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.  

 

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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 of the Year award to Ronda Stubbs
 

 


2014 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR


CHATHAM COUNCIL ON AGING is a business that is known as a good steward of its resources, a strong and trustworthy community partner, and a respected provider of services to some of our county’s most vulnerable citizens.  The Council operates as a private, non-profit, led by a Board of Directors.

 

For 40 years, The Chatham Council on Aging has provided a myriad of services, enabling seniors to remain in their homes.  Meals, socialization and fitness & wellness programs are made available to seniors.  Home-delivered and frozen meals, and in home aide services are provided for homebound seniors, along with opportunities for them to remain active in their homes.  In addition, the Council provides transportation to medical appointments for the elderly and/or disabled. From July 2013 through June 2014, they have assisted and/or paid for over 2,000 rides for over 160 different individuals.

 

The Chatham Council on Aging has a State-certified Senior Center of Excellence in Pittsboro AND in Siler City.  In addition to serving senior adults, the Council serves as an invaluable supporter of families and caregivers of the elderly.  They also provide community training sessions as a means of educating, to help ensure that our senior adults are being taken care of properly.  The positive influence that the Chatham Council on Aging has on our community is immeasurable.

 

We are proud to have Chatham County Council on Aging as one of our small businesses and are please to have them honored as the Small Business of the Year.

 



2014 DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR 


GREG LEWIS
has become known to many in Chatham County due to his strong passion and commitment to the community. He has donated his time and money to assist other businesses in their success and is an active supporter of Chatham County and Chatham 1st Responders.  His employees enjoy working for him and are proud to call him their “boss.”

 

Greg began working in restaurants at the age of fourteen, beginning as a busboy and progressing to restaurant manager by the end of high school. With a love of food in his blood and a desire for more knowledge, he went on to earn his degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He has over 30 years of culinary creativity and management experience. He was an Executive Chef for over 8 years beginning with the highly rated Hotel Hershey. After the hotel, he took a lead role in opening a popular upscale restaurant in the Hershey area, establishing an award-winning menu. From there, he went on to work as the Executive Chef for central Pennsylvania's largest caterer whose clients, at that time included then Governor Tom Ridge and actress Wynona Ryder.

 

For 11 of the past 14 years, Chef Greg Lewis owned and operated the very successful Catering By Design, which was a winner of many local awards. He has recently sold that Cary based company in order to focus solely on his lasted endeavor, the Pittsboro Roadhouse and General Store.  In August of 2012, Greg and his wife, Maria, opened the Roadhouse, with a new look and locally sourced food.  If you have eaten at Pittsboro Roadhouse, I am sure that you can attest to the fact, that Greg is always going around welcoming guests and asking, “Is everything okay,” gathering honest feedback, in an effort to continually improve food quality and customer service.  He is constantly seeking ways to please his patrons, setting an example for many.

 

In addition to running a successful business, Greg serves as co-chair of the Pittsboro Business Association and is actively involved in the Pittsboro Main Street’s efforts for downtown revitalization.  Greg has been a partnered with the town and other local business owners, bringing community events such as the latest series of food truck rodeos.    He recently started a volunteer effort, opening his kitchen on Sundays to provide meals to Chatham County residents in need.

 

We are fortunate to have Greg Lewis as a Chatham County business leader and supporter.  We proudly recognize him as the Distinguished Business Person of the Year.

 



2014 CITIZENSHIP & SERVICE PERSON OF THE YEAR


MARIAN AND DON LEIN
are an amazing pair that has spent a lifetime giving back to the community, from the time their children were small until now. In their early years, they began by volunteering for schools, the church and Boy Scout troops.

 

Through Marian and Donald's joint efforts, in 2000 a Chatham Park Foundation was established, not to be confused with the Chatham Park Development.  This was solely a non-profit in which they raised funds for equipment, promotion of parks and for recreational programs in Chatham County.

 

The pair were instrumental in getting the Boys and Girls club started in Chatham. Most recently, the Leins have formed the 911 First Responders Memorial, raising funds for a memorial to honor the lives lost on September 11 of 2001 and those who dedicate and sacrifice their lives daily to keep us secure and safe.

 

Marian and Don's influence on the community has been phenomenal.  No volunteer position has been too small or two great for them.  They are always willing to serve, asking for nothing at all in return. They both truly care about people and the community in which they live.  This has been evidenced over and over by the work they have done to nurture and support children and others.  We can’t wait to see what their next venture will be.

