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Vice President of Diversity Affairs: Nick Harvey Jr., Lenoir County Public Schools
Staff: Laura Lee Sylvester, President
The Diversity Affairs Committee is an extension of the Chamber of Commerce that works to identify and pursue projects that will result in developing and expanding the economic prosperity of diverse businesses within Kinston and Lenoir County.
In 2013, the Chamber’s Lenoir 2020 Committee identified the need for a community lead Human Relations Committee. In 2014, the Chamber, with the help of City and County government, formed the Human Relations Council which acts independently of the Chamber. The appointed group will be responsible for promoting equal opportunity and fair treatment among our residents. As we move forward, the VP of Diversity Affairs with be the liaison between the Council and the Chamber reporting council activities to the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The Chamber Board may also make suggestions or inquires to the Council through the VP of Diversity Affairs.
Important links: Office of Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Institute of Minority Economic Development Resources/Networking Links North Carolina Department of Administration Latin Business Association U.S. Small Business Administration
UNION BANK gives $25K to help five North Carolina Salvation Army Locations
Gift will make season brighter for neighbors impacted by Hurricane Florence
Kinston, N.C. (November 29, 2018)—A gift of $25,000 from Greenville, NC based Union Bank, to The Salvation Army will provide much needed help and new hope this Christmas season to hundreds of families and individuals in Eastern North Carolina who were impacted by Hurricane Florence. The gift will be divided between five Salvation Army locations to assist residents of Kinston, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Jacksonville, and New Bern during the 2018 holiday season and will serve a variety of needs in The Salvation Army’s holiday programs.
“On behalf of our Union Bank family, we are pleased to offer an element of relief and cheer during this holiday season,” said Rob Jones, CEO of Union Bank. “This contribution recognizes that family challenges continue to linger long after the storm and associated flooding goes away. This is especially true with individuals and families that have limited resources available for recovery. The Salvation Army has a long history of helping individuals and families in need, and we are happy to contribute to such a worthy cause.”
Annually The Salvation Army serves thousands of people during the Christmas season through programs that provide feeding assistance for families and individuals, Christmas bikes for kids, toys and clothes for the Angel Tree program, and grocery gift cards for families through the Christmas Cheer program. Hurricane Florence has posed major financial setbacks for Eastern Carolina residents and The Salvation Army has received an influx in requests for assistance because of the storm.
“Hurricane Florence continues to bring challenges for many people,” said Captain Chris Lyles of The Salvation Army of the Kinston area. “With Christmas just a few short weeks away, the need for Salvation Army social service programming is essential in our community. This gift from Union Bank will strengthen our Christmas programs to help people facing financial difficulties after the storm.”
About The Salvation Army
Since 1865, The Salvation Army has preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and worked to meet human needs in his name without discrimination. Today, The Salvation Army serves in every state in the United States and more than 129 countries throughout the world. The Salvation Army has many programs that address social concerns in our community, which include utility and rent assistance, nutrition services, Christmas assistance, worship, disaster relief, and youth programming. For more information visit salvationarmycarolinas.org.
About Union Bank
Union Bank is a $750 million community bank headquartered in Greenville, NC. The Bank provides full service banking solutions to businesses and individuals throughout the Triangle, Central and Eastern NC. Union Bank celebrated 20 years of operations in November of this year. Union Bank stock trades on the OTCQX exchange under the symbol “UBNC”.
Captain Chris Lyles
Hope Restorations Inc awarded $550,000 grant from The Duke Endowment
Kinston, NC: In support of Hope Restorations Inc., Sharon United Methodist Church has been awarded a $550,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to help fund its efforts to restore neighborhoods in east Kinston while helping adults learn marketable skills and find better, permanent employment.
Hope Restorations is a nonprofit social enterprise serving the eastern North Carolina community of Kinston with employment and support for adults recovering from addiction or incarceration. Founded in 2015, the nonprofit organization provides paid employment, training, and support to adults recovering from addiction or incarceration through acquiring deteriorating houses in declining neighborhoods, restoring them to modern energy-efficiency and safety standards, thus creating affordable housing and home-ownership opportunities for lower-income families.
