Cary Chamber Celebrates 52 Years


Passing of the gavel – David Booth and Frank Shel.

Cary, NC – September 4, 2014 – The Cary Chamber of Commerce held its 52nd Annual Banquet on September 3rd at Prestonwood Country Club. Three outstanding community leaders were presented with prestigious awards and keynote, Sharon Decker, NC Department of Commerce Secretary, spoke to a sold-out crowd.

Economic Development Partnership Coming to Cary

Secretary Decker announced that the new Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina will be headquartered at 15000 Weston Parkway in Cary. This is the newly privatized segment of the Department of Commerce that will be responsible for all of the marketing and recruitment for the entire state.

Passing the Gavel

This annual event is one of the highlights for its chamber members and included the passing of the gavel from Board Chair, Frank Shell of NewBridge Bank to incoming Board Chair, David Booth of Wells Fargo Bank.

Ambassador of the Year

Awards for Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, and Ambassador of the Year were also awarded to deserving chamber members. Brad Simmons of Allen Tate Realty was awarded Ambassador of the Year. The Ambassadors are a group of volunteer professionals from varied backgrounds that educate new and existing chamber members through personal visits and orient them to the Chamber’s programs and activities.

Business of the Year – Umstead

The Umstead Hotel & Spa was the recipient of the Business of the Year Award, which was accepted by General Manager Jim Beley. This award is presented to a company or leader who has made outstanding contributions to both the community and the Chamber and has been at the forefront of their profession.

Citizen of the Year – Jennifer Robinson

Finally, Jennifer Robinson, Cary Town Council Member and advocate for non-profits and community organizations, was awarded the Citizen of the Year. Jennifer has served on the council since 1999 and has continuously strived to make Cary the best place it can be.

Rotary Recognition

That night, a special recognition was also presented to the Rotary Clubs of Cary for their years of service in our community and the recent 50th Anniversary they celebrated. Dick Ladd, Ralph Ashworth, and Jerry Miller accepted on behalf of the five clubs in Cary: Cary Rotary Club, Cary Central Rotary Club, Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club, Cary-MacGregor Rotary Club, and Cary-Page Rotary Club.

Outgoing Board

Each year the Annual Banquet is a time to reflect on the past year and to present the challenges for the upcoming year. The incoming and outgoing board members were also recognized – including those retiring from the board: Carrie Cassidy – The Umstead Hotel & Spa, Kathy Burns – Burns & Bynum, CPA; Becca Smith – Smith & Smith CPA, Brian Reid – Paragon Bank, Steve Zaytoun – Zaytoun & Associates, and Diane Rupprecht – The Sunrock Group.


This year’s Presenting Sponsors were MetLife and WakeMed Cary Hospital, with Gold Sponsors Hendrick Cary Auto Mall, Rex UNC Health Care, and Town of Cary; Silver Sponsors BlueCross BlueShield of NC and Siemens Medical Solutions USA; Community Partner Duke Energy, Speaker Sponsor AT&T, and Dessert Sponsor Mulkey Engineers & Consultants.


Story and photo from the Cary Chamber of Commerce.


Business coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Whisk of Cary.