lumber Company and then Jerry Williams and Sons Lumber, he started his own timber dealership company, known as Hunt Forest Resources, LLC in 2003. While initially operating as a one-man business, he quickly became recognized as one of the leading timber dealerships in the state, and nearly all of his managed or acquired timberlands were within Chatham County NC…part of what is commonly known as the “wood basket of NC”. With an entrepreneurial spirit and the tireless drive to always expand, while also increasing efficiencies and effectiveness, he began other forestry related companies that would fall under the “umbrella” of Hunt Forest Resources.

 

As one of the major suppliers of raw material in NC, he has maintained an exceptional reputation with private landowners, forestry consultants and timber industry professionals for over a decade. Due to these partnerships Perry Hunt has expanded his business footprint to include several additional businesses such as:

 

Hunt Forest Products, LLC which is a woodyard operation that allows residential tree services, clearing and grading companies and private landowners the ability to sell their wood products to our facilities rather than discard of it in a landfill or burn it on development sites.

 

Tarheel Logging, LLC consists of multiple harvesting crews which allows for the direct management and oversight of professional harvesting operations for managed timberlands and development sites. 

 

Hunt Trucking, LLC consist of numerous trucks and various trailer units that haul the forest products from harvesting sites and the woodyard facilities directly to end-user markets. 

 

East Coast Firewood, LLC, as an independent entity, is a relatively new endeavor and has quickly established itself as a viable force within the industry.

 

Perry has currently invested over $100,000 at the Moncure-Pittsboro woodyard location to expand operations and utilize the hardwood material for an end product (firewood) in order to sale to residential, commercial and wholesale distribution entities. It is very likely that an additional $500,000 investment will be undertaken in the next six months, along with a substantial increase in hiring personnel, in order to meet market demands.

 

While the timber dealership company, Hunt Forest Resources, LLC currently has regional offices located in Moncure-Pittsboro, Youngsville and New Bern NC all of the other companies operate solely from the 840 Moncure Pittsboro Rd location in Chatham County. The economic impact to the county is quite significant due to the fact that Hunt Forest Products owns and operates nearly 1 million dollars of equipment/heavy machinery and utilizes the 30 acre site for the receiving and shipping of thousands of tons of raw material each month to various final product markets. Tarheel Logging, LLC currently operates nearly 4 million dollars of harvesting equipment, all of which contributes to the county tax basis and income tax revenue. Perry and his wife own nearly 200 acres of land within six parcels in Chatham County and the businesses currently operating from the Moncure Pittsboro location employ twenty-five people, all of which are eating, fueling and receiving payroll within Chatham County. Through strong professional relationships the business entities based out of the Moncure-Pittsboro location have continued for the past 4+ years to support other Chatham County businesses.

 

Perry Hunt has become deeply rooted within Chatham County region and continues to
have a passion to establish the most reputable and professional organizations, where citizens know they are dealing with fair, honest and knowledgeable personnel and employees are proud to wear the logos associated with the various companies they represent. With projected growth and market potentials East Coast Firewood, LLC will be looking expand and create more jobs within the next five year.

 

Perry Hunt currently serves on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Forestry Association (NCFA), is on the executive board and a founding member of the Carolina Loggers Association (CLA) and the businesses owned by Perry are members of the National Firewood Association (NFA), North Carolina Urban Forestry Council, the Got To Be NC-Goodness Grows in NC Coalition, as well as being USDA certified for firewood products (East Coast Firewood, LLC). Through the NCFA and the CLA Perry helps coordinate several charity golf tournaments each year as well as fund raising events for the “Log a Load for kids” campaign, which utilizes donations to improve children’s health through treatment, education and research at Children’s Miracle Network associated institutions.

