Chamber celebrates milestones at annual dinner

By Vicki Hyatt | Jun 20, 2014
Photo by: Vicki Hyatt Old Town Bank President Charles Umberger is congratulated by Ken Flynt, right, for his business being named Business of the Year.

Wells Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, a multi-generation business that will soon open its new event center, hit a home run Thursday evening during the annual Haywood County Chamber of Commerce awards dinner.

Jennifer Jacobsen, who is the fifth generation to be involved in the business, was given the Volunteer of the Year Award, while Wells and Kathy Greeley took home the Entrepreneur of the Year award for the latest expansion at the Waynesville location.

The back-to-back awards, said Wells Greeley, left him teary-eyed that his daughter would earn such an honor and then he was to be called forward.

The prestigious business of the year award went to Old Town Bank for the many community efforts supported by the financial institution.  Attendees from Old Town Bank included Tommy Bourque, Jason Chambers, Lurissa Hendrix, Nicki Henry,  Dana Klinger and  Charles Umberger.

The Chamber hosts many events in the county each year to help promote business, entrepreneurship, and a sustainable environment.

These events span from the Blue Ridge Breakaway which brings hundreds of bicyclists to the area for four different rides through the county to the Annual Apple Harvest Festival supporting our local growers, crafters from throughout the region, as well as many other vendors and all of the people who come for the event. Chamber President CeCe Hipps announced a new annual event to take place in May 2015, the Gateway to the Smokies Half-Marathon that she believes will draw runners from the Southeast in the same manner the Breakaway draws cyclists.

Four new Chamber Board Members were sworn in by Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown. Mike Ferguson, Evergreen Packaging; Jonathan Key, The Mountaineer; Lorinda Whaley, First Citizens Bank and Travis Hyatt, Haynes Heating & Cooling to represent the Young Professionals of Haywood.

In addition to the awards bestowed Thursday, graduates of Leadership Haywood, a leadership training class resurrected by the Chamber this year, were also recognized.

Other awards included:

Young Professional of the Year – Travis Hyatt

Haynes Heating & Cooling

Volunteer of the Year – Jennifer Jacobson

Wells Funeral Homes Inc. & Cremation Services

Ambassador of the Year –BB&T Team:

Belva Evans (was not at the dinner)


Josh Brant


(7) Rulers of Recognition:

Ron Leatherwood Chair of the EDC Taskforce

Dr. Laura Leatherwood Chair of the EDC Structure and Model Committee

Bruce Johnson Chair of the EDC Finance Committee

Nyda Bittmann-Neville Chair of the EDC Marketing Committee

Ken Flynt Workforce Development Initiative

Smoky Mountain Half Marathon Scott McLeod

Smoky Mountain Half Marathon Ken Howell


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