Because it has many occasions this yr, the COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with one more native custom — the annual Excellence in Enterprise Awards sponsored by the Better Mount Ethereal Chamber of Commerce.
However the pandemic didn’t cease the awards, merely delayed the occasion and altered how the companies and people have been acknowledged.
“We started engaged on these seven months in the past,” Randy Collins, chamber president and CEO, advised these gathered nearly for the awards on Friday. “These awards are crucial to us. … We actually suppose these are the very best of the very best.”
The ceremony, initially deliberate for March, simply when the prohibition on public gatherings started sweeping throughout the state, was held nearly by way of the net teleconferencing program Zoom. Practically 100 areas signed on for the occasion, although a lot of these log-ins represented a number of individuals.
“We had lots of nominations for awards this yr,” stated James Etringer, chamber board chairman. “The chamber, like lots of organizations, has needed to adapt this yr; it has not been simple. We couldn’t have carried out it with out the help of the chamber sponsors.”
Altering the Excellence in Enterprise Awards from the everyday lunch-time ceremony to a web-based occasion is among the ways in which the chamber has tailored, handing out 9 awards throughout the occasion.
Surry Medical Ministries was acknowledged for its long-standing work locally with the Duke Vitality Citizenship and Service Award.
In feedback to the Zoom viewers, Duke Vitality’s Jimmy Flythe stated the ministry was based practically 30 years in the past to assist space residents have entry to one thing fundamental and wanted by all: healthcare. In 1992, he stated there have been 16,000 county residents who had no medical health insurance, a significant impetus to the ministry’s founding a yr later. In 1995 a pharmacy was added, and he stated in 2005 the clinic doubled in dimension.
“Going to the physician is one thing many people take with no consideration. We all know there are such a lot of that can’t afford the companies of a health care provider,” Flythe stated. “This group helps to fill that hole. … Nancy and Physician Dixon work infinite hours working the Surry Medical Ministries to service the medical wants of oldsters in want.”
One other one of many awards acknowledged the long-time neighborhood service of Alan Freeman, who retired as captain from the Mount Ethereal Police Division in Might.
“He’s a real public servant, skilled, form, and represents his division with nice integrity,” stated Jeffrey Trenter of Carport Central in making the digital presentation. “The town of Mount Ethereal is a greater place due to individuals like Capt. Alan Freeman.
“A really well-deserved honor,” was what metropolis Police Chief Dale Watson needed to say in regards to the recognition of his long-time colleague. “His complete profession has been dedicated to this neighborhood, serving this neighborhood, leaving this division much better than he discovered it. I’m simply grateful for his service.”
Different native residents and companies acknowledged throughout the occasion embrace:
• Becky Parries of the Mount Ethereal Metropolis Faculties, who was named Administrative Skilled of the Yr.
“She serves as administrative assistant to 5 departments, every with its personal laws and headlines, with requires nice duty and discretion,” stated Connie Hamlin, of Ridgecrest, in saying Parries’ award.
“With a smile on her face, she solutions the principle line, greets and directs visitors, processes skilled growth requests, buy orders, and invoices for her departments. … She is regularly discovered returning to work, answering emails, and making telephone calls on the times she is ‘off’ work.
“We will’t do the numerous complicated duties of our jobs with out her unfailing help,” Hamlin stated, quoting the individual or individuals who nominated Parries.
“Thanks, I’m honored,” Parries stated of the award. “I work for a terrific bunch of people that make me look nice.”
• Miss Angel’s U Choose Farm and Orchard, with Angela and Randy Shur, named because the Agribusiness of the Yr.
“In a area that appears to be surrounded by farms, one enterprise proprietor observed one thing was lacking,” stated Matthew Wooten of Wayne Farms. “This enterprise proprietor is thought locally for her baked items and pies. Some years in the past, she found that there have been only a few locations in our area the place individuals may decide their very own fruit or greens. … Open from June to October, this enterprise is Surry County’s first pick-your-own peach and pumpkin farm.”
