honors students and business leaders
By Scott Bigelow
UNC Pembroke's Business
Visions 2004 awards banquet honored business and community leaders and
Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development sponsored
the May 4 event, along with corporate partners Lumbee River Electric
Membership Corporation, Southeastern Regional Medical Center and Lumbee
A. Scott, director of North Carolina's Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship,
delivered the keynote address on "the importance of entrepreneurship
in the North Carolina economy."
is not only something that happens in high tech industries in the Research
Triangle Park," Scott said. "When we look at our state policy,
we should look at small business as the driver of our economy."
recent job losses were from the big industry sector of the state's economy,
and jobs were created in the small business sector, she said.
that you would be astounded to know how many small businesses, with
no employees, there are in Robeson County," Scott said. "You
never know who is the person with the next big idea."
Scott did not recommend
abandoning recruitment of large industry, but she said that strategy
is no longer adequate in a changing economy. She urged greater organization
of resources to aid the development of small employers.
"I hate to
say it, but nothing else seems to be working," Scott said.
The Business Visions
event was a good platform for Scott's rural entrepreneurship theme.
The Regional Center
is UNCP's entrepreneurial arm. Center Director Sylvia Pate said next
year at this time her offices would be located at COMtech, another hub
of local entrepreneurship. UNCP will join Robeson Community College's
new continuing education facility at the site.
Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to Cyndy Dial and Susie Walsh, nurses
from Laurinburg who opened Express Medical Center in Red Springs.
Center's start-up business plan was created with assistance from the
Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), said Alban
Burney, who was hired in April to assist the development of small business.
The Regional Center houses the SBTDC office.
of the Year was another small businessman, Jeff Neelon of Linsco Private
Ledger, a Lumberton brokerage firm.
The Spirit of Unity
Award went to Maria Parker of Lumberton for her efforts to organize
"Rumba on the Lumber," a road race and festival that attracted
5,000 visitors to Lumberton this spring.
College's Outstanding Business Administration Student of the Year Award
went to Dawn Ralston. A Lumberton resident, Ralston is a recent graduate
of the business administration program and is employed by Jerry Johnson
Chevrolet of Lumberton.
Business Administration Student of the Year Award went to Deanna Bullard
from Maxton. A Mazda Scholar and member of the University Honors College,
she will continue her education next year at UNC-Chapel Hill in the
Master of Public Health program.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) Student of the Year was Charles
B. Wagner, an engineer at Dupont in Fayetteville. The Outstanding Master
of Public Administration (MPA) Student of the Year was Katherine Bryant,
a lieutenant with the Fayetteville Police Department.
Allen C. Meadors said "The real winner tonight is the community.
These are truly outstanding individuals."
possible when competent people work together," Dr. Meadors said.
to University Newswire