Chamber Chat - Banquet Award Winners, Part I

Feb 10

By Meg Moss


The Chamber Annual Membership Banquet took place on Tuesday, February 5th. It was a great opportunity to communicate with the business community regarding its activities. It also provided an avenue to recognize several men and women who make a significant contribution to our community. Over the next few weeks, I want to share with you the details of these award winners.


The first award presented was the Chamber Dedicated Service Award. This award was presented to the President of Central Carolina Community College, Dr. Bud Marchant, for his exceptional support of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as his work to make Sanford-Lee County a better place to live and work. He has gone beyond ordinary Chamber membership, as he has served as a role model for present and future generations in our Chamber and our community. He contributes tremendously to the Sanford Area Growth Alliance Program of Work.


Dr. Marchant’s passion for our community, economic development and workforce education have significantly strengthened our businesses and industries in Lee County. Politically astute and always sensitive to how we might better serve our community, he takes a proactive and comprehensive approach, reaching out to local government agencies, industry leaders, K-12 partners, and SAGA. He has been able to facilitate connections among these entities in support of a common goal - to improve the economic prosperity of Sanford-Lee County.


Of note, Dr. Marchant spearheaded the implementation of the College's Central Carolina Works Program, the Caterpillar Apprenticeship Program, the K-14 Lee County Promise Program, and the initiation of many new workforce programs.


Some of his other innovations include: the implementation of a “Dreamkeeper” fund to assist students who are close to graduating but are at risk of dropping out due to a small financial obstacle; and the implementation of a technology platform to make advising more personal, which will help student’s complete credentials sooner, and boost graduation rates.


The College and community have blossomed and grown thanks to this year’s winner.


Under his leadership, CCCC has truly become one of the "crown jewels" in the North Carolina Community College System, as it is now the largest non-urban community college in the state. As successful leaders strive to do, Dr. Marchant will retire from his presidency this year, leaving Central Carolina Community College in even better shape than when he arrived.


The second award presented at the Chamber Banquet was the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award. This award pays tribute to an individual who uses their time, talent and compassion to positively affect the lives of others in their communities or in the workplace.


The award winner, Margaret Murchison, exemplifies the giving and caring spirit of the Lee County community. Here are some specifics about Margaret, and why she was chosen:


Margaret served two terms on the Lee County Board of Education, and served on the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees from 2002 - 2006. She currently serves on the CCCC Foundation Board, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lee County. She has served multiple years on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the Brick Capital Community Development Corporation, and the United Way of Lee County. She is currently the Chair of the Lee County Enrichment Center Board, where she has served for fifteen years.


Margaret also helped develop the Council for Effective Actions and Decisions, which recently celebrated their 40th year in operation. This organization provides political forums for public input, academic scholarships, and spearheads Lee County’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. While started as an organization that focused on the needs of minorities, it now serves people from all walks of life with no regard to race. Margaret currently serves as their President. 


She is also very busy serving at First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, where she is most notably the church historian. She also leads the Youth Academy every Wednesday at the church.


She is the recipient of so many awards, that I can’t name them all, but here are a few: Outstanding Democrat Award, Small Business Advocate Award, United States Air Force Recruiting Service Award, March of Dimes Award, NAACP Service Award, the Get Smart Outstanding Citizen Award, and the 2011 Sanford Herald Lifetime Achievement Award. And most recently, she was named the 2018 Woman of the Year by the Lee County Community Foundation.


Margaret is a 1966 graduate of W. B. Wicker School, and has worked as the News and Public Affairs Director for WWGP and WFJA for over 40 years.


Next week’s Chamber Chat column will feature additional award winners from the Chamber Banquet.

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