As essential because the farm is to the native enterprise neighborhood, Wooten stated the Shurs are identified much more for his or her charitable work.
“The house owners help many charitable causes in our neighborhood. Most not too long ago they held a dinner on the farm to honor well being care staff throughout the 2020 pandemic.”
• Sydney Whitaker, chamber Ambassador of the Yr award.
“The chamber of commerce, like some other neighborhood group, depends on the assistance of volunteers,” stated Mount Ethereal Information writer Sandy Hurley in presenting the award. “One essential group of volunteers is our ambassadors. This group serves as our customer support division. They attain out to chamber members, reply questions, invite them to occasions and supply the chamber assist wherever it’s want.
“This yr’s award winner is a good alternative. This individual has served a few years as an envoy. She is devoted, hard-working, and believes in what the chamber stands for.”
• Johnson Granite was honored with the Enterprise and Schooling Award.
“The corporate and the house owners are advocates for working with the varsity programs and neighborhood faculty,” stated Wendy Wooden, of Surry-Yadkin Electrical Membership Cooperation. “They take part in class profession gala’s, Development Day, sponsor occasions and hosts interns for Surry County Faculties and Mount Ethereal Metropolis Faculties. The corporate and their management are true training companions.”
The agency, which not too long ago celebrated its 20th anniversary, is a family-owned group that has grown from a three-employee operation to “a number one provider of finely crafted countertop surfaces,” Wooden stated.
Brian Johnson stated his firm views its relationship with the varsity programs as important to the native society. He stated with so many companies locally “struggling to seek out certified staff,” it’s essential for native corporations to work with the colleges, serving to college students develop marketable abilities and present them there are alternatives right here in Surry County.
• Simmons Nissan obtained the Enterprise Longevity Award.
“Most each enterprise neighborhood has a number of automotive dealerships. Promoting new and used vehicles is a really aggressive enterprise. The auto business has seen their ups and downs. One explicit native automotive supplier has survived very properly,” stated Richie Parker of Surry Communications.
“This automotive dealership is North Carolina’s oldest Nissan supplier. … They assist prospects get into the fitting car with a no-pressure strategy … be it new or used Nissans or different title model automobiles. This enterprise began in 1972 and remains to be family-owned some 48 years later.”
• Phil Marsh was introduced with the Excellence in Tourism Award.
“To anybody who follows what goes on in Downtown Mount Ethereal, you’ll know this individual,” stated Jessica Roberts of the Mount Ethereal Tourism Improvement Affiliation. “He’s a long-time member of the Downtown Enterprise Affiliation and supporter of Mount Ethereal Downtown. Actually, this individual was honored in 2019 as a Most important Road Champion by the statewide North Carolina Most important Road group.
“One one that is aware of our winner talked about ‘If you recognize him, you recognize that he’s at all times on the transfer, and he’s often on his approach to go assist another person. He stops in my workplace nearly every day to ask if there’s something he can do to assist.’”
Marsh began and nonetheless coordinates the annual Mayberry Cool Vehicles & Rods Cruise-In sequence and organizes the Independence Day and Christmas Day parades.
“Our winner understands tourism and the way a lot it means to our neighborhood,” Roberts stated.
• Rounding out the winners was Surry-Yadkin Electrical Membership Company, which was named the Small Enterprise of the Yr.
“Group service is a part of their on a regular basis work life as they’re at all times sponsoring charities and nonprofits or holding fundraisers for occasions like March of Dimes,” stated Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Financial Improvement Partnership.
“Their members take part by means of the Operation Spherical Up, utilizing change added to their payments to every month help neighborhood nonprofits in addition to hearth victims and funding medical wants. A neighborhood initiatives committee of staff coordinates varied charitable initiatives all year long, together with a golf match, internet hosting the Kids’s Heart youth at Thanksgiving and sponsoring households a Christmas,” he stated, itemizing a few of the quite a few charitable efforts by the workers and members of the cooperative.
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