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2013 Chatham Chamber of Commerce annual award winners

Posted Monday, October 7, 2013

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New Hill, NC - On September 24, 2013, annual awards were presented at the Chatham Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting held at the Shady Wagon Farm.

2013 Small Business of the Year

Perfomance Automotive and Tire started out as a small mechanic shop and now, 13 years later, is a full-service shop servicing all domestic and foreign autos. The business is ranked the #1 Michelin Tire dealer in the area. Ongoing growth of the business, warranted an expansion of the shop. The shop is equipped with the newest, “State of the Art,” front end alignment machine available for all domestic and import vehicles. Full service shuttle and hometown prices are available to all customers. Service areas include the Pittsboro, Chapel Hill and Apex communities.

Performance Automotive & Tire is staffed by 8 employees and has grown their business from 30 customers to a more than 10,000 customer data base. The business supports the community in many ways, some of which include sponsoring and supporting ball teams, band boosters and churches. 100% customer satisfaction is the goal of Performance Automotive & Tire. This goal has been proven through customer feedback and the extra little added touches that come with service repairs and sales.

Jason Harris, the owner of Performance Automotive & Tire, is a native of Chatham County, living in the county with his wife, Crystal and his 2 ½ year old daughter, Haley Grace. Jason enjoys drag racing, hunting, fishing and golfing.

On behalf of BB&T Pittsboro and the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, we are honored to recognize Performance Automotice and Tire as the Small Business of the Year.

2013 Distinguished Business Person of the Year

Bruce Murray is an outstanding leader, counselor and friend. He is an amazing employer who goes that extra mile for his staff, insuring that they are all equipped with what they need to perform at their best. He passionately works toward building better individuals in our community and providing programs offering a safe haven for children.

Bruce Murray came to Chatham County from Chapel Hill in 2005 to open a Chatham County Y. He started from the ground up and kept going strong. He pushes to make certain that each person, child, parent, Y member and staff member comes away from the Y with experiences that enrich their lives.

Bruce has served and continues to serve on many task forces, boards and committees. He actively promotes wellness in the county through his service and stresses the importance of physical activity in all Youth Programs founded during his time with the Chatham Y.

Bruce loved Chatham so much that he moved his wife, Tricia and their 3 beautiful children to Pittsboro. Bruce is a visionary. His plans for growth and outreach in Chatham are limitless. There is no end to his accomplishments.

On behalf of CenturyLink and the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased and inspired to recognize Bruce Murray as this year's Distinguished Business Person of the Year.

2013 Citizenship & Service Person of the Year

Zoann McLaughlin Adams is someone who has had a profound influence on the local community and economy and continues to work toward the growth and development of Siler City. She has worked countless hours promoting events and activities of local businesses and has been involved in numerous committees and subcommittes, while also serving on the NCAI Board of Directors. This person is a founding member of the Siler City Development Corporation, which came about through the NC Step Program that she has been heavily involved in.

During her tenure as president of the Siler City Merchant’s Association since 2009, several new and successful events have been established along with many town beautification projects. She has also been a beneficial partner with other organizations in organizing events. Zoann McLaughlin Adams is changing the face of and making a tremendous difference in the Siler City community.

Zoann was born and raised in Siler City. She worked at the former Spence’s Building Supply in Administration and Sales for 20 years and 7 years with the subsequent McDonald Brothers Building Supply, retiring in 2011. She lives in Siler City with her husband, Sam. Her daughter Marti Canterbury and Steven, live in Hickory, North Carolina with two grandsons, James and Jesse.

On behalf of Duke Energy Progress and the Chatham Chamber of Commerce, we proudly recognize Zoann McLaughlin Adams as the Citizenship & Service Person of the Year.

2013 Chamber Ambassador of the Year

Nicole Ward continues to excel as a Chamber Ambassador, dedicating time & energy to the Chamber and its members.

Nicole's refreshing personality, outgoing nature, contagious smile and work ethics are always noticed in her daily interactions with people throughout Chatham County.

Nicole shows up for every Ambassador assignment with a smile on their face and a laugh is not too far behind. She has always been willing to help out and has been a great advocate for the Chamber, since joining the Ambassador Team in March of 2011.

Ms. Ward attended Western Carolina University & Central Carolina Community College. Her interests include the fine arts of clay and sculpture. She resides in Silk Hope with her son Blake.

Nicole's work ethics and customer service are first-class, which have made her a successful Insurance Sales Agent for North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance.

We are proud to recognize Nicole Ward as this year's Chamber Ambassador of the Year.


Here is a rundown of last year's winners:

2012 Small Business of the Year

CAROLINA TIGER RESCUE has become a significant tourism attraction for Chatham County. Over three-fourths of their visitors come from out of town. These visitors bring in an estimated $370,000 annually in additional revenue through purchases of gasoline, food, lodging and shopping.

Carolina Tiger Rescue’s mission is to save wild cats in captivity and in the wild. Working toward this mission, they provide rescue and lifelong sanctuary for wild cats, conduct non-invasive research, provide conservation education through public tours and field trips, and advocate for the health and welfare of wild cats. Their business has grown at a fast past and they continue to add new specialty programs and training.

