Citizens, businesses honored by Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

A new Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year and Employee of the Year were honored during the Second annual Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman’s Gala Friday night at Stone Chimney Place in Supply.

“Our future’s so bright. (That’s) the theme for 2013. The chamber has kicked off the new year with many exciting ideas and projects on the horizon,” president Shannon Viera said.

“The annual gala held last Friday was a great success; 195 people came to celebrate the chamber’s successes in 2012 and see the bright future for 2013.”

The 2012 Citizen of the Year is Shelbourn Stevens of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center.

“Integral part of the community is how this person is described. Serving on various boards around the community, he has been instrumental in improving the quality of life and growth in the area,” Viera said.

Other nominees for Citizen of the Year were Debra Allen of Ocean Isle Beach Turtle Protection Organization, Crystal Babson of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, Jon David, Brunswick County District Attorney, Kathy Doyle of St. Brendan the Navigator Roman Catholic Church, John Madison of John Madison DDS, PA; and James Shoemaker of Cape Fear Merchant Solutions.

The 2012 Employee of the Year was Cindy Cheatham of Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter.

“This person is described as being the picture of service excellence in the community. She exudes positive energy, is loved by all and always goes above and beyond as an employee,” Viera said.

The 2012 Business of the Year award was Naber Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

“This company has done so much for the community,” Viera said. “Not only have they been sponsors of various programs and events, they provide employee time and company resources to the various organizations they support. Here are just a few of their charities: Cell Phones for Soldiers, Drive for Kids at Union Elementary and American Cancer Society.”

Awards were also given to recognize the chamber’s Member of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Ambassador of the Year.

The Brunswick Beacon was named the Member of the Year.

The Ambassador of the Year was Cindy Leonard of Farm Bureau Insurance.

The Volunteer of the Year was George Baumgartner.

During the celebration, outgoing chamber board chairman Angie Sutton, general manager of The Brunswick Beacon, passed the gavel to the 2013 chair Allen Bryant of First Citizens Bank.

Viera also discussed the chamber’s 2012 successes and presented the 2013 strategic plan.

Visit the chamber online at www.brunswickcountychamber.org on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrunswickCountyChamber or call the office at 754-6644.


Rachel Johnson is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.