 

We are thankful for Marian and Donald Lein's efforts in our community and are truly proud to honor them with the Citizenship & Service Award.

 

 


2014 CHAMBER AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR


ERICA SANDERS joined the Ambassador team in October of 2013.  She started out with a bang and is still going strong.  Her bubbly personality paired with her desire to make a difference in people’s lives has made her a great ambassador, leader and individual.  She has an air about her that is simply magnetizing.  She is always eager to help out and does a great job promoting the Chamber to members and non-members as well.

 

Erica Sanders, a native of Chatham County, is married to her high school sweetheart, Mark Sanders.  They have a beautiful 4 year old daughter named Kinley.  Erica enjoys four wheeling, working out and values time spent with family and friends. She is a professional and is admired and respected by her clients.  For those of you who know her, I am sure you have noticed that she is absolutely beautiful, inside and out.

 

Erica is employed as a Loan Originator and Branch Manager for Carolina Home Mortgage of Pittsboro.

 

The Chamber is grateful for Erica’s service as a Chamber Ambassador.  We are pleased to recognize her as the Chamber Ambassador of the year.

 

 


2013 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR


PERFORMANCE AUTOMOTIVE & TIRE
started out as a small mechanic shop and now, 13 years later, is a full-service shop servicing all domestic and foreign autos.  The business is ranked the #1 Michelin Tire dealer in the area.  Ongoing growth of the business, warranted an expansion of the shop. The shop is equipped with the newest, “State of the Art,” front end alignment machine available for all domestic and import vehicles.  Full service shuttle and hometown prices are available to all customers.  Service areas include the Pittsboro, Chapel Hill and Apex communities.

 

Performance Automotive & Tire is staffed by 8 employees and has grown their business from 30 customers to a more than 10,000 customer data base.  The business supports the community in many ways, some of which include sponsoring and supporting ball teams, band boosters and churches.  100% customer satisfaction is the goal of Performance Automotive & Tire.  This goal has been proven through customer feedback and the extra little added touches that come with service repairs and sales.

 

Jason Harris, the owner of Performance Automotive & Tire, is a native of Chatham County, living in the county with his wife, Crystal and his 2 ½ year old daughter, Haley Grace.  Jason enjoys drag racing, hunting, fishing and golfing.

 

On behalf of BB&T Pittsboro and the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, we are honored to recognize Performance Automotice and Tire as the Small Business of the Year. 

 

 


2013 DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR 


BRUCE MURRAY is an outstanding leader, counselor and friend.  He is an amazing employer who goes that extra mile for his staff, insuring that they are all equipped with what they need to perform at their best.  He passionately works toward building better individuals in our community and providing programs offering a safe haven for children.

 

Bruce Murray came to Chatham County from Chapel Hill in 2005 to open a Chatham County Y. He started from the ground up and kept going strong.  He pushes to make certain that each person, child, parent, Y member and staff member comes away from the Y with experiences that enrich their lives.

 

Bruce has served and continues to serve on many task forces, boards and committees.  He actively promotes wellness in the county through his service and stresses the importance of physical activity in all Youth Programs founded during his time with the Chatham Y.

 

Bruce loved Chatham so much that he moved his wife, Tricia and their 3 beautiful children to Pittsboro.  Bruce is a visionary.  His plans for growth and outreach in Chatham are limitless.  There is no end to his accomplishments.

 

On behalf of CenturyLink and the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased and inspired to recognize Bruce Murray as this year's Distinguished Business Person of the Year.  

 



2013 CITIZENSHIP & SERVICE PERSON OF THE YEAR


ZOANN McLAUGHLIN ADAMS is someone who has had a profound influence on the local community and economy and continues to work toward the growth and development of Siler City.  She has worked countless hours promoting events and activities of local businesses and has been involved in numerous committees and subcommittes, while also serving on the NCAI Board of Directors.  This person is a founding member of the Siler City Development Corporation, which came about through the NC Step Program that she has been heavily involved in.

 

During her tenure as president of the Siler City Merchant’s Association since 2009, several new and successful events have been established along with many town beautification projects.  She has also been a beneficial partner with other organizations in organizing events. Zoann McLaughlin Adams is changing the face of and making a tremendous difference in the Siler City community.

