Over 450 members of the High Country business scene attended the 69th Annual Membership Meeting of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday night, August 2nd. The event was presented by Skyline/Skybest and was highlighted by the presentation of seven community awards to local business leaders. Red Moon Hospitality catered dinner and dessert inside the Holmes Convocation Center on the campus of Appalachian State University.
Photos by: Jan Todd, Deep Creek Photography
ECR Software, Inc, a locally grown, industry-leading, point of sales solutions provider was awarded the Alfred Adams Award for Economic Development.. The company has been ranked by Retail Info Systems as #1 for grocery vendors for the fifth year in a row, #1 for midsize retailers, and ranked in the top 5 for quality of support for the ninth year in a row. They continue to expand their Boone footprint with production and storage facilities that support the company’s long-time headquarters on Howard Street in Boone. Presented by Wells Fargo Bank N.A., the award honors Alfred Adams, a local pioneer in the banking industry and one of the charter members of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.
Christy Gottfried became the second recipient of the Baker/Jones Woman of the Year Award. She took over as owner of Go Postal Printing in August of 2016 and has focused on rebuilding the business from within while promoting training, education and civic engagement among her staff members. Go Postal has added new printing technology to broaden its in-house offerings to customers while increasing the number of full-time staff positions and internship opportunities through multiple programs at Appalachian State. The award was presented by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and Blue Ridge Energy in honor of longtime employees Gillian Baker and Susan Jones. Both have served as Board Chair of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and have a long history of leadership and volunteer service throughout the community.
The Dan Meyer Partnership Award was presented to Mary-Louise Roberts. She has spent nearly 30 years in banking service for the High Country, including the last 18 with First National Bank. In her career she has lent over $180MM in loans to clients, specializing in construction financing to traditional commercial & industrial financing. She is active in the Boone United Methodist Church community and is a member of the Appalachian State University Finance, Banking and Insurance Advisory Board. The award honors former Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Dan Meyer and was sponsored by LifeStore Bank.
Beech Mountain Resort was tabbed as winner of the Sue W. Wilmoth Award for the Advancement of Tourism. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, the highest town in Eastern America continually expands programming to solidify the resort a 365 day a year tourist destination. The resort has expanded operations at Beech Mountain Brewing Company and opened Beech Mountain Grille in November of 2017. They are investing in infrastructure with installation of two new Doppelmayr chair lifts. They’ve made full use of their facilities with the addition of a Summer Concert Series that brought over 3,500 visitors to the area through its first two shows this season. The award was presented by the Watauga County/Boone TDA and is named in honor of past director and tourism advocate Sue W. Wilmoth.
Team Sunergy is a multi-disciplinary, student-led, and student-driven research project at Appalachian State University, and winner of the everGREEN Award for Sustainability. They research the most advanced technology and utilize solar-powered car competitions as a platform to advance sustainable transportation technologies. The team also educates the Appalachian Community on the imperatives for finding an alternative fuel solution for transportation, so a sustainable future can be enjoyed for generations. Team Sunergy recently secured a second-place tie in the 2018 American Solar Challenge (ASC), an international solar vehicle distance road race held biennially by the Innovators Educational Foundation (IEF). The award was presented by Mast General Store.
Keron Poteat was the recipient of the Ben Suttle Award for Volunteerism. She serves as the event planner and volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics in Watauga County, coordinating the organization’s competitions as well as day-to-day activities that place an emphasis on health and wellness services. She helps facilitate 13 sports offered to Special Olympics athletes throughout the year, coordinating hundreds volunteer coaches and mentors to create a positive experience for all involved. The award was sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse in honor of Ben Suttle, a former local merchant, Chamber volunteer, and longtime member of the Boone Town Council.
The Wade Brown Award for Community Involvement was presented to Denise Presnell. Serving as a school social worker for nearly 25 years, she coordinated the inaugural State of the Child Forum in 2017, which brought stakeholders to the table to recognize the prevalence of childhood trauma and work to establish community tools to address the issues. Through this effort, the Watauga Compassionate Community Imitative was established, which seeks to promote health and resiliency in our community and to effectively prevent, recognize and treat trauma by creating safe, stable, nurturing environments and relationships. The award has been given annually since 1979 and was presented by Boone Golf Club in honor of Wade Brown, a longtime community pillar and non-profit advocate.
In addition to the annual awards presentation, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce made a $1,250 contribution to the Round Up for the Middle Fork Greenway project on behalf of the organization and its membership. The donation came from a portion of the proceeds of a raffle for a $2500 vacation credit through Dream Vacations and local agent Frankie Groff. The Chamber and the Boone Sunrise Rotary Club made donations of $1,250 dollars each to the Valle Crucis Community Park and the Back 2 School Festival, through funds raised during the second annual High Country Toast, held in June of 2018. The Appalachian Theatre also received a $25,000 donation from the Capital Bank Foundation, presented by Chamber board member Jason Triplett.
The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce installed its executive committee and three new board members for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Traci Royster, Director of Staff Development & Strategic Initiatives in Appalachian State’s Division of Student Affairs, was installed as Board Chair. David Still, Director of Business Development for RaysWeather.com was installed as Chair Elect while Johnathan Lubkemann,Senior VP and Market President for BB&T, moves into the Immediate Past Chair role. Amy Smith, of Johnson Price Sprinkle, PA, will serve her first year as the organization’s treasurer.
Dr. Tiffany Christian, of Mast General Store and Garrett Shore, of Highlands Union Bank, were each installed to three-year board terms.
The evening included a pre-dinner reception, hosted by Appalachian IMG Sports Marketing.
If you have questions about the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, contact David Jackson at 828-264-2225 or email [email protected].