Mayor/Council Sworn In

The Henderson City Council met Monday night at 6:00 o’clock, and installation ceremonies were held for the mayor, the newly elected council members as well as the re-elected incumbents.

Eddie Ellington was sworn in and is now the Mayor of The City of Henderson.  Ellington told WIZS News, “I have a huge feeling of pride as well as gratitude knowing that a boy like me who grew up on Burwell Avenue could one day be the mayor of his hometown.  It’s time now to move ahead, get to work and see that Henderson lives up to the potential we all know exists.”

Ellington defeated Jim Kearney and Juanita Somerville in October as he earned 50.20 percent of the vote.Marion Brodie Williams Sworn In 121415

As a result of running for mayor, Kearney gave up his ward 1 ward seat on the council.  Marion Brodie Williams defeated Clarence Dale in a November runoff, earning almost 56 percent of the votes cast in the runoff. Williams was sworn in Monday night.  She told WIZS News, “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I am accepting this position to represent ward 1.  It’s an honor to take the seat that Mr. Kearney had, and I hope to fulfill that with dedication and a lot of enthusiasm.  It feels very good to know that the citizens elected me and to stand here right now.  It’s all come together for me, and I thank all the citizens of ward 1 for voting for me.  I really do.”

Melissa Elliott Sworn In 121415Melissa Elliott was sworn in to represent ward 3 at large.  She defeated incumbent Brenda Peace, also earning just about 56 percent of those who voted in the November runoff.  Elliott told WIZS News, “I feel grateful to God and completely overwhelmed with joy, and I want to serve the citizens of Henderson to the best of my ability.” In response to a question about the next few years, Elliott said, “Initiatives, initiatives, initiatives.”

Also as a part of the meeting, outgoing Mayor James D. “Pete” O’Geary learned that a conference room at City Hall will now bear his name.  In addition, O’Geary was awarded “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.”  In attendance representing The State of North Carolina and Governor Pat McCrory was Senator Angela R. Bryant, who represents Vance, Warren, Halifax, Nash and Wilson Counties.  Mayor O’Geary expressed extreme gratitude for the award and to the City and to the council at several points during the meeting.  O’Geary’s combined service to Henderson spanned 20 years, 12 as a councilman and eight as Mayor.Pete OGeary Long Leaf Pine 121415

As a part of an outgoing ceremony for Councilman Kearney, he received a key to the City of Henderson from City Manager Frank Frazier.   Kearney said, “It has been my distinct pleasure to serve the citizens of Henderson, particularly those of ward 1 for the last four-plus years.  To my colleagues, it has been my pleasure to work with you.  We have had some lively exchanges, and we have had some that were quite congenial (where) everyone was in agreement.  All in all, we served the citizens with professionalism.”  Kearney urged incoming council members and the mayor to “rule with your head, but lead with your heart.”Jim Kearney Key to City 121415

Outgoing councilwoman Brenda Peace could not attend the meeting because of a prior duty with her church, where she and others were volunteering in the neighborhoods around the church.  Mayor O’Geary read a letter that Peace submitted.  Peace said in the letter, “Ms. Elliott, please feel the hearty handshake and warm embrace that I would have shared with you as we exchanged seats.  Once again, I congratulate you in your victory.”  Peace praised the incumbents and newly elected members and expressed much gratitude.  She said to the citizens, “I say thank you for the confidence you have had in me (for the past eight years.)  The experience has enhanced me and broadened my horizons.”

Also sworn in were re-elected incumbents George Daye and Mike Rainey.

North Carolina Central University Teams with Vance-Granville Community College to Launch Eagle Voyage Criminal Justice Program

The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Department of Criminal Justice and Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) signed an agreement today (Dec. 2) launching Eagle Voyage, a new program offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice on the VGCC campus.