  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare worked closely with Carolina Tiger Rescue to rescue 4 tigers from the Wild Animal Orphanage in Texas in 2010
  • The Humane Society of the United States sought their guidance during the State of Mississippi’s confiscation and the subsequent rescue of numerous animals from the Collins Zoo in 2012.
  • The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries contacted Carolina Tiger Rescue first when they needed assistance in closing the facility of a failing sanctuary in Ohio and rescuing 6 animals.
  • Carolina Tiger was named as one of only two wild cat sanctuaries throughout the United States recommended by Tigers in America, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of tigers in captivity.
  • Over the past few years, Carolina Tiger Rescue has worked with nationally recognized organizations responding to rescues around the country. These organizations only work with highly reputable facilities.

Carolina Tiger Rescue has made a significant impact on our community in many ways.

  • As a community service site for the criminal justice system and local schools and universities.
  • By providing exhibits and community presentations to schools, clubs, and at events
  • By serving as a major resource for volunteering, currently with 150 volunteers
  • Donating excess in-kind donations, meeting space, and consultation to area nonprofits
  • By working with local farmers and large animal veterinarians to serve as a disposal resource for non-domestic animals

Congratulations, Carolina Tiger Rescue for a job well down.

2012 Distinguished Business Person of the Year

MARY SCHOEBER was born in New Jersey and moved to PA at age 5. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and went on to work in accounting with Peugeot Bicycles where she was soon hand-picked by the president to oversee the east and west coast operations. After moving to NC she worked as an accounting consultant specializing in Great Plains/Dynamics accounting software and worked on set ups for prestigious clients including Duke University. She now resides in Pittsboro with her husband, Steve and two sons, Justin and Keaton.

Mary Schoeber’s diverse skill set enables her to lead in many areas including technology, human resources, sales, logistics, event coordination and training. Mary acts as the CFO for two companies simultaneously. She is a CPA with excellent financial analytical skills which are essential to her position. The many skills that she possesses have been critical to the business growth and success of Conset America and Wood Technology, her present employers. Both of these companies are engaged in international trade which makes her responsibilities challenging as well as complex. She has traveled extensively on behalf of the companies including trips to China and Germany this year alone. She handles everything that she does with determination and grace while raising a young family, coaching soccer, performing and writing music and managing to play some great golf.

The Distinguished Business of the Year award was proudly presented to Mary Schoeber.

2012 Community Service Award

Linda Harris has been a resident of Chatham County for 65 years. She grew up in Chatham County, was given a strong work ethic by her father and mother and was taught to respect everyone. Like her mother, she has seldom met a stranger. She is a dependable, hardworking, self-motivated individual in both team and individual work settings with an extensive knowledge of agribusiness and industry and government personnel. Her personal goal continues to be to seek ways that she can help others.

Linda began work in her father's grocery store when she was in the seventh grade. This was wonderful educational opportunity for her to meet and interact with people of all walks of life. She forged many lifelong friendships from that experience.

Linda was educated in business and began a career as a bookkeeper in a local poultry company where she worked over 40 years. She has served her community and the industry faithfully and with diligence. Linda managed to include additional responsibilities while maintaining the tasks at her regular occupation.

She has served as President for:

  • NC Agribusiness Council (a two year term and only one of two women ever to serve as such)
  • Chatham County Agribusiness
  • NC Poultry Federation
  • NC Poultry Processors (the only woman to serve as President for NC Poultry Processors and NC Poultry Federation)

Linda once received the Distinguished Service Award of the Poultry Federation. She is a member of the:

  • Advisory Board of the NC State University Agriculture Foundation
  • NC Grange
  • Commissioner's Circle for the NC Commissioner of Agriculture

Ms. Harris serves on the:

  • Chatham County Economic Development Board
  • NC Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council
  • First Bank - Pittsboro Board of Directors
  • Serves as an Elder in the Pittsboro Presbyterian Church.

Linda Harris has never turned away from an opportunity to serve her community, Chatham County or the State Of North Carolina. You will often hear Linda say, is there is anything that I can help you with? These words are not just mere words; they come from the heart of a true Community supporter. The Community Service award is presented proudly to Linda Harris.

2012 Ambassador of the Year Award

LISA EDMISTEN has served the Chamber well during her time as a Chamber Ambassador. She has been dedicated, served unconditionally and has added value to the Chatham Chamber of Commerce and the community through her service.

Lisa relates well to everyone she comes in contact with and makes them feel right at home. Her willingness to help out is always evident and without hesitation. She has been a great asset and proponent of the Chamber of Commerce.

Lisa Edmisten, the proud mother of two and happily married wife of Jeff Edmisten, resides in Siler City, NC. She is employed as a Community Educator for Community Home Care and Hospice in Siler City where she is dedicated with a passion for the work she does and the cause she serves. Prior to working for Community Home Care and Hospice, Lisa helped managed her husband's business, Creative Computers in Siler City.

We thank Lisa for serving the Chamber well and proudly honor her as the Ambassador of the Year 2012!

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2013 Chatham Chamber of Commerce annual award winners
2013 Chatham Chamber of Commerce Award Winners. From left to right: Jason Harris, Zoann Adams, Bruce Murray, Nicole Ward.

Related info:
Chatham Chamber of Commerce