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83rd Annual Chamber Virtual Meeting Set For June 17

The 83rd annual membership meeting of the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce will be held virtually beginning at noon on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Chamber President Michele Burgess invites representatives from local businesses, educational institutions, government entities and non-profit organizations to attend, during which time the 2020 Citizen of the Year will be announced.

“This is a premiere event for our Chamber of Commerce every year,” Burgess said in a statement to WIZS News. “Our Chamber’s board of directors initially made the decision to postpone the event because of the COVID pandemic restrictions (but) later decided to follow the lead of other Chambers of Commerce, such as Wake Forest and Greenville-Pitt County and moved the meeting to a virtual format,” she said.

Although the event won’t look the same as the traditional in-person banquet, this year’s annual meeting presentation “promises to still be informative and motivational,” Burgess said.

Tyler Brewer, vice-president of Brewer Cycles, who served as the past volunteer Chairman of the Board of Directors will be on the program to offer highlights and accomplishments from 2020.  Brewer officially passes the gavel to current 2021 Board Chairman Dr. Levy Brown, who took office in January.  Brown is vice president of learning, student engagement and success at Vance-Granville Community College.  He will provide an update from the board on the 2021 program of work and will announce new program initiatives. In addition, Brown will also lay out plans for a renewed vision for the organization to add member value in an effort to grow the Chamber’s membership base. The virtual meeting will end with the much-anticipated and exciting announcement of the 2020 Citizen of the Year Award.

“I am excited about the upcoming Chamber of Commerce annual meeting that will be held virtually,” Brown stated. “While we would prefer to be in-person, the team has outlined a wonderful event. We are thankful for each sponsor and supporter who have committed to making this virtual meeting a success. Moreover, there is a high level of excitement about the opportunities to serve as a premier connector and facilitator for business, industry, and other agencies within our community. Great things are in front of the Henderson-Vance Chamber and this area!”

A video link will be emailed to business members, and later will be posted on the Chamber’s Facebook and LinkedIn page that can easily be accessed by the community.

Duke Energy is the presenting sponsor for the meeting.  Additional meeting sponsors at the gold level are Walmart Distribution Center and Mars Pet Care, and at the bronze level are Clearview Church, Wake Electric Membership Corporation, J.M. White Funeral Services and Vance-Granville Community College.

For more information contact the Chamber office at 252.438.8414.

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Local Business Transportation Survey Respondents Needed

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is surely one vehicle that almost no one will ever be afforded the opportunity to drive to work.  There is a special program for that.

All fun aside, there is presently special transportation survey information out from the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce.

According to Chamber President Michele Burgess, the Chamber’s Governmental and Public Affairs Division is seeking responses to the survey to identify local transportation needs.

Burgess said in an email received by WIZS News, The Chamber, “in partnership with the Community Collaborative Council, would appreciate your immediate response to a survey to help identify local transportation needs as it relates to recruiting, hiring, and maintaining employees at your business/industry.”

Follow this link to SurveyMonkey –

Basically, the survey is trying to determine if transportation limitations are impacting ways people travel to work, how they travel and if recruiting new workers is being affected by means of transportation.

(The Wienermobile visited the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre in Henderson on Friday, November 13, 2020. — If you want to read more about that, click here.  If you want to read more about the Wienermobile itself, follow this link –


Small Business Winners Include WIZS

Small businesses have borne the brunt of the economic impact brought about by the pandemic restrictions during the past year. But on Wednesday, four small businesses were recognized for their staying power in the communities in which they operate.

Thomas Ruhe, CEO of Durham-based NC Idea, spoke to Chamber of Commerce representatives and Chamber members during the Small Business of the Year awards luncheon, held at the Henderson Country Club. He congratulated the winners and commended them for stepping up during the pandemic to continue to serve their communities.

“I want to honor you for what you do,” he told the group gathered for the occasion. “You are, in a sense, first responders…economically you are on the front lines looking for signs of life” during what has been a challenging year dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns and closings.

“You are the ones figuring it out – you didn’t have the luxury of pulling back” when other businesses reverted to self-preservation mode.

Small Business Week is observed during the first week of May, and the awards luncheon was hosted by the Chambers in Franklin, Granville, Person and Vance counties, as well as the VGCC Small Business Center. Duke Energy sponsored the event.

Ruhe said one of the roles of NC Idea, an independent private foundation, is to provide grants to entrepreneurs. The foundation is building an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” in North Carolina. When small businesses thrive and help support a local economy, he said, that success bubbles up to the state level.