Representatives of the college and the university held a signing ceremony in the Civic Center on the community college’s Main Campus in Vance County, where VGCC will provide classroom space and technology support and NCCU will provide a two-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree for students holding an associate degree in Criminal Justice from VGCC.

Not only will Eagle Voyage represent the first bachelor’s degree program available at VGCC facilities, it will also mark the first time in which a full-time NCCU academic coordinator will be based on a community college campus to coach, advise and assist students working toward their four-year degrees.

With credits transferring from the associate’s degree, students will complete the accelerated program over the course of nine, eight-week mini-sessions and one summer at VGCC. NCCU will assist with recruitment of students for each annual cohort.

“This is another exciting learning and partnership opportunity for NCCU and Vance-Granville Community College as we continue to work together to highlight our ability to provide a more seamless educational experience for our transfer students,” said Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “This partnership with Vance-Granville Community College adds to the growing number of partnerships that NCCU has with community colleges across the state. It is through these types of partnerships that we are able to provide access to educational opportunities and academic resources to prepare Eagle Voyage scholars for success in the field of criminal justice.”

Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC, said her institution has been working to strengthen relationships with four-year universities to promote student success.

“Research indicates that when community college students have clear academic and career pathways, they are more likely to continue their education and graduate, and they have better employment outcomes as well,” she said. “Through this partnership, our Vanguards will have a new way to continue their own academic voyages, soaring as Eagles into successful careers as leaders in criminal justice and public service.”

Courses will be taught in a hybrid format consisting of a one day per week onsite session at VGCC’s Main Campus, with additional work completed online via Blackboard, a Learning Management System. Students enrolled in the B.S. program in Criminal Justice at Vance-Granville Community College will be encouraged to join student organizations at NCCU and take advantage of other university resources such as access to the James E. Shepard Library and other NCCU online services.

Students also will have learning opportunities outside the classroom involving real-word experiences and programs to promote public safety. Upon completion of the degree, students will be qualified to work in public or private criminal justice agencies and similar organizations.

“It is truly amazing to realize that right here on this one campus, someday, we will have students ranging from the ninth grade level at the Early College High School all the way up to college seniors completing their bachelor’s degrees at NCCU,” said Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, in her remarks at the ceremony. Also participating in the program were VGCC Public Services department chair Steven Hargrove, NCCU Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dr. Debra Parker, and VGCC Criminal Justice program head William Clements.

The VGCC Criminal Justice associate degree program prepares students for careers in the local, state, and federal law enforcement, corrections, and security fields. Emphasis is placed on criminal justice systems, criminology, juvenile justice, criminal and constitutional law, investigative principles, ethics and community relations. VGCC also offers a certificate in Criminal Justice & Special Populations and a separate Basic Law Enforcement Training program.

NCCU’s bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice equips students to apply critical and analytical thinking skills in problem-solving situations, develop leadership and written and oral communication skills, and exercise ethical and sound judgment.  The NCCU Department of Criminal Justice is the only program in North Carolina that is certified nationally by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.

For more information, please visit NCCU online at or contact William Clements at Vance-Granville Community College at or 252-738-3242.


North Carolina Central University prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Flagship programs include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, nursing, education, law, business and the arts. Founded in 1910 as a liberal arts college for African-Americans, NCCU remains committed to diversity in higher education. Our alumni are among the nation’s most successful scientists, researchers, educators, attorneys, artists and entrepreneurs. Visit


Vance-Granville Community College, one of the 58 institutions of the North Carolina Community College System, is the local source for higher education and training in Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, north of the Research Triangle. Established in 1969, VGCC today serves students at four campuses (one in each county of the service area) and online. The college offers more than 40 curriculum programs, as well as occupational certifications, continuing education, adult education, customized training for employers and the first two years of a four-year degree. For more information, visit

Master Gardeners

On Tuesday, December 1st, the Vance/Warren Extension Master Gardener Volunteers gathered at Ribeyes Steakhouse in Henderson to celebrate another year of accomplishments. Over the past year, 21 active volunteers contributed over 1200 hours of service in support of Cooperative Extension projects in the two counties. The volunteers are involved in a variety of activities, including the installation of raised beds for demonstration purposes, garden classes and workshops, outreach at community events, a newsletter with timely tips and much more.

