Chamber Annual Meeting
By Sam Atkins
Published in News on February 19, 2004 2:01 PM
The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce recognized its outstanding members Wednesday during its annual meeting.
Chamber officials reported that over 300 people attended the meeting at Walnut Creek Country Club. A television was placed in front of the room to help capture the life of one award recipient.
The highlight of the program was the Cornerstone Award. This year's recipient is Troy Pate Jr., who received a standing ovation when he accepted the award from Interim Chairman Tony Worrell.
Tony Worrell, left, interim chairman of the Wayne Chamber's board of directors, left, and Steve Hicks, chamber president, right, stand with Betsy Rosemann, who received the Volunteer of the Year Award and the Ambassador of the Year Award, and Troy Pate Jr., who received the Cornerstone.
Steve Hicks, chamber president, made a special plaque presentation to the family of Frank Tillman, who was elected to become this year's chairman of the chamber's board of directors but passed away earlier this month. Worrell will serve until another chairman is picked.
The Volunteer of the Year Award went to Betsy Rosemann of the Hampton Inn. She was also named Ambassador of the Year.
Ambassador Rookie of the Year was Debbie Pittman of Pittman Price CPA; the Distinguished Leadership Alumni Award went to Amy Cain of Wayne Memorial Hospital; the Excellence in Membership Development Award went to Dr. Ken Benton of Academics Plus Inc.; the Excellence in Communication Award went to Wayne Alley of WGBR; and Dr. Ed Wilson, president of Wayne Community College, and Horace Best of Massengill Best and Markham accounting firm both received the Chairman's Award.
The Cornerstone Award was created in 1996 to pay homage to an individual in Wayne County for a life of commitment and service. This life-long achievement award is presented annually to an individual, living or deceased, that has committed their all in service for the betterment of the county.
They may or may not have been involved with the Chamber. A permanent display with each recipient's name is hanging in the Chamber office.
Past recipients include Richard B. Dick Moffatt, Hal H. Tanner Sr., C.W. "Icky" Peacock, William A. Dees Jr., Hal K. Plonk, Edith Wooten Shepherd, and last year's winner, Oliver "Ollie" R. Toomey.
Pate attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining the U.S. Navy in 1951. After his service, he enrolled at East Carolina University and spent time volunteering at the Wayne County Boy's Club. He has served as chairman of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the university in 1982.
He spent 30 years in banking and has served on many state and federal boards. He has also volunteered his time with the Goldsboro Kiwanis, the United Way and Salvation Army.
He served on the Wayne Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, the Wayne Community College Foundation Board and is currently co-chairman of the N.C. Advisory Commission on Military Affairs.
"It was totally unexpected, but deeply appreciated," said Pate.
He also received a special award from Lt. Phil Smith with the 334th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Smith thanked Pate for all he has done for the base.
The Chamber also recognized its new division chairmen: Dr. Ken Benton, education; Jim Slowinski, member services; Tim Finan, community development; Dr. Ed Wilson, organizational development; Dave Quick, transportation; Jimmie Edmundson, military affairs; Rex Pennington, Northern Wayne Council; Horace Best, treasurer; and Tony Worrell, immediate past chairman and interim chairman for 2004.
The Chamber's plan for this year was also unveiled at the meeting. It includes increasing volunteer involvement, placing the Chamber on a more stable financial footing, adding value to membership and developing staff professionalism and expertise.
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