February 21, 2024

Travis Bode, center, along with SYEMC Community Projects Committee members, present checks for $9,750 to Jana Elliott with Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality, Betty Taylor of Grace Clinic in Elkin, David Steelman with Yadkin Valley United Fund and Reedy Mensh with Second Harvest Food Bank.
Travis Bode, left, chairman of the SYEMC Community Projects Committee, presents $9,750 to David Steelman with Yadkin Valley United Fund.
Travis Bode, left, chairman of the SYEMC Community Projects Committee, presents $9,750 to Betty Taylor of Grace Clinic in Elkin.
Travis Bode, left, chairman of the SYEMC Community Projects Committee, presents $9,750 to Jana Elliott with Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality, which oversees the Shepherd’s House and Helping Hands Foundation.
Travis Bode, left, chairman of the SYEMC Community Projects Committee, presents $9,750 to Reedy Mensh with Second Harvest Food Bank.
DOBSON — After a two-year break from play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation (SYEMC) was able to donate $9,750 each to four area nonprofits after the cooperative’s 10th Charity Golf Tournament brought in more than $39,000. The 2022 golf tournament goal was $30,000.
This week, members of SYEMC’s Community Projects Committee, led by chairman Travis Bode, SYEMC’s economic development coordinator, presented checks to the Yadkin Valley United Fund, Grace Clinic of Elkin, Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality — which include The Shepherd’s House and Helping Hands Foundation — and Second Harvest Food Bank.
The day of the tournament, representatives of the nonprofits were on hand to help volunteer and greet the 120 golfers at Cedarbrook Country Club in State Road. The 30 teams were divided into three flights for the captain’s choice format.
Winners of the championship flight, with a score of 55 were Gene Walden, Brandon Carroll, Cecil Alexander and Nelson Rector. In second place, with a 55, were Adam Key, Daryl Tilley, Connor Key and Glen Key.
First flight winners were Donnie Limon, Daniel Rodriguez, Brent Whittington and David Rodriguez, with a score of 53. Second place, with a score of 53, were John Evans, Clark Comer, Robert Kent and Jeff Benfield.
The winners of the second flight, with a score of 57, were Michael Frazier, Laura Neely, Erica Parker and Greyson Cox. Second place, with a score of 60, were Noah Hill, Toliver Wright, Patrick Frazier and Cody Spencer.
Closest to the pin award went to Tony Shinault, and longest drive winner was Michael Frazier.
“When the sponsorship money started coming in, we were elated to find we had so much support from business partners and players that we passed our goal by almost $10,000 and we had a waitlist for teams,” said Bode. “Next year we hope to restructure our tournament so we can include more golfers.
“Surry-Yadkin Electric’s employees love that we have a chance to support nonprofits in this way. It is part of our cooperative principles, with one being concern for community,” he said. “We have caring, giving employees and we are honored to have business and community members who join us in making a difference for those in our area.”
In addition to the annual golf tournament, Surry-Yadkin EMC, a member-owned electric cooperative, hosts a food drive in the fall, sponsors families at Christmas, sponsors youth programs such NC Youth Tour, Bright Ideas Education Grants (with applications from area teachers due by Sept. 15) and Touchstone Energy Sports Camp, and more.
For more information on SYEMC and its community programs, visit the cooperative’s website at syemc.com.
SBC offering free webinars in August
Insteel earnings up sharply
August 07, 2022
Insteel Industries Inc. (NYSE: IIIN) said its net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2022 were up sharply over the same period a year ago.
For the quarter, Insteel reported net earnings of $38.6 million, or $1.96 per share, more than double the figures from the same quarter a year ago, which stood at $18.4 million, or 94 cents per share.
The results continued a year-long trend of strong earnings. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, the company reported net earnings of $100.7 million, or $5.13 per share, compared to $41.5 million, or $2.13 per share, for the same period a year ago.
“The company’s results were favorably impacted by strong demand for its reinforcing products and incremental price increases to recover the escalation in raw material and operating costs,” the firm said in announcing the results.
Net sales for the third quarter stood at $227.2 million, up from $160.7 million for the prior year quarter, driven by a 53.9% increase in average selling prices partially offset by an 8.2% decrease in shipments, the firm said.
Net sales for the first three quarters combined rose to $618.8 million, up from $419.3 million for same period a year ago.
“The average selling price increase was the result of price increases implemented across all product lines to recover rapidly escalating costs. The unfavorable shipment volume comparison was driven by lower activity in the company’s standard welded wire reinforcement product line together with curtailed operating hours at certain facilities related to staffing challenges,” the company’s statement said.
“We expect our historically strong financial performance to continue for the fiscal fourth quarter,” said H.O. Woltz III, Insteel’s president and CEO. “Our markets remain robust and economic indicators for non-residential construction activity along with internal customer and market insights point to continued momentum through the balance of the calendar year.”
Woltz continued, “While deliveries of offshore steel wire rod alleviated the raw material shortfalls that constrained production and shipping volumes during the first half of the year, we are increasingly contending with unusually tight labor markets that have prevented full capacity operating schedules at certain facilities. We have responded to this challenge with innovative work schedules and higher pay levels which we believe will support the ramp up in production we expect through the end of the calendar year.”
