Haywood Chamber recognizes achievers

By Vicki Hyatt | Jun 10, 2013
Photo by: Vicki Hyatt Ron Leatherwood, outgoing president of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, was given a five-legged stool at the annual banquet last week.

At the annual Haywood County Chamber of Commerce dinner last week, dozens of business and community leaders were recognized for their work during the year, and a new slate of officers was welcomed.

Kim's Pharmacy of Waynesville was given the "Business of the Year" award, and attorney/Canton businessman Pat Smathers was recognized as "Entrepreneur of the Year," for his work in restoring the Imperial Hotel.

Michele Rogers of Select Homes Property Management, was recognized as "Ambassador of the Year," Chase Wells with Griffin, Wells & Queen P.A., was named "Young Professional of the Year" and Vicki Hyatt, editor of The Mountaineer, received the "Volunteer of the Year" award.

The honorees were chosen for demonstrating the true spirit of service, passion and pride for the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, entrepreneurial spirit, commitment, vision and personal growth and excellence in business, Chamber Director CeCe Hipps told a crowd of about 170.

"Rulers of Success" were awarded to Tommy Bourque, Old Town Bank, for his work with the Leadership Haywood Program and to Nyda Bittmann-Neville, Asheville Savings Bank, for work in the Partners in Leadership Program. Both programs are new initiatives within the Chamber.

Melanie Williams and her business Pixels in My Pocket were recognized during the annual dinner as the 2013 Business Start Up Competition recipient. Pixels in my Pocket merges graphic design, coding and marketing to provide comprehensive marketing assistance to businesses in Haywood County and surrounding areas. The award included a $7,000 grant o help launch the business.

Outgoing Chamber Board Chairman, Ron Leatherwood of Clark & Leatherwood, was recognized for his service to the Haywood Chamber and was presented a plaque in recognition of his tenure.

Leatherwood then handed the gavel to uncoming Board Chairman Greg Boothroyd of Smoky Mountain News.

In his closing statements, Boothroyd said, “The Haywood Chamber touches a large portion of our community and I hope to continue to grow that reach and the integrity during my time at the helm.”

Chamber board members for the 2013-14 fiscal year include Rogers; Janie Sinacore-Jaberg, MedWest Haywood and Jason Walls, Duke Energy Progress.

The 2013 Chamber Annual Awards Dinner was sponsored by Duke Energy Progress, Mission Health System, MedWest Haywood, Champion Credit Union, First Citizens Bank, Old Town Bank, HomeTrust Bank, Select Homes Property Management, Smoky Mountain News and The Mountaineer.

The Haywood Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, nonprofit organization with about 500 businesses in the area.  The mission of the Chamber is to create and sustain a successful business environment.  Visit www.haywoodchamber.com for additional information.