Warren County Extension Director Crystal Smith thanked the Volunteers for their tireless service to the two counties.  Extension Agent Paul McKenzie presented several achievement awards this year, including some noteworthy service milestones. Beverly Allen reached the 5 year mark, and also received a pin for 500 hours of service. Merwin Deickmann has achieved 15 years of service. BJ Wright has contributed 500 lifetime hours. This year the highly coveted Golden Trowel Award was presented to Marty Finkel, for contributing 116 hours of service in 2015. Eileen Novak was presented the Silver Cultivator Award, for tireless work behind the scenes to make our projects successful. Edna Gaston received the Golden Watering Can Award, for her many years of leadership. Edna was also recognized for 20 years of service. Coop Master Garden 2015 b
At the event, the Volunteers enjoyed great food, fantastic fellowship and a fun gift exchange. They also presented a book on fishing to Extension Agent Paul McKenzie in appreciation of his leadership. The considered a gardening book, but have seen pictures of his garden and realize there is no hope.
(Information Provided by:)

Paul McKenzie
Agricultural Extension Agent, Vance/Warren Counties
NC Cooperative Extension
305 Young St., Henderson, NC  27536
158 Rafters Ln., Warrenton, NC 27589
252.438.8188 (Vance)  252.257.3640 (Warren)

Vance-Granville Community Band to present free holiday concert on Dec. 3

The Vance-Granville Community Band will perform its eighth annual Christmas Concert, entitled “Making Spirits Bright,” on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County. Admission is free and the public is invited.

The band has prepared a program featuring a variety of holiday-themed favorites, including “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “A Holst Christmas,” a march called “Christmas Joy,” “The Bells of Saint Mary,” “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” a sing-a-long of popular Christmas songs, and “May the Good Lord Keep and Bless You.”

The concert will also feature students in the VGCC Music Scholars program: Shontiara Williams of Oxford (on vocals and piano), Kaleb Williamson of Bullock (guitar), Tiffany Barnes of Henderson (vocals) and Charles Keith of Raleigh (bass).

VGCC music instructor Ivory Brock is the band’s primary conductor. Also conducting for a portion of the concert will be Brian Miller, the recently-retired band director at Louisburg High School.

First formed in 2008, the all-volunteer Community Band has included VGCC students, local high school students, educators, and interested citizens from all four counties of the college’s service area (Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin) and beyond. For more information, call Ivory Brock at (252) 738-3222.

VGCC registers 350 potential lifesavers

A recent Vance-Granville Community College service project added some 350 people to the registry of potential bone marrow donors. In partnership with the Project Life Movement and the “Save the Fox” campaign, the college held events on each of its four campuses during the week of Oct. 26-29.

Students, faculty, staff and community members signed up and swabbed their cheeks to provide DNA samples at these events. The painless registration process took only a few minutes, but could save a life if a participant turns out to be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. Such treatments are the only hope for many people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood cancers and diseases. Around 60 percent of those in need of a donation currently cannot find a donor match, according to Project Life, a national movement that started with students at Davidson College and has spread to more than 25 other schools and has registered more than 13,000 donors.

The “Save the Fox” campaign is named after North Carolina Superior Court Judge Carl Fox of Orange County. Judge Fox was diagnosed with blood cancer in April and has searched for a suitable bone marrow donor.

At a kickoff event on Oct. 26 at VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County, Dr. Stelfanie Williams, the college president, welcomed participants and commended the students, faculty and staff who contributed their time and energy to the project. “I love it when we take these opportunities to integrate service with learning and to give back to the community,” Dr. Williams said. “Like the students at Davidson College who started Project Life, our students are leaders of the future and can make a difference.” She particularly thanked the students in VGCC Health Sciences programs who took the lead in the registration drive. The very first student to register as a potential donor was Kala Williams of Henderson, a Pharmacy Technology major.

