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Top people, places honored

The Chamber of Commerce honored notable businesses and citizens and current and past board members at its annual awards banquet held Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Strickland Building in Concord. The Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Organization of the Year awards were presented by the Chamber. The Volunteer of the Year award was presented by the Lions Club and the Citizen of the Year Award was presented by the Kiwanis Club. Volunteer of the Year The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Ken Gran by Charles Bentley of the Pike Lion’s Club. Gran retired after 30 years in the soil conservation field and is chairman of the Pike County Agribusiness Authority. ’Ken played a major role in the development of the Chestnut Oak Center and was instrumental in the design of the restroom facility,’ said Bentley. ‘He spends countless hours each year volunteering with SlowExposures and at the Peach State Airport where he takes wanna-be pilots for their first flights. He also helped build the nature trail at the Pike County school system.’ Citizen of the Year Rebekah Betsill of the Pike Kiwanis Club presented the Citizen of the Year award to former commissioner Don Collins. ’Don was instrumental in getting the courthouse renovation and addition project underway,’ said Betsill. ‘He manages the local blood drive for the American Red Cross. He started the Tour de Pike and this will be year number 17. It has grown and grown and last year it made $11,000. We’d like to thank Don for all his service to the county.’ Small Business of the Year Cindy’s Florist of Zebulon, which was established in 2010, received the Small Business of the Year award. Chamber board chairman Fred Rudbeck said Cindy’s Florist believes customer service is its key to success and the business puts a great deal of money back into the community. ’Thank you to the people of Pike who support us,’ said Cindy Hurd. ‘We’re starting our fourth year and we’re excited about another year serving you.’ Large Business of the Year This award goes to an area business with 50 or more employees. The 2014 award was presented to Southern Crescent Technical College. SCTC president Randall Peters accepted the award. ’It’s a pleasure and honor to receive this award. The citizens of Pike are important to us,’ said Peters. ‘What we do is change people’s lives. It’s a privilege to do that. Last year, our faculty donated more than $43,000 worth of their own salaries for scholarships.’ That shows they really believe in what they’re doing because they’re helping pay for it.’ Organization of the Year Promise Place was named the Organization of the Year. The organization provides support for victims of domestic abuse in Pike and surrounding counties. ’This means a whole lot to us. I remember in 2004 I was working out of my car in Pike County,’ said Vanessa Wilkins. ‘I was so determined to have an office space here and we did it. I want to thank Pike County for helping us make this a safer place and hopefully a place free from domestic violence.’ Teacher of the Year The Teacher of the Year award was presented to Angela Nauck who was teaches third grade and was named the districtwide winner by the Pike County school system. She has been teaching for 18 years, six of those in Pike. ’We’re very privileged to have her here in our school system,’ said board of education outgoing chairman Ryan Edge. ‘She is a true leader.’ Chamber directors Britain Turner was presented the 2014 chairman of the board gavel by outgoing chairman Rudbeck. ’I’m honored to serve as the 2014 chairman,’ Turner said. ‘I look forward to working with the men and women who volunteer their time, talents and perspectives to serve the chamber, its members and the community we represent.’ Directors include Turner, first vice chair Sallie Barker, second vice chair Alicia Gibson, treasurer Ben Maxedon, past chair Fred Rudbeck and Danni Banks, Jason Brisendine, Zac Ford, Ricky Grice, Steve Hendrix, Josh Hendricks, Tom Lacey, Joyce Martin, Shannon Michael, Micheal Powell, Kathleen Smith, Darryl Segraves and William Tuttle.

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