The Endowment’s grant will be used to purchase much-needed building materials, tools, and equipment for renovation projects as well as provide wages and training for the organization’s clients and employees over the next two years. “Our goal is to invest and reinvest over $3 million into Kinston and Lenoir County by 2022, noted Chris Jenkins, Hope Restoration’s founder and executive pastor. “This generous grant is a wonderful step in that direction and will encourage others to help us achieve our goal. We’re already witnessing life-changing impact as we strive to become a self-sustaining social enterprise, and over the next three years, we hope to have this unique model refined well enough to begin sharing and replicating it in other communities.”
“Sharon United Methodist launched this ambitious effort to address critical challenges in its community,” says Robb Webb, director of The Duke Endowment’s Rural Church program area. “Today, Hope Restorations has grown into an effective rehabilitation program that fosters human, community and economic development. The men who go through the program claim a new future that includes the dignity of a good job; the families that move into the homes experience hope and come to understand that their neighbors care about them; the congregations develop real relationships with neighbors they may not ever otherwise encounter.”
Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.6 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.
Hope Restorations offers “Tours with the Executive Pastor” most Tuesday mornings, giving those interested an opportunity to hear the whole story of how the organization began while seeing some of its work firsthand. Call the office to reserve your spot on the next tour. You can also watch video testimonials from some of Hope Restorations’ employees and board members by visiting the website at http://www.hoperestorationsnc.org
For more information on Hope Restorations Inc. or how you can support this community effort, please call Hernika Cannon at 252-560-7507 ext. 101, or visit the website at http://www.hoperestoratiosnc.org
The dictionary defines an ambassador as an official representative of the highest rank or a messenger. Our Chamber Ambassadors are certainly highly valued both within our organization and in our community. Chamber Ambassadors are volunteers that assist the chamber by helping to serve our members.
Each Ambassador has several businesses they are to maintain communication with throughout the year. This frequent contact ensures we have up-to-date information on each of our members, gives our members extra opportunities to voice their concerns and suggestions to the chamber, and promotes member engagement at our events. Ambassadors attend all our ribbon cuttings and business after hours where they welcome members and help the event run smoothly. They also help distribute Chamber Directories, stickers and other pertinent information to our valued members. Additionally, they volunteer countless hours at our community events.
Our Ambassadors are vital to the chamber. Many of our Ambassadors have been with us for years, while others are new in 2018. I am so proud to know each of them and call them my colleagues and friends.
Below, you will find a list of our current Ambassadors. Please look through the names and be sure to give them a hearty handshake for their service next time you see them. The Ambassador of the Year Award goes to an individual who has been in the program for a period of at least one year that shows initiative and exemplifies professionalism, community spirit, and volunteerism.
Please consider nominating one our Ambassadors for this prestigious recognition. The winner will be presented with a plaque at the 108th Annual Awards Banquet on January 24, 2019.
Thank you for your time and for acknowledging their dedication to our business community.
Director of Membership Services & Programs
Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce
301 N. Queen Street, Kinston, NC 28501
Christa Davis, Chairperson, Wells Fargo – 2017 Ambassador of the Year
Jared Edwards, Woodmen Life – 2014 Ambassador of the Year
Danielle Howell, Caswell Development Center – 2016 Ambassador of the Year
Jacques Passailaigue, Daughety’s Office Equipment/GOECO – 2013 Ambassador of the Year
Claudia Perez*, BB&T
Kristy Harrell*, CIC Financial
Robin Jones*, Judy Jones State Farm
Cameron Beaman*, Eastern Outdoor Development, Inc.
Jon Clemmons*, Down East Wood Ducks
Michael Martin*, Union Bank
Greg Kearney*, Servpro of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties
Eddie Aycock*, U.S. Cellular
RJ Smith*, The Free Press
Kathleen Coble*, Wells Fargo
Raine Tyndall, Curtis Media Group
Jesse Sutton, Fairway Outdoor Advertising Co.
Amanda Haddock, Spring Arbor of Kinston
Allison Jones, Copypro, Inc.
Anna Kinsey, Kinston Community Health Center
The Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce has been serving Kinston and Lenoir County since 1911. The Chamber acts as a voice and advocate for the community regarding economic, community and government issues and represents Kinston and Lenoir County as a great place to live, work and play.