Chamber honors volunteers at annual meeting
By Shelley Smithssmith@salisburypost.com
The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce held its 84th Annual Meeting Thursday at the Holiday Inn.
Chamber President Bob Wright welcomed everyone, and thanked this year’s sponsors, AT&T and Food Lion.
“It’s been a good year for our organization,” Wright said, noting that the Chamber currently has 900-950 members.
Chamber Chair Randy Welch spoke of the great volunteers in the community.
“We have an outstanding group of volunteers and are blessed to have such an active volunteer base,” said Welch. “The board of directors was an excellent group to work with this year, and I’m grateful for the cooperation and collaboration.
“The Rowan County Chamber is one of the best nonprofits I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve been honored by your confidence and humbled by your trust.”
Welch asked everyone present to continue to embrace the community, quoting Winston Churchill.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
“You are the heart and soul of the community and the chamber,” said Welch.
The 2009 Paul E. Fisher Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Paul Brown of W.A. Brown and Son.
“This is a bright star in my week,” said Brown, who thanked his wife, daughter and son for all of their support.
W.A. Brown & Son has been a member of the Chamber since 1961.
Brown has served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors twice, and has been a supporter of Leadership Rowan, the Business Show, membership drives and capital campaigns. He is currently an officer for the Business Council, Women in Business, Business Resource Center, Agricultural Activities and Industrial Association.
The new Chamber Chair, William R. Wood, III, who goes by Skip, thanked Welch for passing the torch, and made a statement about the future of business in Rowan County.
“I’ll use the wet and windy weather as a metaphor to what the community has been through,” said Wood.
Wood said that the community is going to be the key to success.
“We need to all help work through the challenges we may face,” he said, stating that he has three passions for the Chamber this year, which are workforce development and education, women in business, and the Chamber, collectively, working exceptionally close with elected officials, TDAs, and Downtown Salisbury, to name a few.
“We need to make Rowan County the best it can be,” he said.
Wood then presented the 2009 Chamber Champion Small Business of the Year Award to Home Instead Senior Care.
“Without question our greatest assets are our caregivers who couldn’t be here tonight,” said Sid Jay, president and owner of Home Instead Senior Care. “We’re very honored and very proud of our caregivers.”
Home Instead Senior Care opened in 2005 and has rapidly grown more than 80 percent in the past four years.
Home Instead Senior Care has been involved in numerous organizations, including Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Rotary International, Meals on Wheels, the YMCA, and have participated in the Chamber’s Business Council, Women in Business, the Business Fair and Business After Hours.
Guest speaker for the annual meeting was Jim Mathis, an international corporate speaker, executive coach, trainer and author.
Mathis spoke of the “tsunami economy.”
“What’s happened to us has changed the landscape forever,” said Mathis. “This recession has changed life as we know it. The economy isn’t down, it’s different.”
Mathis encouraged business owners to get to the root of what customers buy and why they buy it.
For more information on the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, visit www.rowanchamber.com.