Chamber Banquet Attendees See O’Geary – 2016 Citizen of the Year
Tuesday night inside the Vance Granville Community College Civic Center, the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce held its 79th annual membership meeting and banquet.
Former Henderson Mayor James D. “Pete” O’Geary was presented the Citizen of the Year Award for 2016.
O’Geary told the packed room, “I am speechless. I never thought it would be Pete O’Geary tonight. I am so honored to be here and to receive this award. I thank you so much, and it has been such a pleasure for me to serve as the Mayor of the City of Henderson, City Council and other organizations that I have been a part of. It has truly been a blessing to me, not only to me but also my family, and also my wife, and also my sons.”
He introduced his wife Grace and announced they have been married for 61 years. He introduced his granddaughter, Evan O’Geary, who is also Miss Henderson. He introduced his son Jonathan and wife Amy and his son Dr. Steven O’Geary. He said, “It is such an honor to be here and to have my family to support me.” His other son, who lives in Connecticut, could not be in attendance.
The humble and kind O’Geary told WIZS News after the banquet concluded that the things he has done have been such a pleasure. He said, “I have been blessed through the years. I’ve had so many wonderful people to work with, a wonderful staff at City Hall, and citizens have just been wonderful. It’s been a pleasure for me, a wonderful opportunity.”
Marion Perry, the 2015 Citizen of the Year, presented the award to O’Geary on behalf of the Chamber and Chamber President John Barnes. Integrity, kindness and good citizenship were words used by Perry in introducing O’Geary.
Perry said, “As mayor, he served with honor and distinction and worked exceptionally hard to help the City maneuver through economic adversity created by the nationwide great recession. He was a successful bridge builder, who is still highly respected and loved. He always takes time to listen to people no matter what the time of day.”
O’Geary is widely known for his diplomacy and for getting people to work together as a team. He is a recent recipient of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, an award presented to him at the end of his term as mayor.
The keynote speaker was Scott Mason, The Tar Heel Traveler with WRAL-TV. He told about his life and presented numerous Tar Heel Traveler clips to the audience. It was enjoyed very much by all – very entertaining. He signed and sold copies of his books in the lobby afterwards.
Susan Rogers, 2017 Chamber Board Chair and who is the marketing director at Chic-Fil-A, talked about her love of Henderson and how she has been a lifelong resident. She said, “My heart is here, in this community.” She issued a charge to the members, guests and community to engage the H-V Chamber of Commerce even more in 2017. “I ask you to take your decision of joining the Chamber a step further, and choose to become engaged and build the relationship. Relationships are the building blocks that your businesses stand on,” she said.
Gloria White, Chair of the Vance County Board of Education, and Crystal Richardson, Principal of the Year and Principal of Clarke Elementary, presented the Shining Moment in Education Award to The Henderson Family YMCA and The Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks Department.
Tonya Moore with KARTS was presented the Chamber Ambassador of the Year Award.
The entire banquet was broadcast live on WIZS 1450 AM and live streamed on wizs.com.