“You’re doing what I’m talking about,” Ruhe told the audience. Putting money in the hands of budding entrepreneurs is one way that NC Idea supports young businesses. The seed grant program awards $50,000 twice a year to entrepreneurs. “There’s no better money for an entrepreneur than grant money,” he said. From a pool of 176 applicants, he said between 6 and 8 will be chosen.

NC Idea also gives at least half of its grant funding to underserved communities – people of color, women and those who live in rural areas, he said. “This is where the impact is greater,” he added.

This year’s winners are:

Vance County – WIZS Radio John C. Rose accepted the award from Dr. Levy Brown, chair of the Henderson-Vance Chamber board. The family-owned business has been on the air since May 1, 1955 and Rose said the honor is one that he would like to share with first responders and other workers who had to be at their jobs despite the pandemic. “Using technology to do my job made it easy for me,” Rose said after accepting the award. “Really, the thanks goes to all the small businesses…but it is a particular honor for me to be able to stand here and say thank you.”

Granville County – Oxford Public Ledger

Barbara Critcher accepted the award for her husband Charles and his brother Ronnie, who own the local weekly newspaper.

Person County – Keller Williams Realty

Sherry Clayton, owner of the realty firm, accepted the award from Samantha Bagbey, who heads up the Person Chamber.

Franklin County – Heartwood Animal Hospital

Richie Veverka, Franklin Chamber’s executive director, announced the winner.

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Nominate Someone for Citizen of the Year 2020

From the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce — 

The Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Citizen of the Year!  This award is presented each year by the Chamber to recognize an individual for their volunteer work to make our community a better place to live.  The Annual Banquet and Meeting is the setting for the award presentation.  Due to the pandemic the Annual Banquet will be held virtually at a later date that will be announced in the near future.

Please send in those nominations by using the attached form.  The deadline is May 21st.

Nomination Form for Citizen of the Year – 2020


The Citizen of the Year award is presented each year by the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce to recognize an individual for their volunteer work to make our community a better place to live.

The criteria used in making the selection includes:

  • The person must be a resident of the Henderson-Vance County community.
  • The acts and good deeds for which the award is presented must have been performed for the benefit of Vance County and its citizens.
  • The community at large should recognize, once the award is made, that it is deserved.
  • The activities resulting in the award should be regarded outside the recipient’s normal business or profession.
  • The recipient does not have to be a member of the Chamber.




To nominate an individual for this award, fill out the information below and attach a letter describing the things you think make this individual eligible for this award. If possible, please attach other letters of support for this individual.




Place of Employment:                                                                                 


Your contact information:


Email Address:                                                                                               

Phone Number:                                                                                              


Submit nomination form and letter(s) to the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of

Commerce, P.O. Box 1302, Henderson, NC 27536 or by email to by Friday, May 21, 2021

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TownTalk 03-23-21: H-V Chamber Advances will help with Human Resources

The newly formed Human Resources Council, a program of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce, will have its first meeting on Thursday, Mar. 25 at 1 p.m. There’s still time to register to participate in the virtual meeting, according to Chamber President Michele Burgess.

Burgess said the council, which falls under the chamber’s business growth and development division, will bring together human resources professionals from a variety of businesses and industry to network, problem-solve and share ideas. The council will meet monthly, she said, and will feature guest speakers.

The purpose of the council is “to help our members grow and to help them solve problems that they’re losing sleep over at night,” Burgess told John C. Rose on Tuesday’s Town Talk. Until the group can gather in person again – which Burgess hopes it will be able to do by the fall – virtual meetings can help connect area human resources professionals to one another. And this, she said, will build relationships as well as a network for sharing ideas and helping solve HR problems.

One of the challenges that businesses, both large and small, face in the Vance County area is finding employees to fill job openings, Burgess said. These days, besides asking for information about COVID-19 related loans and grants, the Chamber fields calls from companies wondering how and where to find good employees. “That’s really how the whole human resources council came to be,” she said. “It really started even before COVID,” she said, adding that she hopes through strengthening relationships with the public school system and VGCC, the talent pool and workforce development can improve for area business and industry.

Thursday’s speaker is Cherrelle Lawrence, dean of corporate learning and professional development at Vance-Granville Community College. The topic is “Investing in Talent.” Lawrence, who also serves as dean of VGCC’s Franklin campus, will kick off the council gathering with an overview of topics related to human resources. “I’m excited for my business members to hear her,” Burgess said. “She is really dynamic and full of energy!”

TownTalk Podcast with Michele Burgess.

