By Jeanna Baxter White
The Davie County Chamber of Commerce held its 50th Annual Awards Gala and Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 16th at WinMock in Bermuda Run. The sold-out event began with a welcome reception of networking and mingling followed by a delicious dinner in the loft. The Awards Gala was the Chamber’s opportunity to highlight achievements of the past year and to honor the recipients of their signature awards: E.C. Tatum Humanitarian Award, Business of the Year, and Chamber Ambassador of the Year. The “Best of Davie” award winners were also announced.
In honor of the Chamber’s golden anniversary, Chamber President Caroline Moser shared some of Davie County’s notable successes over the past 50 years. She also highlighted the Chamber’s three primary initiatives in 2019 — workforce development, iShopDavie, and Leadership Davie.
“One of our biggest initiatives is and always will be workforce development…We are always stronger when we work together and we are blessed to have a strong partnership with the schools, Davie Connect, and EDC. We are building awareness to our students through many eye-opening experiences such as apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing, and much more. We are not sitting back wondering how we are going to move our county forward with fulfilling jobs but rather priming our own pipeline with our students.”
All photos courtesy One Shot Photography
“The Chamber also continues to promote and encourage shopping local. The iShopDavie program was introduced a few years ago to spotlight our local businesses and the importance of shopping locally…Supporting local ensures jobs are created and sustained, the local economy is strengthened, and quality of life is improved. We will continue to promote iSHOPDavie and commit to creating new and fun ways to help you – Think local first.”
“Our third initiative is our focus on developing leaders. This past year, the Chamber, along with our incoming chairman of the board Chuck Taylor of Sage Garden Care Center, resurrected Leadership Davie, which has not been in existence in over a decade…LD is a comprehensive year-long training program that educates participants in gaining a better understanding of the county and the current opportunities and challenges it faces. This is accomplished through making connections with key decision-makers and partners who drive Davie County…”
“This year your Chamber will be focusing on these initiatives. Please get in engaged and read your Chamber e-newsletter, like us on social media,” concluded Moser. “I challenge you to find ways to get involved in building an even better community! Here’s to another exciting 50 years!”
This year’s event included a report by Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT, about IGNITE DAVIE, a college promise program that, beginning with the class of 2020, will pay tuition and fees along with a stipend for books for students to attend either campus of Davidson County Community College full time. Students can pursue a certificate, associate’s, or college transfer degree without incurring student debt. Nearly half of the $3 million needed to endow the program has been raised. 88 students have already completed their application and applications are not due until June 1st!
“IGNITE DAVIE is an extraordinary promise, and it is a game-changer for this community. We ask you to join us and be a part of this incredible program because it will take all of us to reach our goal,” McManamy said.
Author and self-described professional “disruption” speaker, Morris Morrison, CEO of Morrison Global Brands Inc, wowed the crowd with his high-energy message about defeating the #1 killer of progress – instant gratification, becoming energized to live life intentionally, fighting harder when culture distracts your focus, and gaining purpose by using your story to help others. “We change and we grow when our hearts are broken or our minds are open.”
He shared the value of community and explained that a person can have whatever life they want if “they choose not to become a victim, take ownership of their life, and don’t expect anyone to give them anything.”
The evening ended with the highly anticipated presentation of the Business of the Year, E.C. Tatum Humanitarian Award, Chamber Ambassador of the Year, and Best of Davie Awards.
John Fuller and Fuller Architecture — Davie County 2019 Business of the Year
The 2019 Davie County Business of the Year award was presented to John Fuller and Fuller Architecture by Brad Chapman, who recognized the company for its significant contribution to Davie County.
“What makes a Business of the Year? Is it just a company that does a great volume of work here within our County, or is it a business that makes itself relevant by being committed to the community in terms of volunteering and giving back? Is it an owner and their employees being diligent about their craft all while performing their work with integrity to earn the respect of other businesses? This year’s recipient for the Business of the Year Award embodies all the qualities,” said Chapman.
“Fuller Architecture has been in business in Davie County for over 25 years and their influence can be seen all over the county and across all types of business and industry,” said Chapman, listing county government, schools, non-profits, local businesses, and churches. “ This year’s recipient has certainly done a great volume of work here in our community.”
Chapman also offered examples of Fuller’s humanitarian spirit, listing his work with the Downs Syndrome Foundation, the Davie Community Foundation’s SURF Board, and Davie High. “This company is not just here to see what they can get from this community, but to be involved and make a difference in this county.”
