The Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce recognizes several members throughout the year with awards for outstanding service, excellence in business, volunteerism, etc.
Pinnacle of Achievement
The award originated in 1988 as the Athena Award.Â TheÂ PinnacleÂ Award is intended to recognize an outstanding business and professional woman in the community that has accomplished extraordinary tasks and recognized the needs of her community, igniting passion in herself and others to accomplish those needs.Â Â TheÂ PinnacleÂ ofÂ AchievementÂ captures the uniqueness of womenâs experiences and wisdom.
2010 Winner:Â Shirley Herring, head of Kinstonâs Appearance Commission and past chair of Prideâs Design Committee, received the 2010 Pinnacle of Achievement award.Â Herring was nominated by Brenda Canup of Lenoir Memorial Hospital. Local dentist Dr. June Rose read the nomination for the audience.Â âFor the past 49 years, Shirley has continued to epitomize excellence in her personal life and in service to others,â Canup wrote. âThink of how much our community has benefited by having her as one of our citizens.â
2009 Winner:Â Agnes Ho, director of the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library and Pride of Kinston board member. “Agnes is a strong leader,” Frances Parrott, nominator and past award winner, wrote in her nomination of Ho. “Her steadfastness, drive and determination have served her well as thus allowed our library to become a beacon, not only in our downtown, but in our region.”
Previous Winners:Â Â Suzanne Gallaher,Â Brenda Canup,Â Leigh Harvey McNairy, Jewel Mullinex, Pat McCain, Lucille Harrison, Carol D. Tyndall, Debbie Chused, Dr. Rose Pully, Alice Tingle, Kay Harrell, Lisa C. Green, Annette West, Nell Jarman, Eliza N. Worthington, Frances Parrott, June Cummings, Sandy Landis, Joyce Cherry, Rosalind S. McDonald and Connie Nobles Mintz.
Small Business Award
The Small Business of the Year AwardÂ is designed to recognize the dedication, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by a Lenoir County small business.
2010 Winner: Donald Fader, the founder and executive vice president of SMC Home Finance of Kinston, won the Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Small Business of the Year award. As he accepted the award,Â Fader said small businesspeople âknow what it is to meet a payroll, to meet expenses, to wonder why the phone doesnât ring.Â As individuals, we are small businesses; collectively we are the economic engine that runs this country, and Iâm in good company and Iâd like to thank you.â
2009 Winner:Â Â Alison Merritt, owner of Alison & Co. Salon and Spa on Herritage Street downtown, won the Small Business Award.Â “When people asked me why I wanted to open a salon, I said, âWhy not?’ and I say (now), âWhy not in Kinston?’ ” she said.
The Lenoir Community College Small Business Center Staff chooses the Microenterprise Award, sponsored by Lenoir Community College Small Business Center.
2010 Winner:Â Deloris and Curtis Bunch Sr., founders and owners of Bunchâs Grill, won Microenterprise Business of the Year.Â Greg Hannibal, director of Lenoir Community Collegeâs Small Business Center, nominated the Bunches. âThey have made a serious investment of time and money, and are determined to create a business atmosphere that is a comfortable and up-to-date addition to our main thoroughfare, yet all the while giving tribute and testament to times past,â Hannibal said of Deloris and Curtis Bunch Sr., winners of the Microenterprise Award. âThat is true microenterprise at work, dedicated to leaving a legacy of service to our community.â
2009 Winner:Â Darlene Brown, who has owned and operated Brown’s Sweet Treats on Vernon Avenue for nearly nine years, won the Microenterprise Award.Â “A lot of your faces I know, because you come in the shop all the time,” Brown told the crowd.
Minority Business Award
The Minority Business of the Year Award is designed to recognize the dedication, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by a Lenoir County small business.
2010 Winner:Â Fitness by William founder and owner William Ingram won Minority Business of the Year.Â Greg Hannibal, director of Lenoir Community Collegeâs Small Business Center, nominated the Ingram. Hannibal said William Ingram, winner of the Minority Business Award â and winner of multiple bodybuilding competitions in the region â is âan advocate and a champion, having embraced and endured more than 20 years of challenge and sacrifice, working as personal trainer to others while at the same time, striving to achieve his own personal bodybuilding goals.â
2009 Winner:Â Herbert and Cathy Lewis, who have owned Sweets Coffee Shop in downtown Kinston for 19 months, won the Minority Business Award.Â “Kinston’s been good to us as long as we’ve been here,” Herbert Lewis said.