 

Zoann was born and raised in Siler City.  She worked at the former Spence’s Building Supply in Administration and Sales for 20 years and 7 years with the subsequent McDonald Brothers Building Supply, retiring in 2011.  She lives in Siler City with her husband, Sam.  Her daughter Marti Canterbury and Steven, live in Hickory, North Carolina with two grandsons, James and Jesse.

 

On behalf of Duke Energy Progress and the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, we proudly recognize Zoann McLaughlin Adams as the Citizenship & Service Person of the Year.
 
 

 

 

2013 CHAMER AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR


NICOLE WARD continues to excel as a Chamber Ambassador, dedicating time & energy to the Chamber and its members.

 

Nicole's refreshing personality, outgoing nature, contagious
smile and work ethics are always noticed in her daily interactions with people throughout Chatham County.

 

Nicole shows up for every Ambassador assignment with a smile on their face and a laugh is not too far behind.  She has always been willing to help out and has been a great advocate for the Chamber, since joining the Ambassador Team in March of 2011.

 

Ms. Ward attended Western Carolina University & Central Carolina Community College.  Her interests include the fine arts of clay and sculpture.  She resides in Silk Hope with her son Blake.

 

Nicole's work ethics and customer service are first-class, which have made her a successful Insurance Sales Agent for North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance.

 

We are proud to recognize Nicole Ward as this year's Chamber Ambassador of the Year.

 

 

 

2012 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 


CAROLINA TIGER RESCUE
has become a significant tourism attraction for Chatham County.  Over three-fourths of their visitors come from out of town. These visitors bring in an estimated $370,000 annually in additional revenue through purchases of gasoline, food, lodging and shopping.   

 

Carolina Tiger Rescue’s mission is to save wild cats in captivity and in the wild. Working toward this mission, they provide rescue and lifelong sanctuary for wild cats, conduct non-invasive research, provide conservation education through public tours and field trips, and advocate for the health and welfare of wild cats.  Their business has grown at a fast past and  they continue to add new specialty programs and training.

 

  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare worked closely with Carolina Tiger Rescue to rescue 4 tigers from the Wild Animal Orphanage in Texas in 2010 
  • The Humane Society of the United States sought their guidance during the State of Mississippi’s confiscation and the subsequent rescue of numerous animals from the Collins Zoo in 2012.
  • The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries contacted Carolina Tiger Rescue first when they needed assistance in closing the facility of a failing sanctuary in Ohio and rescuing 6 animals.
  • Carolina Tiger was named as one of only two wild cat sanctuaries throughout the United States recommended by Tigers in America, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of tigers in captivity.
  • Over the past few years, Carolina Tiger Rescue has worked with nationally recognized organizations responding to rescues around the country. These organizations only work with highly reputable facilities. 

 

 Carolina Tiger Rescue has made a significant impact on our community in many ways. 

 

  • As a community service site for the criminal justice system and local schools and universities.
  • By providing exhibits and community presentations to schools, clubs, and at events
  • By serving as a major resource for volunteering, currently with 150 volunteers
  • Donating excess in-kind donations, meeting space, and consultation to area nonprofits
  • By working with local farmers and large animal veterinarians to serve as a disposal resource for non-domestic animals 

 

 Congratulations, Carolina Tiger Rescue for a job well down. 

 

 


2012 DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR 


MARY SCHOBER
 
was born in New Jersey and moved to PA at age 5.   She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and went on to work in accounting with Peugeot Bicycles where she was soon hand-picked by the president to oversee the east and west coast operations.  After moving to NC she worked as an accounting consultant specializing in Great Plains/Dynamics accounting software and worked on set ups for prestigious clients including Duke University.  She now resides in Pittsboro with her husband, Steve and two sons, Justin and Keaton.

 

Mary Schoeber’s diverse skill set enables her to lead in many areas including technology, human resources, sales, logistics, event coordination and training.   Mary acts as the CFO for two companies simultaneously. She is a CPA with excellent financial analytical skills which are essential to her position.  The many skills that she possesses have been critical to the business growth and success of Conset America and Wood Technology, her present employers.  Both of these companies are engaged in international trade which makes her responsibilities challenging as well as complex.  She has traveled extensively on behalf of the companies including trips to China and Germany this year alone.  She handles everything that she does with determination and grace while raising a young family, coaching soccer, performing and writing music and managing to play some great golf. 

 

The Distinguished Business of the Year award was proudly presented to Mary Schoeber. 

