Business briefs: Chamber announces new officers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 5, 2020

SALISBURY — Gary Blabon, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, and Bob Honeycutt, F&M Bank, have been named, respectively, chair of the board and chair-elect for the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.

“The chamber is honored to have such wonderful business volunteers in our leadership succession,” said Nicole Holmes Matangira, 2019 chair of the board.

Blabon took over as chair  on Jan. 1, and Honeycutt will serve as chair in 2021.

Other members of the chamber’s 2020 executive committee include: Alan Burke, Alan Burke, CPA, treasurer; Rita Foil, Rowan-Salisbury Schools, division chair-education and workforce development; Starling Johnson Kaklamanos, Johnson Concrete, division chair-membership; Terry Osborne, Rowan County ABC Board, division chair-business advocacy; Nicole Holmes Matangira, Holmes Iron & Metal, immediate past chair; and, Elaine Spalding, president.

New board members are Sharon Baker, Integro Technologies; Dr. Eric Hake, Catawba College; Carmen Harper, Hood Theological Seminary; Elaine Holden, N.C. Transportation Museum; and, Ken Ingle, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Continuing board members are Mike Beaver, Beaver Brothers Inc.; Amie Morgan Baudoin, Morgan Ridge; Kevin Davis, Belk; Dr. Melanie Denton Dombrowski, Salisbury Eyewear and Eyecare; Elia Gegorek, Gegorek & Associates Realty, LLC; Mike Grandizio, Hotwire Communications; Bill Johnson, Trinity Oaks; Dr. Nicole Sherrill-Corry, NSC Behavioral Concepts; and, Shane Valley, Food Lion.

The Chamber’s 94th Annual Gala will be held on Jan. 9, 6 p.m. at the West End Plaza with a “Vision 2020: Our Time to Shine!” theme. The gavel will officially pass from Matangira to Blabon at this event and annual awards will also be presented. The emcee for the evening is Kent Barnhardt.

The Rowan Chamber is a not-for-profit business advocacy organization with over 800 member firms. Member benefits include business advocacy, community development, professional development, leadership training, discounts to members and networking events.

If you would like information on becoming a member of the Rowan Chamber, please contact us at (704) 633-4221 or or

RPL to host community Job & Resource Fair on Jan. 17

SALISBURY – If new employment is one of your resolutions for 2020, make sure you check out the Job & Resource Fair at Rowan Public Library on Friday, Jan. 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fair will be at RPL Headquarters, 201 W. Fisher St.

This event is free and open to the public. It is an opportunity for job seekers to meet with local agencies that are  hiring, as well as learn about job resources that are available for free in the community.

Community members often use the library as a resource for job seeking activities, from updating and creating resumes to searching for and completing online applications.

Several local businesses and organizations are already confirmed to attend: Onin Staffing, Bonney Staffing, Goodwill Career Connection, NC Works, Vocational Rehab, Comfort Keepers, Home Instead Senior Care, Randstad USA, Great Women and Men United, Rowan One Church One Child, The Pedal Factory, Metrolina Greenhouse, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Local employers who would like to join the event have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 16 to contact Hannah Hemphill, RPL Adult Services librarian and coordinator of the fair, at or 704-216-8259.

The fair will offer two additional features to help prepare people to be successful in their job search. Jon Hunter from Rowan One Church One Child (ROCOC) program of Rowan County is offering clothing vouchers to the clothing closet at the ROCOC Assistance Center. The voucher allows participants an opportunity to obtain professional clothing that can be worn to future job interviews. In order to access this clothing closet, participants must attend the job fair and obtain the voucher.

Goodwill Career Connections will also be onsite to offer assistance updating existing resumes and help participants print their updated documents free of charge. “Because many of the employers’ onsite will be looking to actively recruit, it is important that participants are prepared with an updated resume,” said Hemphill.

Participants who would like in-depth assistance creating or revising their resumes are encouraged to contact RPL or Goodwill Career Connections prior to the job fair. Chrystina Clifton, a Career Connections Specialist with Goodwill Industries of Northwest N.C., is offering a Job Readiness on the Go Program at all branches of RPL. The drop-in program runs from 2 to 4 p.m. at RPL East on Jan. 9, and RPL South on Jan. 16.

For up-to-date information about this event, visit or

Award for Gattons Towing

Michael and Deana Gatton of Gattons Towing Service LLC, Concord, were inducted into the Order of Towman by American Towman Magazine.

