Chamber banquet award recipients honored

DUBLIN — The Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce membreship converged on Lu Mil Vineyard Tuesday evening for the annual banquet and awards ceremony.

About 140 people attended, which put a smile on Chamber Executive Director Dawn Maynard’s face.

“I think it was one of the best attended (banquets) that I recall to date,” said Maynard.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Commissioner Kelly Thomas from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, who provided some insight into the future of the DMV.

Maynard said Thomas shared with the those in attendance about some upcoming changes to drivers’ licenses and tags.

“He talked about new ways the North Carolina Department of Transportation is going to be distributing licenses and tags,” said Maynard.

In addition, Thomas spoke about new licenses that won’t crack or fade, as well as an effort to retrain employees to improve customer service and the grassroots level.

The Chamber also recognized their four 2015 award recipients:

— Outstanding Small Business Award winner is Ricky Leinwand, owner of Leinwand’s of Elizabethtown. The award was presented to Leinwand by Gary Grady.

— Outstanding Chamber Member Award winner is Alan Maynard of Maynard Law Firm. The award, which was voted on by a secret ballot, was presented by Hayes Petteway.

— Honorable Chamber Member of the Year Award winner is Harry Womble, Goldston’s Beach. The award was presented by White Lake Mayor Goldston Womble, who is also Harry Womble’s son.

— The Caring Person Award winner is Walter Bullard of Bladen Office Supply and Boy Scout leader. The award was presented by Lynn Weeks.

Maynard said the outgoing Chamber board members were also recognized. They are Robin Summerlin, Trey Duncan and Ann Garrett. The new Chamber board members are Maurice Williams of Whimsical Florist and Barbara Knight of DuPont; and the new Chamber president is Charlotte Smith.

Maynard also updated those in attendance about the upcoming Summer Sounds Concert series, which will be held at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market in Elizabethtown from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event will kick off on Thursday, July 9, with the Band of Oz. Other concerts include North Tower on July 23; the Fantastic Shakers on Aug.13; and wraps up with Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Aug. 27.

“DJ Daryl from Cool 105.3 in Whiteville will be doing live remotes from each event,” said Maynard.

She added that all sponsors of the Summer Sounds series will be allowed to set up during the event as vendors and there will be T-shirts available.

“It’s going to be a really nice community event,” said Maynard.

Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.