The HR Council will serve to inform human resource officers and managers in local businesses about innovative programs including specific training, apprenticeships and internships offered in the community, she said. “We like being involved,” Burgess said of the Chamber, “but we also like to share with our other partners like VGCC’s Small Business Center, local economic development commission and other entities that attract new business.

“We feel like the workforce issue is very important at this particular time,” Burgess continued. “We want to keep our local businesses here and operating (and) workforce pool is key to that,” she said. “We realize (at the Chamber) that we can’t do everything. But getting people employed and helping our industry” is a top priority.

The Chamber’s business growth and development division is co-chaired Chamber members by Brian Williams, account manager at Temperature Control Solutions, and Stephanie Hoyle, broker associate with Century 21 Country Knolls Realty.

To learn more or to register for the Thursday meeting, email or call 252.438.8414.

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H-V Chamber Will Launch New Human Resource Council

— Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce Press Release

The Board of Directors of the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce voted in December 2020 to adopt a 2021 Program of Work which includes the formation of a new Human Resources Council. This new program is a goal under the Chamber’s Business and Growth and Development Division, a division co-chaired by Chamber board members Brian Williams, Account Manager of Temperature Control Solutions and Stephanie Hoyle, Broker Associate with Century 21 Country Knolls Realty.

The first meeting of the Human Resources Council will take place by Zoom video conference on Thursday, March 25 at 1:00 pm. The purpose of establishing the new program, as explained by Michele Burgess, President of the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce, is to bring together human resource professionals working in local industry, manufacturing, business, education, and governmental entities to share ideas, network, and get answers to human resource issues affecting their businesses. Burgess noted that each monthly meeting will include a guest speaker giving a presentation on a relevant human resource topic. Burgess said, “I had been having conversations all last year with our members who were calling to ask for the Chamber’s assistance looking to answers to their questions on where to find workers to fill their vacancies, asking about available professional development programs for their human resource department staff, and questions about employee time-off for quarantine during the pandemic. The Chamber doesn’t have all the answers, but we will work to find the available resources to help solve our members’ problems. It soon became evident that a Human Resource Council would help them tremendously.” The Chamber’s Human Resource Council will provide local member firms with training, networking opportunities, time to give an update on their business and a time for questions and answers. Later in the year, once the pandemic restrictions are lifted, the Human Resource Council will meet in person for a working lunch meeting.

Jessica Carroll Voss

The Human Resource Council will be led by Chamber business volunteer, Jessica Carroll Voss, Human Resource Manager with Hollander Sleep Products. Voss grew up in Vance County, and graduated from Northern Vance High School in 2006. She attended UNC-Wilmington and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Human Resource Management. Voss has 10 years of human resource experience, previously working for Snider Fleet Solutions in Greensboro, Express Employment Professionals in Oxford, and GKN Driveline in Roxboro and Sanford. She joined the Hollander company in October of 2020. Burgess said, “I was so excited to hear of Jessica returning to Vance County to work here last fall. Hollander Sleep Products is a very supportive Chamber of Commerce member, and Jessica is a great asset to them not only because of her degree and experience, but she knows the community, has many local contacts, and understands the local workforce needs. Having her step up and take on this leadership with our Chamber and this new initiative makes me proud.”

Cherrelle Lawrence

The featured presentation for the premier meeting of the Human Resource Council on March 25 will be Cherrelle Lawrence, Dean of Corporate Learning and Professional Development with Vance-Granville Community College. She also serves as Dean of the VGCC Franklin County campus. Her topic will be “Investing In Talent.” “I have heard Cherrelle Lawrence speak and our Council is in for a real treat” Said Michele Burgess. “She has a wealth of information about training programs that our local employers will be interested in hearing, such as fast tracked certificate training programs, as well as, programs that involve apprenticeships and internships that will benefit both the employer and the employees.

Chamber member firms who would like to sign up to receive the Zoom link for the March Human Resource Council meeting are asked to email Michele Burgess at or call the Chamber office.  Anyone interested in being a part of the Human Resource Council who is currently not a member of the Chamber, is encouraged to call Michele Burgess to discuss membership at 252-438-8414.

Small Farms Week Food Drive for ACTS

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Vance County Center in association with N. C. A&T State University is hosting a food drive from now until February 15, 2021. The food drive is in honor of local farmers in conjunction with Small Farms Week, which comes up later in March, according to information from Vance County Cooperative Extension.

All food collected through the food drive will be donated to ACTS (Area Christians Together in Service).

Anyone interested in donating to this food drive can take items to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Vance County Center office, located at 305 Young Street in Henderson.  Also, items can be taken to the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce at 414 S. Garnett Street.

