Rowan Chamber announces annual award winners

Rowan Chamber announces annual award winners
P.J. Ricks was named the Paul Fisher Volunteer of the Year Award winner. (Source: Submitted photo)

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s 95th Annual Meeting was held today in conjunction with the Power in Partnership virtual event. Title sponsorship was provided by Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. The Chamber also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Gateway Building.

Annual award winners were presented in a surprise “Publishers Clearing House” style video recorded prior to the event:

  • Pottery 101 - Chamber Champion Small Business of the Year
  • P.J. Ricks – Paul E. Fisher Volunteer of the Year Award
  • The late Paul E. Fisher - Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award

The gavel passed from 2020 Chair of the Board Gary Blabon (Novant Health Rowan Medical Center) to 2021 Chair of the Board Bob Honeycutt (F & M Bank). They each presented remarks about the Chamber’s recent accomplishments and top priorities for the coming year. Several Chamber Members were featured with video testimonials on what they value most about their Chamber Membership. Feedback was excellent on how well the Chamber handled pandemic communication to members and business recovery efforts.

In addition to Title Sponsor Novant Health, program sponsors were: Duke Energy Carolinas, F & M Bank, Premier Federal Credit Union and Trinity Oaks.

Corporate sponsors were: Atrium Health, Godley’s Garden Center, Hood Theological Center, Fisher Realty Co., and Rowan EDC. The Chamber would also like to thank Joe Girdler (JG Media) and Miller-Davis Advertising Agency with their help of the enhanced virtual production. The invocation was provided by Carmen Harper (Hood Theological Seminary). Rowan EDC President Rod Crider and Rowan Tourism CEO James Meacham also provided community partner remarks.

Chery Goins accepted the Chamber Champion Small Business of the Year Award for Pottery 101.  This locally owned business began 12 years ago and was recognized for supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. In August 2020 during the summer of racial justice issues, Goins placed a large, window sized Black Lives Matter poster in the front window of Pottery 101. For months, the poster was a fun place for justice supporters to take pictures.

P. J. Ricks was the recipient of the Paul E. Fisher Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award. Ricks has been involved with the Chamber’s Ambassadors, Business After Hours mixers, and Power in Partnership breakfasts. She is a Leadership Rowan graduate and involved with our Minority Business Council.

The late Paul E. Fisher was honored with the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award. The Fisher family received the award in his honor. Fisher was Chamber Chairman in 1977 and led the fundraising effort for the Gateway Building that was completed in 2001. It was announced at the Annual Meeting that the building will be renamed the “Paul E. Fisher Gateway Building” by James Meacham.

The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit 501c6 business advocacy organization. Member benefits include business advocacy, leadership development, workforce development,

networking programs, member referrals, newcomer packets and much more. For more information on the Rowan Chamber, call 704.633.4221, send an email to info@rowanchamber.com,  or

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