 

Every year Perry Hunt has been in business he continues to utilize the most innovative, strategic and efficient methods while incorporating constant industry education and relationship building to create the most sustainable and effective business model, ultimately creating jobs and long-term job security for those that become part of this special team. The motto for the businesses has always been “exceptional is the expectation” and every day the companies strive to create new and/or improved revenue opportunities while also creating an atmosphere of being a fun and safe place that everyone is proud to say they work.


2016 CITIZENSHIP & SERVICE AWARD OF THE YEAR

 

VICKI NEWELL, Citizenship & Service Award recipient, has volunteered tirelessly for team sports, served as PTA President for Pittsboro Elementary for 4 years and worked with the Smart Start Initiative. .She has also volunteered for Family Violence & Rape Crisis.  During her time as PTA President, she initiated multiple programs to include all races/ethnicities.  Biscuits with Santa grew to b a free event for all students.  The Pittsboro Elementary Carnival became a community event rather than just a school centric one.  The PTA Thrift Shop volunteer hours grew to more than ever before, equating to thousands of additional dollars for Pittsboro Elementary. 

 

The person I’m speaking of formed the first Chatham Literacy Book Club. She started “Pirates for Literacy.”   “Pirates need literacy…they need to learn more than just their “RRRR”S.”  This goofy idea about pirates has made the Chatham County Literacy Council more memorable, raised awareness and brought needed attention to the literacy problem here in Chatham.  She has brought local businesses together to support Chatham Literacy, and has made an effort to bring both Pittsboro and the Siler City together on this issue. 

 

It’s hard to fathom illiteracy, and what circumstances a person endures having this obstacle in their life.  Literacy is the first step to economic independence, whether it means finding employment, applying for citizenship, participating in democracy, or opening the door to further education.  Vicki Newell, Executive Director of the Chatham County Literacy Council, is a bright personality who dedicates herself to literacy with extreme passion.  Her can-do attitude inspires Chatham Literacy volunteers and students. She welcomes diversity and respects each and everyone’s desire and need for literacy. Literacy is a basic skill we take for granted, and we’re lucky to have someone like Vicki Newell to lead the charge.  Up until recently Vicki was a “part-time” employee of the Literacy Council. She worked many hours, above and beyond “part-time,” on her own time.  At times, Vicki has even paid for expenses out of her own pocket when expenses surpassed the operating budget of the Literacy Council.  She wasn’t asked to do this, nor was she expected to do this.  She did it to ensure that needs were met because of her love and desire for ALL to be literate.

 

Vicki Newell lives in Chatham County with her husband, Wes, and their three boys.  If you don’t know Vicki, it would be a blessing for you to get to know her.  She is one-of-a-kind.


2016 CHAMBER AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR  


RONDA STUBBS, 
has been a Chamber Ambassador since 2014.  From day one, she has bent over backwards to help in any way possible.  She has made her ambassador duties a priority and carries the title of ambassador proudly. She represents the chamber well.

 

Ronda’s personality is genuine and of a caring and compassion nature.  She communicates and relates well to everyone.  She appears to have never met a stranger.  Ronda is personable, professional, ethical, trustworthy and has many other pleasing character traits that live within her.

 

Rhonda Stubbs is employed as an administrative assistant at Cambridge Hills Assisted Living, a Silver-Thread Senior Living Community.  Her past work includes many years of experience in the hospitality business.  She has one son, ethan.  If Ronda is not in Bynum, NC she is most likely at Harkers Island or traveling elsewhere.  Ronda treasures her time with family and friends.  She enjoys reading, scrapbooking, cross-stitching and investigating her family history.

 

The chamber considers Ronda Stubbs as one it’s valued assets and is honored to name her as chamber ambassador of the year.


2015 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR


WOOD TECHNOLOGY, the 2015 Business of the Year, is a supplier of cabinet and furniture hardware, providing innovative products and ideas to manufacturers, distributors and woodworking shops. The company started in the New Jersey basement of Ed and Renee Fink in 1978 and relocated to Martinsville VA in 1984 and then to Pittsboro in 1989 to be closer to the major furniture manufacturers in North Carolina.   The business continues to grow and maintains a 16,000 sq. ft. office and warehouse facility tucked in the woods off of Elf Way. Ed Fink passed away in 2003.  The company is now owned and managed by his son, Mark Fink.