Also speaking at the kickoff was Project Life executive director David Lindsay, who received a successful bone marrow donation and helped found the organization with his fellow students at Davidson College. He thanked all of the participants in the VGCC registration drive. “This will create more chances that a patient like Judge Fox or a patient like me 25 years ago will have a second chance at a miracle,” Lindsay said. “That’s what the drive is all about: creating the possibility for miracles. Potentially everyone in this room is a match for someone you don’t even know.”

He noted that the decision to register as a potential donor, particularly for a young person, would have an impact for years to come. “Students who are 20 will be on the registry for 40 years,” Lindsay said. “Think about what it would feel like to get a call, find out you’re a match, and save someone’s life. I’m glad that Vance-Granville is now part of the Project Life movement, and I hope it becomes an annual event because the potential is immense.”

Attendees then heard remarks from VGCC Financial Aid Assistant Glynnis Wilson, who actually saved a life as a bone marrow donor. She was on the registry for more than eight years until 2006 when the National Marrow Donor Program called, informing her that she was a match. “People ask me if it hurt when I donated bone marrow,” Wilson said. “I always say that whatever I felt was nothing compared to what my recipient had endured. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

VGCC Radiography student and Save the Fox student leader Nick Kemp of Franklinton thanked all of the volunteers who made the drive a success. “What we are really working for is the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, hopefully multiple people’s lives,” Kemp said. “Everyone who registers is a potential lifesaver, maybe not for Judge Fox but perhaps for one of the hundreds of thousands of other people who are looking for a match.” He said that those who registered could look forward to a day “when your phone rings and you get the opportunity to help a fellow human being in need. I don’t know about any of you, but I hope my phone rings sooner rather than later.”

VGCC academic and career coach Seletha Pherribo, who helped spearhead the project, said that Save the Fox had helped unite the college and the community. After the first day at Main Campus, events were held at the Franklin County Campus on Oct. 27, the South Campus in Granville County on Oct. 28 and the Warren County Campus on Oct. 29. Pherribo thanked Project Life for its support. Project Life works with the Delete Blood Cancer organization to process the new potential donors. For more information on becoming a donor, visit or

H-V Chamber Membership Drive Update

The Ambassador team secured eight businesses and the Board team secured two businesses.  Looks like the Board team is going to be wearing the aprons!

The following new businesses joined the team since we put the membership drive into action during the end of October.

Hoyle’s Tire and Axle on Highway 39 in Henderson.  They sell new and remanufactured mobile home and utility axles and tires.  They also sell parts to repair and mount axles to all types of trailers.  They are open from 7AM til 3:30 PM Monday through Friday.  For more information, please call them at 252-438-2818

Shelia’s Accufile and Business Services at 418 S Garnett Street in Henderson.  She offers bookkeeping, personal and business tax and payroll services.  Shelia is an IRS authorized Efile provider and offers affordable pricing.  Please 252-430-0226 call for more information.

Owners Lisa and Bennie Blackwell have opened Middleburg Steak and Seafood House at 7139 Broad Street in Middleburg.  They offer a wide variety of great food choices on their menu each day of the week along with a hot buffet on Sundays for those looking for a great meal on Sundays after Church.  For more information please contact them at 919-971-9963.

NC Coyotes is a professional ABA basketball team showcasing the best talents from the Triangle, Oxford, Warren, Franklin, Granville and Vance Counties.  The North Carolina Coyotes dream began when Founder Reynaldo Espinosa wanted to have an effective gateway for the men in the community to restore their skill-sets and showcase their talents. Through his organization, the Second Chance Basketball Foundation, the Coyotes were born. Restoring hope for a small community, the Coyotes finished out their 2014-2015 season as DIVISIONAL RUNNER UPS in just their second year out of 82 teams across the country.

