by Bruce Boyer
Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to reflect on what we are thankful for. Family often comes high on the list, as does employment, friends, church, and even the community where we are fortunate to live. People tend to take a higher place on the list than do possessions.
The chamber’s annual banquet is one of those times when we take notice of the people who make our life in this community what it is. The 2013 Annual Banquet and Community Awards will be held Monday, November 18 at the Bridger Field House. At the event we will thank some of the key people of our community. This article highlights people recognized at the 2012 annual banquet, all of whom have laid the foundation for the successful 2013 we have enjoyed.
Jim and Henrietta Barrett, 2012 Community Distinguished Service Award. Jim and Henrietta Barrett received the 2012 Community Distinguished Service award, appropriately recognizing a lifetime of service to our community. The award is the oldest and most prestigious award presented by the chamber. Jim Barrett has been very active with the Kernersville Lion’s Club and is the long-term chairman of the CareNet Counseling Board. Henrietta and Jim have also provided leadership to the Shepherd’s Center for many years as well as on numerous committees and ministries at Main Street United Methodist Church.
Dana Caudill Jones, 2012 Citizen of the Year. Dana is just completing a number of consecutive terms on the Board of Aldermen, most recently as the Mayor Pro Tem. Dana’s commitment to the community is shared among many organizations. Education is very high on her list, as she serves as the PTA President at Kernersville Middle School and has had similar roles in earlier years at Cash Elementary. She also assists with the chamber’s education grant program. Recently she has taken on the role as President of the Next Step Ministry Board. She has served on the board at the Shepherd’s Center, is a key volunteer for the Kernersville Soccer Association, and at her church, and served on the YMCA Board of Management.
Monica Young, 2012 Key Volunteer. Education is also a passion of Monica Young. The chamber’s education grant program is now celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year thanks to Monica. She re-started the chamber’s Education Grant program in 2003 and helped it grow from just four grants in the early years to thirty-four (34) grants each of the past two years. In the 10 years of the education grant program, over $90,000 will have been contributed to the public schools by the end of 2013. She also founded the Kernersville Connections program, an ambassador program for outstanding sophomore and juniors in Kernersville area high schools.
Mary Kay Csanyi, 2012 Chairman’s Award. Mary Kay Csanyi is the Administrative Assistant at the Chamber. The Chairman’s Award is presented annually to the person who most helps the board chair that year. 2012 Board Chair Sharon Tucker selected Mary Kay to receive the award because of her service to the community. Sharon indicated, “Mary Kay Csanyi is the cornerstone that keeps all aspects of the chamber functioning smoothly, working closely with all staff, volunteers and members of the chamber.”
Pope Companies, Economic Development Award. From time to time, the chamber recognizes a business or individual who has been a major player in the economic development of the community. At last year’s banquet the special economic development award was presented to The Pope Companies. Pope Companies has been very instrumental in the establishment of business parks in the Kernersville area, as well as the vision for setting aside the property developed by the Novant Kernersville Medical Center, the new medical office building adjacent to the hospital, and the VA Clinic. Pope Companies’ foresight has been a key factor in the development and expansion of small and large businesses in the community, which has helped keep the local economy healthy.
Kernersville continues to develop new leaders. The 2013 awards will be presented by WXII News 12 anchor Cameron Kent at the November 18 annual banquet. The banquet theme is Kernersville: The International Business Community. Leaders will be celebrating the connections of our local commerce to markets all across the globe. Amplifying the theme will be keynote speaker Doug Copeland. Mr. Copeland is the Publisher of The Business Journal, a publication which emphasizes the power of regional cooperation to position the Triad as a strong economic player in the country.
At this time of Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for the country in which we live, the community we call home, and the people who make it a special place.