 

Over the years, Wood Technology has won many industry product awards including the prestigious Challengers Award in 2004 for the introduction of a soft-close pneumatic hinge. Wood Technology continues to be the exclusive American supplier of Danco, an Italian concealed hinge line and introduced the Whisper Ride series of TV Lifts to the North, Central and South American markets.

 

These multipurpose lifts offer unique solutions to furniture, education, AV and kitchen cabinet designs. The company has a strong history of metal tooling projects with major furniture manufacturers and small businesses that continues to this day.

 

Wood Technology employs 12 valuable and talented people and shares office and warehouse space with its tenant, ConSet America, a related company. Despite rising health care costs, the company still maintains a policy to provide 100% employer paid medical and dental insurance for each employee. Wood Technology continues to provide high school and college students’ part-time or summer employment as needed. As well, the company provides Chatham Trades, a local vocational rehab facility with packaging jobs whenever possible. Several employees have served or are currently serving on Chatham Trades’ Board of Directors.

 

We are pleased to present the Business of the Year Award to Wood Technology, Inc. and our thankful that they placed their business in Chatham County.


2015 DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR  


DIANNE REID,
 Chatham County’s Economic Developer for more than eight years, has been an exemplary leader and has transformed the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation into a public-private partnership.  She has a unique and professional demeanor that allows her to effectively balance the interests of many groups.  Her dedication to collaboration ensures that all sides of an issue are heard.  She has led 2 successful campaigns to diversify EDC’s funding.  She was recognized in 2014 by the Triangle Business Journal in its annual Women in Business Awards program.  She serves on several boards and actively supports local charities and various social causes.

 

Dianne Reid has not only been a role model and mentor to the community but to her staff as well.  Reid received her designation as a Certified Economic Developer in 2001.  She has worked tirelessly to accomplish goals for Chatham County, sometimes in the face of strong opposition, but always with integrity and clear sightedness.  Dianne has implemented many innovative programs for the Chatham EDC and has developed a deep bench of talent on her team which has accelerated her ability to drive positive business outcomes for Chatham County. Her passion and enthusiasm for Chatham County are unmatched. The EDC is in the best position it has ever been, and Chatham County is poised for tremendous economic growth in the years ahead due to the leadership of Dianne Reid.

 

The Distinguished Business Person of the Year is proudly present to Dianne Reid, President of the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation.


2015 CITIZENSHIP & SERVICE PERSON OF THE YEAR


LYNN OGDEN, our Community Citizenship & Service Award Recipient has been a loyal supporter of the United Way of Chatham County for over a decade. From 2012 until 2014, he served as a United Way Campaign Co-Chair at Carolina Meadows.  Along with his two co-chairs, he enthusiastically led record-breaking campaigns, raising more than ever before in Carolina Meadows Campaign history (over $50,000 for each year)!   He has been instrumental in the advancement of United Way’s mission and is an inspiration to all who know him.

 

Lynn is passionate about serving others and became a strong supporter and advocate of Family Violence Rape Crisis and their crucial work in our community. He went through their intensive training to become an on-call volunteer for their hotline and actively recruited other residents to also help staff the hotline overnight.  He covers one or two night shifts a month for FVRC hotline. 

 

Ogden played a crucial role in helping to develop and support an innovative partnership between the Chatham County Literacy Council and Carolina Meadows.  Through this partnership, residents volunteer as tutors of English as a Second Language and Citizenship Preparedness for non-native English-speaking employees at Carolina Meadows and others in the community. He serves as the liaison between Chatham Literacy and Carolina Meadows, helping to coordinate the program and recruiting and supporting the many resident tutors.  He has successfully served as a tutor and mentor in the program for over five years. 

