Because it has many instances this 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with one more native custom — the annual Excellence in Enterprise Awards sponsored by the Larger Mount Ethereal Chamber of Commerce.
However the pandemic didn’t cease the awards, merely delayed the occasion and altered how the companies and people had been acknowledged.
“We started engaged on these seven months in the past,” Randy Collins, chamber president and CEO, informed these gathered just about for the awards on Friday. “These awards are essential to us. … We actually assume 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 by way of 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 performed it with out the help of the chamber sponsors.”
Altering the Excellence in Enterprise Awards from the standard lunch-time ceremony to an internet occasion is among the ways in which the chamber has tailored, handing out 9 awards through 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 mentioned the ministry was based almost 30 years in the past to assist space residents have entry to one thing primary and wanted by all: healthcare. In 1992, he mentioned there have been 16,000 county residents who had no medical health 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 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 mentioned. “This group helps to fill that hole. … Nancy and Physician Dixon work countless 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 group service of Alan Freeman, who retired as captain from the Mount Ethereal Police Division in Might.
“He’s a real public servant, skilled, type, and represents his division with nice integrity,” mentioned Jeffrey Trenter of Carport Central in making the digital presentation. “The 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 group, serving this group, leaving this division much better than he discovered it. I’m simply grateful for his service.”
Different native residents and companies acknowledged through 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 rules and headlines, with requires nice duty and discretion,” mentioned 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 incessantly discovered returning to work, answering emails, and making cellphone 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 awesome 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 seen one thing was lacking,” mentioned Matthew Wooten of Wayne Farms. “This enterprise proprietor is understood 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 folks might 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 vital because the farm is to the native enterprise group, Wooten mentioned the Shurs are recognized much more for his or her charitable work.
“The homeowners help many charitable causes in our group. Most lately they held a dinner on the farm to honor well being care employees through the 2020 pandemic.”
• Sydney Whitaker, chamber Ambassador of the Yr award.
“The chamber of commerce, like another group group, depends on the assistance of volunteers,” mentioned 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 provide the chamber assist wherever it’s want.
“This 12 months’s award winner is a good 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 homeowners are advocates for working with the varsity techniques and group school,” mentioned Wendy Wooden, of Surry-Yadkin Electrical Membership Cooperation. “They take part in class profession gala’s, Building 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 lately celebrated its twentieth 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 techniques as very important to the native society. He mentioned with so many companies locally “struggling to search out certified workers,” it’s vital 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 acquired the Enterprise Longevity Award.
“Most each enterprise group has a number of automotive dealerships. Promoting new and used automobiles is a really aggressive enterprise. The auto trade has seen their ups and downs. One specific native automotive vendor has survived very nicely,” mentioned Richie Parker of Surry Communications.
“This automotive dealership is North Carolina’s oldest Nissan vendor. … They assist clients get into the precise car with a no-pressure method … be it new or used Nissans or different title model automobiles. This enterprise began in 1972 and continues 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 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. In actual fact, this particular person was honored in 2019 as a Fundamental Avenue Champion by the statewide North Carolina Fundamental Avenue group.
“One one who is aware of our winner talked about ‘If you understand him, you understand that he’s at all times on the transfer, and he’s normally on his strategy to go assist another person. He stops in my workplace nearly day by day to ask if there’s something he can do to assist.’”
Marsh began and nonetheless coordinates the annual Mayberry Cool Automobiles & 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 group,” Roberts mentioned.
• 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,” mentioned Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Financial Improvement Partnership.
“Their members take part by the Operation Spherical Up, utilizing change added to their payments to every month help group nonprofits in addition to hearth victims and funding medical wants. A group tasks committee of workers coordinates varied charitable tasks all year long, together with a golf match, internet hosting the Kids’s Heart youth at Thanksgiving and sponsoring households a Christmas,” he mentioned, itemizing a few of the quite a few charitable efforts by the workers and members of the cooperative.