Scottish Inns located at 1759 N Garnett Street in Henderson.  Contact information is 252-438-6172

Quality Inn located at 197 Parham Road in Henderson joined the Chamber under new management.  Contact number is 252-4320-6501.

Econo Lodge located at 112 Parham Road in Henderson.  They are open 24 hours/seven days a week.  For more information or to book a reservation contact Chris or Ashok Patel at 252-438-8511.

Access Counseling Services at 314 S Garnett Street in Henderson.  Owner Nekisha Williams offers outpatient therapy services for children and adolescents ages 5 to 21.  Others services are parent coaching, clinical assessments, academic testing and substance abuse assessments.  For more information, please call 252-915-8966.

The Board team secured LIMBionics.  They are in Durham and will be locating an office here in Henderson at 851 S. Beckford Drive.  Brittany Stresing, president of the company is in the process of getting the office setup for business.  She can be contacted at 919-908-8975 until the office is ready for clients.  Brittany Stresing, has earned the highest accolade in Prosthetics and Orthotics! She is officially one of the few Fellows of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists which is an accolade few achieve in their career. This title goes to those who prove dedication to the profession in academics, professionalism, and improving the profession and patient care. Brittany is one of less than 8 Fellows in the state and she is the only female!

They also secured Watkins Insurance Agency at 133 N Mecklenburg Ave. in South Hill, Va.  They can be contacted at 434-447-3544.

Many thanks to all that took part in making our membership drive a success.  The volunteer support we receive from our Board members and Chamber ambassadors is truly inspiring and shows me the passion and measure of commitment that they have for our Chamber.  Thank you; we could not do what we do throughout the year without you!

A tremendous thanks goes out to all of our new and renewing members for helping us make this a great event. Your support means so much to us.

The Membership Drive may be over, but its still not too late to join more than 300 plus business members.  Contact Annette Roberson at 252-438-8414 and become a member today!

VGCC opens Spring Registration, offers Orientation Sessions online and in-person

Registration for classes and orientation sessions for new students have begun for the Spring 2016 semester at Vance-Granville Community College, which starts Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.

Attending an orientation session is required for all new students who wish to enroll in any of the college’s curriculum programs, and for students who are returning to VGCC after being away for three or more years. Students must also meet with an advisor or academic/career coach before registering for classes.

To attend an orientation session, a student must sign up in advance by visiting

VGCC now offers orientation in both an online and a traditional face-to-face format. In either format, orientation sessions help students learn where to find resources on campus or online, including how to register for classes through WebAdvisor. Many face-to-face orientation sessions still have slots available, and additional dates may be scheduled.

Orientation sessions scheduled for VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County include: Thursday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 9 a.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m.; and Thursday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m.

The Franklin County Campus near Louisburg has orientation sessions scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m.; and Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m.

Orientation sessions are scheduled at VGCC’s South Campus (between Creedmoor and Butner) on

Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m.; and Thursday, Dec. 10, at 9 a.m.

Students who want to attend a face-to-face orientation session at the Warren County Campus in Warrenton should call (252) 257-1900 for more information.

Registration for fall classes opened Nov. 2 and closes on Dec. 16. College officials advise students to apply for admission and financial aid, attend orientation/advising, and register for classes as early as possible. The upcoming semester’s course schedule is now available online at

The tuition payment deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 16, by 5 p.m., if paying in person, or by Thursday, Dec. 31, by midnight, if paying online through WebAdvisor.

For more information, contact VGCC at or (252) 738-3330, or visit any campus.


Prospective students interested in seeking financial assistance are encouraged to immediately complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at and to visit the VGCC Financial Aid Office.