 

Lynn Ogden has lived in Chatham County for 10 years since his move to Carolina Meadows.  He quickly took on a leadership role in the resident Community Outreach and Volunteer Committee at Carolina Meadows which promotes volunteer and fundraising opportunities in Chatham County. 

 

Lynn was born to serve! He cares deeply about people and is committed to making a difference in Chatham County. His relentless enthusiasm for working in the community is contagious and he has inspired countless others to also become more involved citizens in Chatham County.   We are honored to present the Citizenship & Service Award to Lynn Ogden.  


2015 CHAMBER AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR


RONDA STUBBS has served as a Chatham Chamber of Commerce Ambassador since April 2014.  We could go on and on about Ronda's character and the service she provides as a Chamber Ambassador.  Most people know Ronda by her sweet and caring disposition and her willingness to always lend a hand.  She is an inspiration to many people.   Her professionalism, compassion, and willingness to serve are just a few of the qualities that make Ronda a great ambassador.

 
A little about Ronda...
Ronda is the proud mother of one son, Ethan.  She enjoys travel, the beach, yard work, family history, scrapbooking, cross-stitching, and most of all, time spent with family and friends.  She is also an avid reader.

 
Ronda works as an Administrative Assistant for Cambridge Hills Assisted Living in Pittsboro.  Her past includes years of experience in the hospitality business.
 

The Chatham Chamber of Commerce is appreciative of Ronda’s service as an ambassador and feels fortunate to have her as part of the team.  Ronda is such an asset It is with great pleasure that we present the Ambassador or the Year Award to Ronda Stubbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 ANNUAL AWARD WINNERS

 

Pictured from left to right

 

Becky Starr, Starrlight Mead
Small Business of the Year

Presented by Glenn Brooks, BB&T

 

Erica Sanders, Carolina Home Mortgage
Chamber Ambassador of the Year
Presented by Cindy Poindexter, Chatham Chamber

 

Becky Loflin, Chatham Habitat for Humanity

Distinguished Business Person of the Year
Presented by Dacia LaBounty, CenturyLink

 

Daisy Womble, Volunteer, Retiree

Citizenship & Service Award of the Year
Presented by Indira Everett, Duke Energy

 

(Photo by Nicole Danielle Photography)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glass & Window Warehouse
Small Business of the Year 2016

Pictured from behind to front

Mike Harrelson & Judy Harrelson 
Presented by Tiffany Steinnbrunner, BB&T 

(photo by Kidd Photography)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perry Hunt
Distinguished Business Person 2016

Hunt Forest Products, LLC

Tarheel Logging, LLC,  Hunt Trucking, LLC
East Coast Firewood, LLC

Presented by Dacia LaBounty, CenturyLink

(photo by Kidd Photography)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vicki Newell
Community & Service Award 2016
 

 Pictured from left to right
Vickie Newell
Presented by Indira Everett, Duke Energy
(photo by Kidd Photography)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronda Stubbs
Chamber Ambassador Year 2016

Presented by Cindy Poindexter/Erica Sanders

(photo by Kidd Photography)

 

 

 

Wood Technology
Small Business of the Year 2015

 Pictured from left to right 

Mark Fink
Presented by Tiffany Steinbrunner, BB&T
(photo by Mike Gates)

 

 

 

Dianne Reid

Distinguished Business Person Year 2015

 Pictured from left to right 

Presented by Dacia LaBounty, CenturyLink

Dianne Reid

(photo by Mike Gates)

 

 

 

Lynn Ogden
Community & Service Award Year 2015

 Pictured from left to right 

Lynn Ogden
Presented by Indira Everett, Duke Energy
(photo by Mike Gates)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronda Stubbs

Chamber Ambassador Year 2015

 Pictured from left to right 

Erica Sanders, Chamber Ambassador Chair, Carolina Home Mortgage
Presented by Cindy Poindexter, Chatham Chamber

(photo by Mike Gates)