Because it has many instances this 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with yet one more native custom — the annual Excellence in Enterprise Awards sponsored by the Higher 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, instructed these gathered just about for the awards on Friday. “These awards are essential to us. … We actually suppose these are one of the best of one of the best.”
The ceremony, initially deliberate for March, simply when the prohibition on public gatherings started sweeping throughout the state, was held just about through the web teleconferencing program Zoom. Almost 100 areas signed on for the occasion, although a lot of these log-ins represented a number of folks.
“We had quite a lot of nominations for awards this 12 months,” mentioned James Etringer, chamber board chairman. “The chamber, like quite a lot of organizations, has needed to adapt this 12 months; it has not been simple. We couldn’t have accomplished it with out the help of the chamber sponsors.”
Altering the Excellence in Enterprise Awards from the everyday lunch-time ceremony to an internet occasion is likely one of the ways in which the chamber has tailored, handing out 9 awards in the course of the occasion.
Surry Medical Ministries was acknowledged for its long-standing work in the neighborhood with the Duke Power Citizenship and Service Award.
In feedback to the Zoom viewers, Duke Power’s Jimmy Flythe mentioned the ministry was based almost 30 years in the past to assist space residents have entry to one thing fundamental and wanted by all: healthcare. In 1992, he mentioned there have been 16,000 county residents who had no medical insurance, a significant impetus to the ministry’s founding a 12 months later. In 1995 a pharmacy was added, and he mentioned in 2005 the clinic doubled in measurement.
“Going to the physician is one thing many people take as a right. We all know there are such a lot of that can’t afford the providers of a physician,” Flythe mentioned. “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 Could.
“He’s a real public servant, skilled, variety, and represents his division with nice integrity,” mentioned Jeffrey Trenter of Carport Central in making the digital presentation. “Town of Mount Ethereal is a greater place due to folks 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 whole 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 in the course of the occasion embody:
• Becky Parries of the Mount Ethereal Metropolis Colleges, who was named Administrative Skilled of the 12 months.
“She serves as administrative assistant to 5 departments, every with its personal rules and headlines, with requires nice accountability and discretion,” mentioned Connie Hamlin, of Ridgecrest, in saying Parries’ award.
“With a smile on her face, she solutions the primary line, greets and directs visitors, processes skilled improvement requests, buy orders, and invoices for her departments. … She is steadily discovered returning to work, answering emails, and making telephone calls on the times she is ‘off’ work.
“We will’t do the various advanced duties of our jobs with out her unfailing help,” Hamlin mentioned, quoting the particular person or individuals who nominated Parries.
“Thanks, I’m honored,” Parries mentioned of the award. “I work for an amazing 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 12 months.
“In a area that appears to be surrounded by farms, one enterprise proprietor seen one thing was lacking,” mentioned Matthew Wooten of Wayne Farms. “This enterprise proprietor is thought in the neighborhood 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 folks might choose 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 mentioned the Shurs are identified much more for his or her charitable work.
“The house owners help many charitable causes in our neighborhood. Most lately they held a dinner on the farm to honor well being care employees in the course of the 2020 pandemic.”
• Sydney Whitaker, chamber Ambassador of the 12 months award.
“The chamber of commerce, like another neighborhood group, depends on the assistance of volunteers,” mentioned Mount Ethereal Information writer Sandy Hurley in presenting the award. “One important 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 provide the chamber assist wherever it’s want.
“This 12 months’s award winner is a superb selection. This particular person 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 Training Award.
“The corporate and the house owners are advocates for working with the varsity programs and neighborhood faculty,” mentioned Wendy Wooden, of Surry-Yadkin Electrical Membership Cooperation. “They take part at school profession festivals, Development Day, sponsor occasions and hosts interns for Surry County Colleges and Mount Ethereal Metropolis Colleges. The corporate and their management are true schooling companions.”
The agency, which lately 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 mentioned.
Brian Johnson mentioned his firm views its relationship with the varsity programs as very important to the native society. He mentioned with so many companies in the neighborhood “struggling to seek out certified staff,” it’s essential for native companies to work with the faculties, serving to college students develop marketable expertise 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 automobiles is a really aggressive enterprise. The auto business has seen their ups and downs. One explicit native automotive supplier has survived very nicely,” mentioned Richie Parker of Surry Communications.
“This automotive dealership is North Carolina’s oldest Nissan supplier. … They assist clients get into the best car with a no-pressure method … be it new or used Nissans or different identify model automobiles. This enterprise began in 1972 and continues to be family-owned some 48 years later.”
• Phil Marsh was offered with the Excellence in Tourism Award.
“To anybody who follows what goes on in Downtown Mount Ethereal, you’ll know this particular person,” mentioned 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 particular person was honored in 2019 as a Essential Road Champion by the statewide North Carolina Essential Road group.
“One one that is aware of our winner talked about ‘If you recognize him, you recognize that he’s all the time on the transfer, and he’s often on his solution to go assist another person. He stops in my workplace nearly each 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 collection and organizes the Independence Day and Christmas Day parades.
“Our winner understands tourism and the way a lot it means to our neighborhood,” Roberts mentioned.
• Rounding out the winners was Surry-Yadkin Electrical Membership Company, which was named the Small Enterprise of the 12 months.
“Group service is a part of their on a regular basis work life as they’re all the time sponsoring charities and nonprofits or holding fundraisers for occasions like March of Dimes,” mentioned Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Financial Improvement Partnership.
“Their members take part via the Operation Spherical Up, utilizing change added to their payments to every month help neighborhood nonprofits in addition to fireplace victims and funding medical wants. A neighborhood tasks committee of staff coordinates numerous charitable tasks all year long, together with a golf event, internet hosting the Youngsters’s Heart youth at Thanksgiving and sponsoring households a Christmas,” he mentioned, itemizing a few of the quite a few charitable efforts by the staff and members of the cooperative.