This week the preparations continue as the Annual Banquet committee is continuing to get ready for this year’s 43rd banquet. We invite you to join us for dinner followed by an evening of recognition, honor and celebration. The Chamber is honored to recognize the nominees for established awards such as: the Garnie Edwards Ambassador of the Year, Entrepreneurial Success, Small Business Excellence, Business Person of the Year, and Chamber Member of the year. Each award is distinguished and I am honored to be a part of a community and organization that has so many well deserved businesses and individuals throughout Sampson County.
This year the Chamber is proud to recognize Carr Real Estate, Lisbon Maintenance, and Simmons and Simmons as the Entrepreneurial Success Award nominees. Carr Real Estate, located in Clinton, owned and operated by Ed Carr, who studied real estate in 1989 and his first licensed in real estate in 1990. As a North Carolina real estate broker Ed owns and operates Carr Real Estate Company where he helps clients buy, sell and manage real estate here in Clinton and Sampson County as well as surrounding counties. Supporting his community, Ed has been president of the Clinton Rotary Club, Vice President of the Clinton Jay-Cees, served on the business advisory board for Sampson Community College and more. Lisbon Maintenance, a family owned small business that was built on integrity, hard work, and personal customer service. Located in Garland, the company provides an environmentally friendly cleaning service to private, retail, state, and government businesses that improves their image and appearance to the public. There are 13 full and part time employees that all reside in Sampson County, providing revenue for the local county business and tax base. All business expense items are purchased from local businesses. Our pride and dedication shows in a job well done. Simmons and Simmons, incorporated in 1993 as a small family owned business where the work was primarily land clearing, site preparation, and demolition. Since 1999, the business has been working in the debris reduction, landfill and storm weather support services. Simmons and Simmons opened an office in Swansboro, NC in 2007, when they entered into the solid waste collection phase of our business as well as work with municipalities all over NC with their services.
The Chamber also recognizes the Small Business Excellence Nominees: Caison Enterprises, Clinton Surgical Associates, and Crumpler Plastic Pipe Inc. Caison Enterprises recognizes the locally owned and operator of the Clinton McDonald’s, Hugh Caison. Born and raised in Clinton, and after pursuing business opportunities elsewhere, returned to his hometown with the purpose of giving back to the community. An active Rotarian and through his local business, Hugh contributes to the overall growth and health of Sampson County by hiring area residents. Hugh invests in the school systems by providing support to local education through McTeacher nights and contributions to area football teams. Hugh is a member of the Sampson Community College Board and offers scholarship opportunities through his business. Clinton Surgical Associates was established in 1990, specializing in general surgery, endoscopies. Dr. John M. McPhail III, Michael A. Valenti, and staff are honored to be a part of Sampson County. Clinton Surgical Associates was stated “#1 in the State of North Carolina for Surgery” by Business North Carolina Magazine and Health Grades in 2011. Clinton Surgical Associates believes in giving back to the local community and supports a variety of community events including Downtown Clinton 5K Run and Sampson County Super Sprint Triathlon. Crumpler Plastic Pipe Inc., a manufacturer of corrugated polyethylene plastic drainage pipe. CPP was founded in 1975 by its parent company, Crumpler Brick and Tile Company, Inc. For years the parent company had been the South’s largest manufacturer of clay drain tiles. CPP was founded to produce the small diameter HDPE corrugated pipes that were replacing the clay tile pipes used in septic lines, house foundations, landscaping and farm field drains. Due to the lighter weights of plastic pipes, CPP grew from its clay pipe Virginia-Carolinas market to cover the Eastern Seaboard. As larger culvert size CPP pipes were developed, CPP’s growth was fueled by the engineering community’s acceptance of chemically inert large diameter culvert pipes for use in storm and wastewater runoff control. This growth allowed CPP to absorb its parent company in 1991. Today CPP operates the largest corrugated plastic pipe manufacturing plant under one roof on the eastern seaboard.
For the last Small Business Award of the evening, the Chamber will honor the Business Person of the Year Nominees, Eric Spell from AgCareers.com, John Prestage from Prestage Farms Inc, and Leonard Smith from Smithfield Foods. Eric Spell, president of AgCareers.com, has more than 19 years experience in agribusiness leadership and strategic recruitment. Growing up on a row crop farm in Eastern North Carolina, Spell’s passion for agriculture flourished and has continued to grow throughout his professional ventures. Spell’s extensive background in training, recruiting and consulting have helped him to build and lead the top online career site and human resource service provider for agriculture, food, natural resources and biotechnology – AgCareers.com. John Prestage serves as Senior Vice President at Prestage Farms, Inc. and is a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He has been with the company since its inception in 1983. John has served the agribusiness community in countless capacities on boards and committees for various organizations including, NC Pork Council, NC Poultry Federation, National Turkey Federation, US Poultry and Egg Association, and National Pork Producers Council. Active in his local community, John has served on the school board of Harrell’s Christian Academy and is immediate past chairman of the Sampson Community College Foundation Board. In addition, Prestage Farms, along with its employees, is Sampson County’s leading contributor to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, giving more than $50,000 annually. Prestage Farms is also active with the United Way of Sampson County as well as the Sampson Regional Medical Center Foundation. Leonard Smith grew up in the lower end of Cumberland County in the Beaver Dam community and was one of seven children. Growing up on a tobacco farm, Leonard always knew what work was and how to be flexible. If someone didn’t show up during the harvest season, Leonard had to do that job: left hand or right hand—- didn’t matter. After graduated from East Carolina University, he joined the management team of Charles Craft Industries, a small textile plant in Roseboro. There he remained until it closed, 20 years later. Leonard started with The Lundy Packing Company in 1995. Currently, he is the Regional Director of Human Resources for the Carolina Region of Smithfield Packing. Leonard has been involved in the 4H club, Royal Ambassadors, and has served as a board member of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber, United Way (President for 2 years), and currently serves on the Sampson Regional Medical Center Foundation. Leonard attributes his success through treating people the way you want to be treated and do whatever you need to do to make your community a better place to live.
Again, we invite you to join us for a celebratory evening as we recognize not only the nominees but all Chamber Members, each a strong supporter of the Chamber, their local community, and Sampson County. We are looking forward to a 2013 filled with journey, vision, growth, and prosperity. After all, Sampson County is where magic begins.