For more information, please contact Wayne Rowland at 252-438-8188.

Vance County Coop wishes to thank you in advance for donating to those in hunger in Vance County.

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H-V Chamber of Commerce Announces Nominated Board Members

100.1 FM ~ 1450 AM ~ WIZS, Your Community Voice ~ Click to LISTEN LOCAL

-Information courtesy the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce

The Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce board of directors has nominated the following individuals to serve a three-year term on the Chamber’s 18 member board (plus 7 ex-officio members). The term will begin January 1, 2021, and end December 31, 2023.

Dr. Levy Brown – Vance-Granville Community College (re-appointed to a second term)

Tanya Evans – Duke Energy (re-appointed to a second term)

Angie Jacobs – Country Snacks Manufacturing (re-appointed to a second term)

Dr. Abidan Shah – Clearview Baptist Church (new appointment to a three-year term)

Margier White – State Farm Insurance (new appointment to a three-year term)

Nancy Wykle – The Daily Dispatch (re-appointed to a second term)


Article IV: Board of Directors

Section 1: Composition of Board. The Board of Directors shall be composed of eighteen (18) members (not including ex-officio members), Six (6) of whom shall be elected each year to serve for three (3) years, or until their successors are elected and have qualified.

The following persons shall be ex-officio member of the Board of Directors: The Chair of the Vance County Board of County Commissioners or a member of the Board appointed by the Chair; the Mayor of the City of Henderson or a member of the Henderson City Council appointed by the Mayor; the Director of the Economic Development Commission; the Director of the Henderson-Vance Downtown Development Commission; the Superintendent of the Vance County Public School System; the President of Vance-Granville Community College; and the CEO of Maria Parham Health.

Section 3: Nominations and Candidates. The election of new directors shall be completed before the last day of December each year. A Nominating Committee of not less than five (5) members shall be appointed by the Chair in October each year at least thirty (30) days prior to the election of new members of the Board of Directors. The duty of this Nominating Committee shall be to nominate from the members of the Chamber, or the legal representatives of such member or members, a slate of six (6) candidates to fill the annual three-year term vacancies.

The Nominating Committee shall endeavor to assure a reasonable balance of representatives on the Board of Directors from the membership of the Chamber. A member of the Nominating Committee must interview each of the candidates selected prior to placing their name on the ballot and secure their pledge to serve faithfully if elected as director. Said Committee shall file a list of nominees recommended with the President not later than twenty (20) days before the election. No board member who has served two consecutive three (3) year terms is eligible for election for a third term. A period of one (1) year must lapse before eligibility is restored.

Section 4: Notice of Nominations. The President shall mail to all members of the Chamber of Commerce in good standing a list of the nominees recommended by the Nominating Committee.

Section 5: Nominations from Membership. The membership of the Chamber shall have the opportunity of placing additional names in nomination by presenting at the Chamber office a petition of nominations signed by at least ten (10) members of the Chamber. Such petitions must be filed within ten (10) days of the mailing of the Nominating Committee’s report.

Section 6: Election. If nominations are received from the membership within the ten (10) day period, a ballot bearing names of all nominees will be issued to the membership for vote. The ballots must be returned to the Chamber of Commerce office within fifteen (15) days of the mailing of said ballots. The number of nominees with the highest votes equal to the number of directors needed shall be declared elected. Directors need not be elected by a majority vote. Each member shall have only one vote. If no additional nominations are forthcoming from the membership within ten (10) days of the date which the original slate is mailed, the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee will be considered elected by acclamation.

Fred's Towing

Fred’s Towing & Transport Selected 2019 Small Business of the Year

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-Information courtesy the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce

Fred’s Towing & Transport has been selected as Vance County’s 2019 Small Business of the Year.

Owners Fred and Karrie Fogg were presented the award yesterday by Tyler Brewer, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Business Awards Luncheon was held at the Henderson Country Club. Duke Energy was the Presenting Sponsor.

Congratulations to Fred’s Towing & Transport for being selected as Vance County’s 2019 Small Business of the Year….

Posted by Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, October 1, 2020


Congressman Butterfield to Hold Teleconference for Small Business Owners

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-Information courtesy the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce

Congressman G.K. Butterfield will host a teleconference on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 10 a.m. for any small business owner in North Carolina’s First Congressional District.

Butterfield will provide a brief update on the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act designed to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives from the Small Business Administration will also be available to answer any questions. The dial-in number for the teleconference is (646) 558-8656 and the access code is 257 939 448 #.