McCrory slated for visit, speech at chamber banquet

Dec. 25, 2013 @ 06:34 PM

Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the 76th annual Membership Meeting and Banquet of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce.

The Dispatch recently learned the news and John Barnes, president of the chamber, gave confirmation.

“Gov. McCrory is a champion of commerce and business,” Barnes wrote in an email to The Dispatch. “Speaking at our chamber of commerce annual members’ meeting demonstrates his advocacy of economic development and his commitment to the economic viability of Vance County and central North Carolina.

“Very few venues offer a better opportunity to address business people who also give back to their community than at a meeting of those who work to build a better quality of life for everyone through their investment in the chamber of commerce.”

The event is invitation-only to chamber members and is a ticketed event at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center. This year’s banquet takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The highlight of the evening is the annual Citizen of the Year announcement. Nominations for that honor are still being accepted through Friday’s close of business (5 p.m.) at the chamber.

Also announced will be the Shining Moment In Education award, which recognizes the contributions of the most outstanding business organization, church, civic or community group, or individual who has supported Vance County Schools for the year 2013-14.

And the chamber will name an ambassador of the year from its ambassador program.

Veterans will be recognized at the event. Also recognized will be the Vance County Schools’ current honorees for teacher, assistant principal and principal of the year, respectively.

The banquet marks the close of Hal Muetzel’s chairmanship of the board and the beginning for Jenny Hester.

The chamber includes about 400 members and Barnes said the banquet would not be possible without the generosity of many sponsors.

“We try to secure a keynote speaker whose background and experience will send a positive message to our members,” Barnes said.

McCrory, formerly a mayor in Charlotte, is in his first term and about to begin his second year in the Governor’s Mansion.

The Republican state leader has committed to the economy, education and efficiency in the state. His work to date has concentrated on private-sector job creation and retention, educators preparing students for college or careers, and upgrades of information technology systems throughout state operations.

McCrory’s first public office was an at-large seat on the City Council in Charlotte. He was re-elected twice, then won the mayoral election in 1995. He served in that capacity for seven terms.

He was defeated by Democrat Bev Perdue in the 2008 governor’s race. He triumphed over Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton in 2012.

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The following are recent speakers for the annual membership dinner and banquet of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce:

• 2013: Joe Carr, Semprius CEO

• 2012: Larry Stogner, WTVD-Ch. 11 news anchor

• 2011: David Cutcliffe, Duke University football coach

• 2010: Dale Carroll, North Carolina deputy commerce secretary

• 2009: Cherie Berry, North Carolina labor commissioner

• 2008: Jason Brown, Baltimore Ravens lineman

• 2007: Richard Moore, North Carolina treasurer

• 2006: Anthony Copeland, North Carolina assistant commerce secretary

• 2005: Bill Leslie, WRAL-Ch. 5 news anchor

• 2004: Fred Pierce, Creative Speaking and Training Services

• 2003: Woody Durham, Tar Heels Sports Network play-by-play voice