All photos by Jan Todd
Members of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce convened Monday night at Tweetsie Railroad for a night of wild west fun, friendship and recognition.
The crew enjoyed a Cowboy BBQ buffet, music from the Watauga Community Band before the program and experienced the park later in the evening.
The program included an invocation from the Rev. Dr. Greg Heisler of Mount Vernon Baptist Church, recognition of dignitaries and guests, a welcome from signature sponsor Piedmont Federal Savings Bank, acknowledgement of local business anniversaries and a graduation ceremony for those completing the Watauga Leadership Challenge.
Following the installation of newly elected directors and members of the executive board, soon-to-retire President and CEO Dan Meyer honored this year’s award recipients:
Wade Brown Community Recognition Award:
Dr. Harry Davis
Sponsored by the Boone Golf Club
“During his tenure at ASU he has balanced his teaching responsibilities with countless speaking engagements at banking conferences in NC and nationwide – usually to include a side game of golf during the trip,” said Meyer. “His economic updates have been published in countless newspapers and magazines and he has been interviewed on the economy and banking issues on radio and television.
“Recently, in recognition of his nearly four decades of service to NC banking industry and ASU, the Walker College of Business in collaboration with the NCBA has created an endowed professorship in Harry’s honor. Proceeds have exceeded $1 million to endow the chair to date. Harry’s peers laud him for his many contributions through research, speaking and direction of banking schools – he is considered a banking ambassador. And we consider him a High Country Ambassador by presenting him with the Wade Brown Community Recognition Award. Thanks for all you have done to put Boone and ASU on the map.”
Alfred Adams Award for Economic Development:
Sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
“The Alfred Adams Economic Development Award recognizes individuals and/or organizations who have worked for the orderly growth and development of Boone and Watauga County,” Meyer said. “Mr. Adams was a true community banker, where business was done with a handshake and where your word was your bond.”
“Lots of businesses talk about their commitment to community. For them, it’s more than talk. It’s what they’re all about — walking the walk.”
Ben Suttle Award for Volunteerism:
Mr. and Mrs. Teddy and Ginger Watson
“It isn’t a life of luxury that allows our nominees to give so much of themselves back to the community. It is only an extreme richness of spirit that drives them to keep working for good every hour our Pantry is open. They have been quietly responsible for hundreds of thousands of pounds of food that would have been wasted if they had not recovered it to serve countless meals to our neighbors in need,” Meyer said. “They have saved tons upon tons of food from ending up in landfills to repurpose these items into nutritious take home meals for our clients. They are the spirit and the lifeblood that helps to keeps the Hunger and Health Coalition’s mission advancing. And all without ever losing that joking, loving demeanor of someone who loves what they wake up in the morning to do.
“Teddy and Ginger Watson are two long-time community members whose contribution to our local non-profit safety net is simply staggering. These two huge-hearted people have devoted themselves to their cause every day for the last eleven years, volunteering full-time for no pay. They have remained like a rock of support when the community most needed their assistance, keeping the Hunger and Health Coalition’s doors open for the whole community in tough economic times when they might otherwise have closed.”
Sue Wilmoth Award for Tourism Advancement:
Apple Hill Farm
Sponsored by the Boone and Watauga Tourism Development Authorities
‘The Sue W. Wilmoth Award for the Advancement of Tourism is named for former Chamber director Sue W. Wilmoth,” said Meyer. “Sue’s unique success in tourism promotion was her ability to capitalize on the regions natural resources while balancing progress with preservation. Sue consistently focused on initiatives that improved the quality of life for our residents and visitors.
“For their leadership in agri-tourism, Apple Hill Farm is the 2016 Sue Wilmoth Award for Tourism Advancement.”
everGREEN Award for Sustainability:
Appalachian Mountain Brewery
Sponsored by Mast General Store
“How many of you have visited the web site of a local business? Of those you have visited, on how many of them is the first thing you see the word ‘sustainability’ in bold letters?” said Meyer. “The word sustainability is often overused, misused or misunderstood. Not so for this local business, whose business plan is sustainability. Their mission is simple: sustainability, community and philanthropy. Their mission statement sums it up – ‘Appalachian Mountain Brewery’s mission is to sustainably brew high quality beer, support local non-profits and help our community prosper.’
“Appalachian Mountain Brewery embodies the everGREEN Award for Sustainability.”