Economic developer named BPW Career Woman of the Year
By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 5, 2010 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Joanna Helms said she is used to being the person handing out the awards, not the person receiving one. Thursday night she was honored as the Wayne-Duplin Business and Professional Women's Club's Career Woman of the Year.
"They tricked me," said Mrs. Helms, president of the Wayne County Development Alliance. "They asked me to come be the guest speaker. I am very surprised. It is a humbling experience and I and glad to recognized by a organization as prestigious as the BPW."
Mrs. Helms will represent the club on the state level for Career Woman of the Year.
Debbie Pennell of Goldsboro, human resources manager and executive secretary for the Goldsboro News-Argus, and Wanda T. Canady of Wallace, real estate broker/owner, also competed for the honor. Ms. Canady was unable to attend Thursday night's awards program at Pizza Village.
Mrs. Helms is responsible for all economic development activity for the county and its seven municipalities. She spoke about the alliance's responsibilities in the areas of new investment, job creation, the development of industrial sites in the county.
"We are so pleased to have three nominees," said Sonya O'Brien, club president. "It is an honor to be a nominee."
The award is based not only on the woman's career, but her involvement in community, humanitarian and/or religious activities.
Mrs. O'Brien said the purpose of the Career Woman program is to elevate the standards for women in the business and the professions and to bring about a spirit of cooperation among business and professional women.
It also promotes the interest of business and profession women while extending opportunities to women through education along the lines of industrial, scientific an vocational activities, she said.
The Wayne-Duplin Business and Professional Women's Club and BPW-NC participated in National Business Women's Week during the week of Oct. 18-22.
The annual observances offers communities, companies and organizations an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of working women in the local and state work force.