Eligible students may receive Pell Grants ranging from $626 to $5,775. Students may also qualify for other college or state funds. The Financial Aid Office recommends completing the FAFSA and all financial aid documents by Dec. 11, 2015. In order for a student to charge tuition, fees, and books to financial aid awards, the application must be processed entirely prior to the tuition payment deadline of Dec. 31, 2015. Students with preschool-age children may receive financial assistance to help pay for child care, and applications for this help are also available at the Financial Aid Office.

Information about other resources is available online at

For more details regarding financial assistance, visit the Financial Aid Office in Room 8215 on Main Campus or call (252) 738-3280.


Military veterans who wish to use their Veterans’ Education benefits may contact the Financial Aid Office at (252) 738-3224. Veterans should check with Financial Aid to see if the programs in which they are interested are covered.

VGCC to hold Bone Marrow Registration events

Vance-Granville Community College, in partnership with the Project Life Movement and the “Save the Fox” campaign, is planning a four-county bone marrow registration drive in October.

Members of the community are invited to join VGCC students, faculty and staff at one of four events being held on each of the college’s campuses: Monday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the student lounge in Building 2 on Main Campus in Vance County; Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room on the Franklin County Campus near Louisburg; Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the seminar room (G1131) on South Campus, located between Creedmoor and Butner; and Thursday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Building 2 on the Warren County Campus in Warrenton.

There will also be a station set up outside on each campus to assist visitors from the community.

At each event, participants will have their cheek swabbed to provide DNA that will enter a growing bone marrow donor registry. The painless registration process takes only a few minutes, but could save a life if a participant turns out to be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. Such treatments are the only hope for many people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other blood cancers and diseases. Around 60 percent of those in need of a donation currently cannot find a donor match, according to Project Life, a national movement that started with students at Davidson College and has spread to more than 25 other schools.

Project Life supports a local campaign called “Save the Fox,” named after North Carolina Superior Court Judge Carl Fox of Orange County. Judge Fox was diagnosed with blood cancer in April and needs a bone marrow transplant.

Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and in good health to join the registry. A video from Project Life featuring Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is posted online at  to demonstrate the easy cheek swab process.

“We are excited that students are taking the initiative on this drive,” said VGCC academic & career coach Seletha Pherribo, who is helping to organize the events. Nicholas Kemp of Franklinton, a Radiography student, is coordinating the drive at the college’s South Campus, while Associate Degree Nursing student Erica Medlin of Oxford is coordinating it on Main Campus. Medical Assisting students at VGCC’s Franklin Campus are taking the lead there. The Student Government Association and other student organizations will also be supporting the effort. “We hope to make this an annual tradition at VGCC, and register as many members of our community as possible,” Pherribo added. “As the ‘Save the Fox’ campaign says, ‘together, we can save lives.’”

For more information, contact Seletha Pherribo at (252) 738-3518 or or Dr. David S. Lindsay at (828) 772-0365 or

Anyone who is unable to attend one of the VGCC events but wants to join the registry can find more information at

VGCC Drama students present Shakespeare spoof

via Andrew Beal

Theatre lovers will soon be able to enjoy all 37 of William Shakespeare’s plays in one evening — sort of — at Vance-Granville Community College.

Drama students will present “The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)” on VGCC’s Main Campus in Henderson, Nov. 5-8. Performances begin on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. All performances are in the small auditorium in Building 2.

The play features three overachieving actors attempting to perform the entire Shakespearean canon in 97 minutes. Fast-paced, witty and physical, it is an evening of laughter for Shakespeare lovers and haters alike. The three actors play all of Shakespeare’s characters with help from numerous funny costume changes and props. Due to the nature of the humor, the play is recommended for ages 14 and over.

Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, founding members of the “Reduced Shakespeare Company,” “The Compleat Wrks” was first performed in 1987. The London Evening Standard called the play “wildly imaginative, thoroughly affectionate to its source material and, above all, infectious fun.”