 

 


2012 COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD


LINDA HARRIS has been a resident of Chatham County for 65 years.  She grew up in Chatham County, was given a strong work ethic by her father and mother and was taught to respect everyone.  Like her mother, she has seldom met a stranger.  She is a dependable, hardworking, self-motivated individual in both team and individual work settings with an extensive knowledge of agribusiness and industry and government personnel.  Her personal goal continues to be to seek ways that she can help others. 

 

Linda began work in her father's grocery store when she was in the seventh grade.  This was wonderful educational opportunity for her to meet and interact with people of all walks of life.  She forged many lifelong friendships from that experience.  

 

Linda was educated in business and began a career as a bookkeeper in a local poultry company where she worked over 40 years.  She has served her community and the industry faithfully and with diligence. Linda managed to include additional responsibilities while maintaining the tasks at her regular occupation. 

 

She has served as President for:

 

  • NC Agribusiness Council (a two year term and only one of two women ever to serve as such)
  • Chatham County Agribusiness
  • NC Poultry Federation
  • NC Poultry Processors (the only woman to serve as President for NC Poultry Processors and NC Poultry Federation) 

 

Linda once received the Distinguished Service Award of the Poultry Federation.  She is a member of the:

  • Advisory Board of the NC State University Agriculture Foundation
  • NC Grange
  • Commissioner's Circle for the NC Commissioner of Agriculture

 

Ms. Harris serves on the:

  • Chatham County Economic Development Board
  • NC Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council
  • First Bank - Pittsboro Board of Directors
  • Serves as an Elder in the Pittsboro Presbyterian Church. 

 

 Linda Harris has never turned away from an opportunity to serve her community, Chatham County or the State Of North Carolina.  You will often hear Linda say, is there is anything that I can help you with?  These words are not just mere words; they come from the heart of a true Community supporter.  The Community Service award is presented proudly to Linda Harris.

 

 

 

2012 AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR

 

LISA EDMISTEN has served the Chamber well during her time as a Chamber Ambassador. She has been dedicated, served unconditionally and has added value to the Chatham Chamber of Commerce and the community through her service.   

 

Lisa relates well to everyone she comes in contact with and makes them feel right at home.  Her willingness to help out is always evident and without hesitation.  She has been a great asset and proponent of the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Lisa Edmisten, the proud mother of two and happily married wife of Jeff Edmisten, resides in Siler City, NC.  She is employed as a Community Educator for Community Home Care and Hospice in Siler City where she is dedicated with a passion for the work she does and the cause she serves.    Prior to working for Community Home Care and Hospice, Lisa helped managed her husband's business, Creative Computers in Siler City.

 

We thank Lisa for serving the Chamber well and proudly honor her as the Ambassador of the Year 2012! 

 

 

 

2011 BUSINESS OF THE YEAR


CHATHAM HOMES REALTY is a genuine people pleaser business..  Their business started out with one office in a garage bonus room and has grown to three offices over the past couple of years with offices in Siler City, Pittsboro and Apex. They know and love Chatham County and are dedicated to customer service before and after the sale.  They have increased their number of brokers each year and strive to always provide excellent service.  Their involvement in the county goes beyond their business. The proud owners, Kris and Dwayne Howard, are involved in the Ruritan and Rotary Clubs, the Chamber of Commerce, sponsor CORA food pantry drives, support local sports organizations and schools and assist in other community needs.

 

Kris has won many awards for Quality Customer Service and instills it in all her agents.  We are delighted to present the 2011 Business of the Year award to Chatham Homes Realty.

 

 

 

2011 DISTINGUISHED BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

 
ROY FESEL has worked and lived in California, New England, Florida, and in 1996 decided to make NC his home. For years, he worked in North Carolina and traveled to every corner of the state so he was happy when the opportunity presented itself to open a business in Pittsboro, NC. 

 

Roy Fesel goes out of his way to help his clients with their auto servicing needs.  He prides himself on exceptional service at all times.  His professional service does not stop in his business.  When he is out and about, he makes a point to stop and assist motorists on the side of the road, free of charge.  He has been known to come running when contacted by a panicked wife who was stuck in a ditch with her husband’s treasured vehicle once again assisting and asking for nothing in return but a chance to help out.  He shows his appreciation to his customers in various ways for example, paying for the soldier’s oil change when he learns that the soldier has to ship out upon returning to base.

