Chamber Unveils New Name
The Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 49th Annual Meeting on Monday night at The Farm at 95 near Selma. The Chamber’s Annual Meeting was both a look back at 2018 and a preview of what 2019 holds for the region.
Chamber President and CEO, Michael Mancuso, opened the meeting with a review of the Chamber’s growth in 2018, including the addition of 80 new members. Eric Brownlee, Chairman of the 2018-2019 Board, and Chris Key, 2010 Chairman of the Board and emcee for the evening, presented the evening’s awards.
Historically, the Distinguished Citizens Awards have been given annually to citizens who, over the years, have consistently served the Smithfield-Selma area with outstanding ability and dedication. As the Chamber grew during 2018 to include the towns of Kenly, Princeton, and Wilson’s Mills along with Smithfield and Selma, an unprecedented five Distinguished Citizens Awards were given to deserving community leaders. Those honorees were: Jennifer Holloman (Kenly), Carlyle Woodard (Princeton), Tom and Kathleen Hinnant (Selma), Mayor Andy Moore (Smithfield), and Johnny Eason (Wilson’s Mills).
The 2018 Citizen of the Year was awarded to Mr. Warren Grimes. The 2018 Jimmy Creech Small Business Person of the Year was presented to Melissa Overton of MedicalTraining.me.
Additionally, several members of the Chamber were recognized for their contributions to the community during 2018. Katherine “Kitty” Johnson was named the Howard Best Board Member of the Year, Christina Peterson was named Ambassador of the Year, and Life Memberships were presented to Tom Berkau, Jimmy Pernell, and Carlton Pernell. Shanna Capps and Keith Brinson were recognized for completing their Board terms.
Keynote speaker Ryan Combs, Executive Director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, spoke for a short time about the opportunities for economic development and the potential for growth in the region. Mr. Combs works closely with economic development organizations in each of RTRP’s member counties to market the competitive advantages of the Research Triangle Region to potential investors.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the official announcement was made that the Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce will be re-named as the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce to fully reflect the communities now represented by the organization.