During one of the biggest nights for the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, several entrepreneurs were praised for their contributions and success.
The organization held its 46th Annual Celebration at the Exposition Center on Tuesday night to recognize accomplishments and the work of volunteers.
“The Chamber is a team effort,” said President Anthony Sessoms while addressing the audience. “Tonight we want to recognize businesses and individuals who are a part of this team, but we’re all part of the team nonetheless.”
Awards were given to individuals and businesses in several categories such as small business, entrepreneurial success and business person of the year. The biggest award of the night went to Martin Jackson, a professional from First Citizens Bank, for Outstanding Chamber Member of the Year. It was presented by previous recipient Larry McPhail, Ford of Clinton owner.
“It requires someone that’s involved with the Chamber in many aspects,” McPhail said about the criteria of the award. “This individual is someone that has passion for people, passion for the community and the well-being of Sampson County.”
McPhail said Jackson thrives on making contributions to the community.
“The business community of Sampson County and the Chamber of Commerce thanks Martin Jackson for all that he does in the community and his dedication to promoting economic growth and an healthy business community in Sampson County,” McPhail said.
Jackson accepted the award with applause from the audience.
“I’m just part of the team,” Jackson said humbly in regards to Sessoms’ earlier comments. “I’m just sincerely thankful for the opportunity that (First Citizens Bank and Bill Scott, a senior vice president) provides for us to be involved in the community. Being the largest family consulting bank in the nation, I appreciate the value they place in allowing us to be part of the community.”
Small Business Excellence Award
Cherry Naylor of Allcare Uniforms & Embroidery earned the chamber’s Small Business Excellence award.
“This is quite a surprise and I’m quite honored to be the recipient of this award this year,” Naylor said. “Thank you.”
The business opened its doors in 2003 after offering its services for more than a year from home and in the corner of Ann’s Sew N Vac. It has two full-time and two part-time employees. They have a two-fold business model, which includes serving the healthcare community and offering an embroidery service. Allcare Uniforms & Embroidery serves Sampson Community College by providing student uniforms and accessories to a variety of programs working closely with instructors to provide the needs of local students.
The award was presented by previous recipients Bill and Tom Turlington of F.L. Turlington Lumber Company, Inc. Other nominees included Butler and Faircloth Insurance and Holland, Poole, Holland and Sanderson, PA. Bill Turlington recognized small businesses involved with the Chamber.
“We would like to congratulate each of the small businesses in the Chamber of Commerce in Sampson County,” he said. “Without small businesses, I guess the chamber would not be around or have a reason to be here.”
Entrepreneurial Success Award
John and Tammy Peterson of Hubb’s Corn Maze were honored with the Entrepreneurial Success Award. The couple, who met at Ezzell Trucking, decided to start their own business after getting married in 2005. In 2008, they began Hubb’s Corn Maze, which provides a family designation for farm activities for people of all ages. According to the chamber, they also serve Sampson County as “edu-tainers” for field trips, church outing and corporate events.
Peterson said she was excited about winning the award for providing “farm family fun” at Hubb’s Corn Maze, which offers a variety of special events throughout the year.
“It’s just thrilling,” Peterson said.
The other nominees included Tram Road Animal Hospital and Progress Media Co.
Business Person of the Year Award
Anne Faircloth of Lafayette Farm was honored with Business Person of the Year Award, presented by Rex Moody, a previous recipient. Faircloth said she was honored and humbled to be in the mix of nominees, which also included Dickie Smith, a market leader for BB&T and Bill Scott, a senior vice president of First Citizens Bank.
“It’s really an honor to be with this group of people,” Faircloth said. “I’m so grateful to this whole community for the support you’ve given me.”
Faircloth grew up in Clinton and graduated from Duke University. After working as a journalist outside North Carolina, she moved back to the area in 2001. During her speech, she said is was great to return to the community.
“It’s just a wonderful thing to be living in Clinton and being a part of this community,” Faircloth said.
She owns and manages agricultural and real estate businesses, a foundation that began with her father, Lauch Faircloth. He never questioned her ability to be in business and briefly discussed women equality in the business world.
“I think it’ really important that we (as a community and parents) encourage our daughters to do whatever they want to do and to do it with the strongest and best of their abilities,” Faircloth said.
Faircloth encouraged more women such as herself to get involved with business. Lafayette Farms, a contract swine operation has 55,000 finishing spaces and 4,000 sows. It also includes 900-head beef cattle farm and various commercial properties.
She has served on boards for the Sampson Community College Foundation, Sampson Regional Medical Center Foundation, United Way of Sampson County and U-Care. Faircloth is a former deacon of Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church. Faircloth also serves on the local advisory board of BB&T.
She is married to Frederick Beaujeu-Dufour and together they have two children, Nancy and Julian.
The Garnie Edwards Ambassador of the Year Award
David Ruggles of Technology by Design was honored with The Garnie Edwards Ambassador of the Year Award for his assistance to the organization’s program such as member of the week, ribbon-cuttings and business after hours events. It was presented by previous winner Kaitlin Norris, executive director for the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce.
“This is individual has a strong commitment to this community and this state and a deep desire to see local business prosper,” Norris said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.