Students in the cast are Jordan Bunting of Macon, Spencer Nunn of Warrenton and Lee Powell of Oxford.

Betsy Henderson, the VGCC Theatre Arts/speech instructor and department chair of Fine Arts and Humanities, directs the play. Jason Sharp serves as the technical director. VGCC staff member and alumna Tia Garren of Henderson is the assistant director. Other members of the crew include students Chris Nicholson of Bullock, Jerome Bulluck of Henderson, Brittany Patterson of Henderson, Helen Claiborne of Oxford and Jessie Hartley of Oxford.

Admission is $10 for the general public, and $5 for students and VGCC employees. Tickets may be purchased at the door, but attendees are encouraged to secure their seats by making reservations. For more information and to reserve seats, contact Betsy Henderson at or (252) 738-3371.

Small Business Summit and Expo to be held October 20 at Warren County Armory

via Andrew Beal

The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center has announced the complete lineup of presenters for the fourth annual Small Business Summit and Expo, which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Warren County Armory Civic Center in Warrenton.

The Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Warren County Center, and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center are partnering with the college to organize the event, which has the theme, “Weaving the Fabric of a Thriving Economy.” CenturyLink is the presenting sponsor. Other co-sponsors are Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, The Warren Record, Hundley’s Greenhouses, Inc., The Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer, 1450 AM WIZS, the Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, The Daily Dispatch and WARR.

The summit kicks off with a keynote address during lunch by Susan E. Harris, owner of Quilt Lizzy in Warrenton. Her discussion is entitled “Why Your Small Town is a Great Place to Do Business.”

For the rest of the afternoon, attendees can choose from among several breakout sessions being held simultaneously.

During Session 1, from 1:15 until 2:15 p.m., the choices are: “Creative Opportunities for Arts and Crafts Businesses in the Community” with professional artist and educator Theresa Brown; “Making Your Business Model Work in a Small Town” with Warrenton town manager Robert Davie; and “Turning Your Passion Into a Business” with Adam Fields, owner of AF Wake & Wakeboard World Champion.

Session 2, from 2:30 until 3:30 p.m., offers these options: “Farm to Fork Enterprise” with Crystal Smith and Paul McKenzie of N.C. Cooperative Extension and Gabe Cummings of Warren FoodWorks; “Emerging Consumer Markets for Agriculture” with Debbie Hamrick, Director of Specialty Crops for the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation; and “Social Media: The Black Hole” with Dave Blodgett of Buggs Media.

For the third and final session (3:45 until 4:45 p.m.), attendees will select either “Financing Opportunities for Small Businesses” with Barry Ryan of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and Lou Grillo of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments; “USDA Loans & Grants Program” with Rhonda Pope, USDA Farm Service Agency’s Strike Force Coordinator and County Executive Director at large, Michelle Winslow, Dock Jones and Rob Satterfield, all of USDA/Farm Service Agency, and Lyn Millhiser of USDA/Rural Development; or “Social Media: The Black Hole” with Dave Blodgett of Buggs Media.

Between breakout sessions, attendees can browse through booths set up by representatives of various resources for small businesses. These include CenturyLink, Carter Bank & Trust, Ag Carolina Farm Credit, N.C. Rural Center, North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Warren County, Warren County Economic Development Commission, USDA, Kerr Tar Regional Council of Governments, Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, Vance-Granville Community College, Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center, Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, North Carolina Farm Bureau, North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development, The Daily Dispatch, WARR, and The Warren County Chamber of Commerce.

The purpose of the Small Business Summit and Expo is to engage, empower and enrich participants to help make their small businesses more successful. “We welcome all aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners, and non-profit leaders to participate in this inspirational, educational and motivational experience with us,” said Tanya Weary, director of the VGCC Small Business Center.

Lunch is provided free of charge by CenturyLink to the first 50 registered participants. After that point, lunch is $10.

For more information, call Tanya Weary at (252) 738-3240 or e-mail her at