02/26/06 — Leadership group explores business, industry

View Archive

Leadership group explores business, industry

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on February 26, 2006 2:08 AM

Members of the 2005-06 Class of Leadership Wayne County took their turn learning about business and industry this month as part of the countywide leadership program.

Leadership Wayne County participants meet once a month from October through April for a series of meetings with local experts and tours around the region to learn more about various aspects of their county.

The sessions are part of the graduation requirements for participants in the leadership program.

Class members also will do a community service project designed to improve Wayne County.

Business & Industry Day was hosted by Leadership Wayne County regents Kim Bowers from the Hilex Poly Corp. and Rick Sumner from Wooten Oil Co.

The group started its day out with a presentation by Steve Hicks, the executive director of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, who outlined the chamber's view of the county's potential for continued growth.

The group's next stop was a tour of Hilex Poly Co., where they were introduced to the business of plastic bag production.

While at the facility, the group heard from Julie Beck and Stephanie Kornegay, who talked with the group about downtown Mount Olive and the Small Town Main Street Development project, during a bus tour of the downtown area.

After the tour, class members stopped at the Andy's headquarters, which is also located in Mount Olive.

Greeted by a 1950s car, which formed half the reception desk, class members toured the facility and learned about the business formula that has made the company a success.

After lunch, which was provided by the Economic Development Commission, president Joanna Thompson shared a bit about economic development. She covered the process as well as the expectations, and offered her vision of the future of Wayne County as it relates to attracting and keeping industrial investment.

The class then heard from Rick Sumner and Dick Marino from Wooten Oil Co., who spoke about the book, "FISH! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale & Improve Results." The book, and video that class members watched during the presentation, emphasized the effect attitude has on employees and business success.

The Leadership Class's final stop was at Southco Distributing, where president Sonny Wooten and some of his staff shared a bit about convenience store distribution and product marketing, allowing class members to tour the distribution facility and to taste test some of the products that have been pitched to the company for placement with its clients.

Leadership Wayne County is sponsored by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and the Wayne Charitable Partnership. Corporate sponsors for the 2005-06 program year are AccuCopy, North Carolina Community Federal Credit Union, North Carolina Natural Gas and Wayne Memorial Hospital.

For more information on the program or an application for next year, call the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce at 919-734-2241.