Chamber Chat - Chamber Banquet, Part 1

Feb 11

By Meg Moss


This past Tuesday was the Chamber Annual Membership Banquet, and it was a blast! Hundreds of people in the business community gathered to hear an update from Doug Gay, the Chamber of Commerce Board Chair, and to find out the recipients of several annual business and community awards. Over the course of the remaining weeks in February, I’ll be highlighting in this Chamber Chat article one or more of the award winners each week. 

The full list of winners are the Business Advocate of the Year honorees, Greg and Nancy Adams, owners of the Piggly Wiggly stores in Broadway and Sanford; the winner of the Chamber Dedicated Service Award, Jerry Pedley, the owner of Mertek Solutions; the Small Business of the Year Award winner, Comfort First Heating and Cooling, owned by Art Harmon and Wes McLeod; and the winner of the Chairman’s Choice Award, Kelly Hazen Klug, owner of Lighthouse Documentation and Training.

I’ll start this week by highlighting the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award, and its winner, Cindy Hall.

The Duke Energy Citizenship and Service award began 13 years ago when the company turned 100 years old, and it recognizes an individual or organization that has made a noteworthy contribution to the community above and beyond the norm. It is a tribute to an individual who makes a difference in their community by using their time, talents & compassion to positively impact the lives of others. Recipients of the award help foster a culture of citizenship and service that acts as a catalyst for others to become involved. The honoree must exhibit the following business values- integrity, stewardship, inclusion, initiative, teamwork and accountability. 

During the award presentation, Hall was described as a “mentor, as someone who spearheads new programs, as a prayer-warrior, and as someone who works 24-7 for our community.”

Hall developed the “Sanford Job Seekers” program ten years ago. A program that has helped unemployed individuals find both encouragement, and employment. Although she had no experience in the area, she rolled up her sleeves, pulled together a myriad of resources in the community, and got to work. To date, she has helped write over one thousand resumes for people in need.

Hall also spearheaded the development of the Family Promise Program seven years ago. When tasked with the mission of helping to address the issue of homeless families in Lee County, she once again rolled up her sleeves, and served on the task force to develop a program that now involves 30 partner churches that house and feed these homeless families. She also now volunteers her time on the City of Sanford’s S-3-Housing Connect Homelessness Task Force, and helps with the Point-in-Time count of our homeless population.

Hall also leads the local faith-based Upward Basketball and Cheerleading programs. Serving over 500 youth, and requiring the coordination of 125 volunteer coaches and referees, this program serves the physical and spiritual needs of so many in our community. Included in this program are ten high school teams, providing Friday evening basketball for 90 teenagers.

And then there are the “Do It” Days Hall coordinates through First Baptist Church, where she works as the Minister of Outreach and Activities. These one-day events target needy people, like senior citizens or others, and usually involves home repairs and the like. Hall also participates in Sanford’s Block Party each year, donating time and supplies to help spruce up a section of our town.

Sanford is lucky to have someone like Hall who “rolls up her sleeves” to get things done.

The Banquet was topped off by the presentation of the Richard Feindel Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to General Dan K. McNeill, US Army Retired, and the audience was treated to a special performance by the 82nd Airborne Division All American Chorus.

Stay tuned for next Sunday’s Chamber Chat article, where I will highlight the Business Advocate Award winners, Greg and Nancy Adams, and the Chamber Dedicated Service winner, Jerry Pedley.

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