Cornerstone status for William Kemp Jr.
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 1, 2006 1:53 PM
In his life so far, William P. Kemp, Jr. has received such honors as Man of the Year, Boss of the Year, Rotary Scouter of the Century, Outstanding Senior Citizen by the Goldsboro Jaycees, and was the first scout in the Tuscarora Council to receive the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
Tuesday night, he added to that list after being named the recipient of the Cornerstone Award, presented during the annual meeting of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.
In a taped tribute to Kemp, the 240-member audience learned about his record of achievement and service to the community since his family moved to Goldsboro when he was 9 years old.
And they learned a few facts they might not have known about his athletic skills on the wrestling mat.
come to be called in college, went on to work in the family business and became an active member of the Southern Furniture Manufacturers Association.
He also served in the N.C. Legislature from 1970-74, has been on the Wayne County Board of Education, was named to the Goldsboro Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and in May 2005 was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his lifetime service to wrestling.
At 82, Kemp said he recalled two important dates in his life, the first being the year 1931.
"It was the height of the Depression, we had moved to Goldsboro. I cried half the way down through Richmond," he said before noting that "Goldsboro has been good to me. My dad could not have picked a better place for me."
He added that now, he would "cry if he had to leave."
The other date, he said, was 1945, the year wife "Betty agreed to join forces with me. We're very lucky to have the family we have, to have the friends we have, and to be in the community that we have."
Kemp said that being a part of the Chamber of Commerce has been another major interest the couple have shared.
"It's what makes our community better, and there's nothing more exciting than working for it. It's wonderful to be in the thick of the battle. ... I encourage others to become involved in the chamber and do something to make our community better because it will make you better."
Other awards were also presented during ceremonies at Walnut Creek Country Club, in addition to the passing of the gavel from outgoing Chamber President Henry Smith to his successor Tom Buffkin of Franklin Baking Co.
Buffkin said he anticipates 2006 being a great year and hopes others in the business community will become active in the Chamber of Commerce.
"If we work together and spend all of our local money in the local economy, how wonderful it would be for our county," he said. "Whether you're in the baking business, the banking business, or Progress Energy, it's all about customer service. As far as I'm concerned, our membership is our customers and I will do everything I can to make them successful ... to make Wayne County a model for success."
Steve Hicks, executive director of the chamber, presented the awards for outstanding service over the past year. Recipients included:
*Excellence in Communication: Goldsboro News-Argus and JMAC Multimedia
*Volunteer of the Year: Amy Cain, public relations director of Wayne Memorial Hospital
*Ambassador Rookie of the Year: Betty Cassidy of Town and Country GMAC Realty
*Ambassador of the Year: Gretchen Reed of Goldsboro News-Argus
*Chairman's Award: Charles Royal of REA Properties/Real Estate Advisors
Outgoing members of the board of directors whose terms have ended were also recognized for years of service. They included Sarah Kearney of Southern Florist and Gifts, Joe Sawyer of the City of Goldsboro, an Walter Krentz of KS Bank.
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