“The last attribute I mentioned at the outset, was integrity and earning the respect of your peers. One thing that I have learned working in the construction industry, and I’m sure this applies to almost every sector of business, is that the number of returning customers or clients that a company has is proportional to the amount of integrity that they possess while conducting business. This year’s winner doesn’t produce any widgets or consumables; they sell their time and knowledge of the craft that they learned through school and on the job training; when your only export is your time and services you have to depend on your reputation and earning respect to continuing for your business to stay solvent.”
Lee Rollins — Recipient of the 2019 E.C. Tatum Humanitarian Award!
The 2019 E.C. Tatum Humanitarian Award was presented to Lee Rollins, town manager of Bermuda Run, by long-time friend, Kyle Swicegood, who had this to say about Rollins, “Like the namesake of this award, Lee Rollins is a man with a noble character.”
After sharing details of Rollins’ personal and professional life, Swicegood went on to list his many humanitarian contributions to the community including 1992 President Mocksville Business Associates, 1994-1995 Director of Northwest Piedmont Development Group. Mocksville Town Board Member, Charter Member and President of the Hillsdale Rotary Club, 2013 Chairman of the Board Davie County Chamber of Commerce, and Deacon Chair at FBC Mocksville. Most recently, Rollins accepted the role of president of Davie County Family Promise.
“Andrew Carnegie once said, ‘No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.’ Tonight’s recipient doesn’t seek the spotlight and is one who always inspires those around him.”
Thomas Johnson of The Resource — Davie Chamber 2019 Ambassador of the Year
The 2019 Davie County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year award was presented to Thomas Johnson of The Resource by outgoing Chamber Board President Michelle Younts of BB&T, now Truist. Chamber Ambassadors promote their own companies; promote Chamber events and programs; visit new and existing Chamber members; represent the Chamber at groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, and other Chamber events and assist with Chamber projects. Ambassadors believe in the Chamber and have a desire to share with other businesses the many benefits and camaraderie that is gained by being part of an organization.
In her speech about Johnson, who has served as an ambassador for 3 years, Younts said, “Thomas is always asking how he can help and how the “group” can engage with members and give back. He has the most welcoming personality and a great smile. He is curious about the community, and once a month visits the Chamber office to see how things are going and wants to know the business climate in Davie. He calls the Chamber to get referrals on who he can do business with because he wants to support local. In 2018, he raised his hand and took the challenge of being a leader within the ambassador group and again has done an excellent job.”
The 2019 Best of Davie awards were presented by Brianna Conner news anchor and reporter for WXII News.
Mocksville Family Dentistry
Best Five O’Clock Somewhere
The Town Pharmacy
Best Business That Makes Your House a Home
Snyder’s Cleaning Service
Best Event Venue
The Loft at Sunflower Trail
Best Place to Get Pampered
Gemini Hair & Nail Fashions
Best Public Safety Officer
Chief Pat Reagan of the Mocksville Police Department
Kitchen Sink Award
Grace & Exhale Yoga
Best Male 40 & Under
Jon Welborn – Welborn Law Firm, PLLC
Best Female 40 & Under
Sarah Handy King
Moser ended the evening by thanking everyone who helped to make the evening a success.
“This evening would not have been possible without our generous sponsors Morris Morrison, Steve Gilliland Inc., Wake Forest Baptist Health-Davie Medical Center, Davie Construction, BB&T-Truist, Lambert Graham Funeral Home, Allegacy, Duke Energy, Ingersoll Rand, Iredell Family Care Center, DEX, Funder America Inc., Avgol Nonwovens, Hampton Inn, Ashley Furniture, United Way of Davie County, Kimura Realty Group, Village Cleaners, Kelly Office Solutions, M.Lane Home Improvements & Handyman Service.”
“I am also so grateful to WinMock at Kinderton, California Fresh Catering, Lazy Elm Vineyards & Winery, RayLen Vineyards & Winery, One Shot Photography, DavieLIFE Magazine, Davie County Blog, WXII and Brianna Conner, Cross Your Heart Creative Events, Music by Joel McCarson, and the Chamber Board of Directors and volunteers. We couldn’t have done this without you!”
For over 50 years the Davie Chamber has served the business community throughout Davie County and the towns of Mocksville, Bermuda Run, and Cooleemee. With a professional staff, dedicated volunteers, and an involved board of directors, the Davie Chamber continues to promote the economic and civic interests and provide leadership on issues that impact the economy and quality of life in Davie County. For information about the Davie Chamber please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336.751.3304.