 

Mr. Fesel opened his business, Quick Change Oil & Lube, in 2009.  Roy has demonstrated his stability as a business leader not only in his business but in his community.  He has raised funds for non-profits with car washes, donated to Cerebral Palsy, Special Olympics and CORA Food Pantry and has opened and worked after hours doing discounted oil changes for a church fund raiser. He has been a sponsor for Relay for Life, for a local boys NC Warriors Basketball team and a donator to foster parents. 

 

We are proud to present the Distinguished Business Person of the Year award to Roy Fesel.

 

 

 

2011 COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

 

VICKIE BADROW was born in New Jersey.  She attended Sweet Briar College and the NY School of Social Work and later earned her teaching certification from University of Michigan and Oakland University.  Throughout her professional life, she has worked as a social worker, kindergarten teacher, school library manager and was a teacher and librarian at St. Pius School in Michigan for 22 years.  Vickie has 3 children, 3 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren, and she lives with her adorable basset hound, Suzie Q.   Vickie enjoys volunteering, spending time with her family, reading, flowers, travel, gardening, and computers.

 

In 1991, Vickie moved from Michigan to Carolina Meadows, where she has made a name for herself as a volunteer and caring friend.  She has a history of volunteer service including 8 years at N. Chatham Elementary, has volunteered at UNC Hospitals, was instrumental in developing the Carolina Meadows library and was in charge of the Carolina Meadows book fair for many years.  Vickie currently volunteers at Pittsboro Elementary, her church, in the library at Carolina Meadows, recently contributed countless hours helping organize the Carolina Meadows resident Outreach Fair and is a long time champion of Chatham Habitat for Humanity.  She is a constant source of and a vocal advocate for all of Habitat’s needs.  She is always a bright light to staff and existing volunteers. Her smile and sense of humor combined with her many years of dedication are a wonderful example of the joys of her service to the community.  A staff member of a local business spoke of Vickie in this way, “To me, Vickie is a role model, friend and cheerleader, a constant reminder of why I work here and who I want to be when I grow up!”

 

Vickie Badrow is truly an unsung hero disguised as a retiree and most definitely deserves the 2011 Community Service Award.

 

 


2011 AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR


DEBBIE HOYT grew up in Lee County, NC, lived in Wake County for 26 years and moved to Chatham County in 2006. She has strong sales and marketing background, working with Hudson Belk for 10 years and Calvin Klein Cosmetics for 10 years. She has great interpersonal skills and never ever meets a stranger. Her outgoing personality, eye for detail and genuine concern for others makes her an exceptional Real Estate Broker and Chamber Ambassador.

 

Debbie Hoyt, Ambassador of the Year, was a 2010 graduate of the Chamber "Leadership Chatham Program". She has served as Chair of the Ambassador Program since March of this year.  Debbie has put in numerous hours as an Ambassador.  There is rarely a Chamber function that she does not attend.  During her time as an Ambassador, no job has been too small or too big.  She has been a true pleasure to work with and a great asset to the Chamber and its Ambassador Program.

 

We proudly present the 2011 Ambassador of the Year award to Debbie Hoyt.

 

 

 

 

 

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 2015
 


 
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)

 

 

 

Chatham County Council on Aging
Small Business of the Year 2014


 Pictured from left to right
Dennis Streets
Presented by Tiffany Steinbrunner, BB&T

(Photo by Mike Gates)

 

 

 

 

 


Greg Lewis
Distinguished Business Person Year 2014

 

 Pictured from left to right
Greg Lewis

Presented by Dacia LaBounty, CenturyLink

(Photo by Mike Gates)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald & Marian Lein
Citizenship & Service Award 2014

 

Pictured from left to right

Marion & Donald Lein
Presented by Indira Evertt, Duke Energy 

(Photo by Mike Gates)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Erica Sanders
Chamber Ambassador of the Year 2014

 

Pictured from left to right

Nicole Ward, Farm Bureau Insurance
Presented by Erica Sanders, Ambassador Chair

(photo by Mike Gates)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2013 Annual Award Winners

From left to right:  Jason Harris, Zoann Adams, Bruce Murray, Nicole Ward 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Chatham Homes Realty
Kris & Dwayne Howard
Small Business of the Year 2011


 

Roy Fesel
Distinguished Business Person Year 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Vickie Badrow
Community Service Award 2011


Marty Clayton, Award Presenter, Progress Energy

 

 

  

Debbie Hoyt, Broker/REALTOR, GRI
Chamber Ambassador Year 2011