The Cross of the Order, a Maltese Cross with a unique towing icon sculpted inside, is awarded to a towing professional for his or her dedication to the towing trade and for serving the community. Michael and Deana Gatton were nominated by David Gandy, chief of Rimer Volunteer Fire Department

Those professionals who receive the Cross of the Order enter into an elite organization of towing professionals nationwide, the Towman Order. Inductees take an oath to continue their unparalleled dedication to their towns. Much of the work these towmen perform are accidentrelated tows dispatched by town police or fire departments

The Cross of the Order depicts a hand pulling back an arrow from a bow, the bottom of the bow is in the shape of a tow hook being grabbed by another hand. Beside it is a Latin inscription, Intendo Fidelis, which means, Aim True. 

Michael and Deana Gatton received the honor Dec. during the 31st Annual American Towman Exposition in Atlantic City. The award is formally sanctioned by American Towman Magazine

Commissioner appointed to board

Rowan County Commissioner Mike Caskey Jr. joined fellow members of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Joint Risk Management Agency Board of Trustees for its winter meeting.

NCACC President Kevin Austin appointed Caskey to fill the remaining one-year unexpired term of the seat vacated by Iredell County Commissioner Jeff McNeely, who is now serving in the N.C. General Assembly.

Austin also appointed Jaime Laughter, Transylvania County Manager, to fill the two-year unexpired term of the seat vacated by retiring Hertford County Manager Loria Williams. Seven trustees are beginning a new three-year term, which will expire December 2020.

Among other agenda items, NCACC administered the oath of office to new members of the Board of Trustees, appointed by Austin, and existing trustees, who are beginning new three-year terms.

The board approved a new program to help counties reduce repair costs related to vehicle collisions. The program would offer incentives for risk pool members to purchase “push bumpers,” for law enforcement vehicles, which can reduce repair costs by over $500 for frontal collision damage.

NCACC staff provided a legislative report on the 2019 Long Session of the General Assembly and an operational report, which highlighted four educational meetings hosted by NCACC Risk Management. The meetings drew nearly 100 attendees representing 56 of NCACC Pool Members, and covered cyber security issues and resources, updates to the online training platform County College, and lessons learned from the claims process following Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Chick-fil-A gets spicy

The Chick-fil-A menu is about to get spicier for customers in Salisbury. Starting on Jan. 13, participating Charlotte-area Chick-fil-A restaurants, including some Salisbury locations, will test three new spicy offerings for guests to try:

  • Spicy Chick-n-Strips
    • Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips seasoned with a spicy blend of peppers.
    • Available as a 3-count or 4-count entrée and as a catering option.
  • Spicy Chick-n-Strips Biscuit
    • Features two Spicy Chick-n-Strips seasoned with a spicy blend of peppers, served on a freshly baked buttered biscuit.
    • Available on the breakfast menu.
  • Grilled Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich
    • Includes a grilled chicken breast marinated in a spicy pepper blend.
    • Served on a toasted multigrain brioche bun with Colby-Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato.
    • Recommend with the new Cilantro Lime Sauce.

In addition to the spicy items, participating Charlotte-area and Arizona restaurants are testing a modified menu that will remove certain Chick-fil-A menu items starting on Jan. 13 to make room for these new spicy offerings and future new items. To learn more about the modified menu test, visit

NCCARE360 expands

 NCCARE360, the statewide coordinated care network connecting individuals to local services and resources, has officially launched in 29 additional North Carolina counties. This sixth regional rollout has launched with health care and community-based organizations, including the Chatham Health Alliance, Halifax County Health Department, MANNA FoodBank, United Way of Davidson County and Mountain Projects Community Action Agency.

Now serving  50 North Carolina counties, NCCARE360 is on target to connect health and human service resources in every county and reach full statewide implementation by the end of 2020.

NCCARE360 is a collaborative solution to health care and service delivery systems that, in the past, have been fragmented and difficult to navigate. NCCARE360 provides a coordinated, community-oriented, person-centered approach to delivering care, and connects North Carolinians to behavioral health, clinical, and social service partners who are dedicated to working together to improve health and well-being.

NCCARE360 includes a call center with dedicated navigators powered by NC 2-1-1, and a shared technology platform powered by Unite Us, that enables providers to send and receive secure electronic referrals, communicate in real-time, securely share client information, and collect data on factors impacting outcomes and costs.

In addition to Halifax County, other counties joining the NCCARE360 network include Rowan, Alexander, Buncombe, Camden, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Currituck, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Gates, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Lincoln, Madison, Nash, Northampton, Orange, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Randolph, Stokes, Transylvania, Wilson and Yadkin.