To see the full quarterly report, along with additional information about Insteel, visit https://investor.insteel.com/financials/quarterly-results/default.aspx
August 07, 2022
DOBSON — After a two-year break from play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation (SYEMC) was able to donate $9,750 each to four area nonprofits after the cooperative’s 10th Charity Golf Tournament brought in more than $39,000. The 2022 golf tournament goal was $30,000.
This week, members of SYEMC’s Community Projects Committee, led by chairman Travis Bode, SYEMC’s economic development coordinator, presented checks to the Yadkin Valley United Fund, Grace Clinic of Elkin, Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality — which include The Shepherd’s House and Helping Hands Foundation — and Second Harvest Food Bank.
The day of the tournament, representatives of the nonprofits were on hand to help volunteer and greet the 120 golfers at Cedarbrook Country Club in State Road. The 30 teams were divided into three flights for the captain’s choice format.
Winners of the championship flight, with a score of 55 were Gene Walden, Brandon Carroll, Cecil Alexander and Nelson Rector. In second place, with a 55, were Adam Key, Daryl Tilley, Connor Key and Glen Key.
First flight winners were Donnie Limon, Daniel Rodriguez, Brent Whittington and David Rodriguez, with a score of 53. Second place, with a score of 53, were John Evans, Clark Comer, Robert Kent and Jeff Benfield.
The winners of the second flight, with a score of 57, were Michael Frazier, Laura Neely, Erica Parker and Greyson Cox. Second place, with a score of 60, were Noah Hill, Toliver Wright, Patrick Frazier and Cody Spencer.
Closest to the pin award went to Tony Shinault, and longest drive winner was Michael Frazier.
“When the sponsorship money started coming in, we were elated to find we had so much support from business partners and players that we passed our goal by almost $10,000 and we had a waitlist for teams,” said Bode. “Next year we hope to restructure our tournament so we can include more golfers.
“Surry-Yadkin Electric’s employees love that we have a chance to support nonprofits in this way. It is part of our cooperative principles, with one being concern for community,” he said. “We have caring, giving employees and we are honored to have business and community members who join us in making a difference for those in our area.”
In addition to the annual golf tournament, Surry-Yadkin EMC, a member-owned electric cooperative, hosts a food drive in the fall, sponsors families at Christmas, sponsors youth programs such NC Youth Tour, Bright Ideas Education Grants (with applications from area teachers due by Sept. 15) and Touchstone Energy Sports Camp, and more.
For more information on SYEMC and its community programs, visit the cooperative’s website at syemc.com.
August 07, 2022
The Small Business Center at Surry Community College will be offering multiple online webinars this month free of charge. These webinars cover a variety of topics that are intended to help individuals gain skills for working with a small business.
The webinar Website Building for Small Businesses will be held Aug. 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar can help you quickly and efficiently design a website for your business with little technical knowledge.
The webinar (Re)Launch Your Airbnb in One Weekend: A Masterclass on Airbnb Hosting will be held Aug. 23, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This seminar is intended for anyone exploring Airbnb as an income stream, wanting to launch or upgrade their Airbnb and for those wanting to provide a five-star experience for guests.
The webinar Email Marketing: A Crash Course will be held Aug. 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar will cover the tools and features for basic email marketing in Constant Contact. This webinar is great for beginners who want to learn how to start creating email marketing campaigns.
The webinar How to Start a Small Business will be held Aug. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. After going through the course participants should understand the basics of starting a business in this seminar that takes you from idea to opportunity. Learn key strategies for start-up, financing and marketing as well as important information about legal issues, licensing, zoning, operations and more.
To register for upcoming virtual seminars or to view a complete listing of the upcoming Small Business Center offerings, visit www.surry.edu/sbc. After registering for a webinar, a link to join the event will be emailed to you.
For information about confidential, one-on-one counseling and resource referrals, contact SBC Director Mark Harden at hardenm@surry.edu or call 336-386-3685.
The Small Business Center provides seminars, workshops, resources and counseling to prospective business owners and existing business owners. The SCC Small Business Center has facilities in Dobson, Elkin, Mount Airy, Pilot Mountain, and Yadkinville.
August 07, 2022
Northern Regional Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Chris A. Lumsden was presented with the 2022 American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award during the North Carolina Healthcare Association’s biannual meeting.
Every year, one individual in each state is honored as a “Grassroots Champion” by the American Hospital Association (AHA) in consultation with state hospital associations. This year, the North Carolina Healthcare Association nominated Lumsden to receive the 2022 Grassroots Champion Award for his service and efforts.
Lumsden is an active member of the North Carolina Healthcare Association and regularly participates in NCHA grassroots advocacy initiatives, including visiting local, regional, and state lawmakers. He travelled with the Northern Regional Hospital Executive Leadership Team and Northern Leadership Academy Members to the state capitol to promote Northern Regional Hospital healthcare initiatives and advocate for rural hospitals and their positive role in caring for the physical and economic health of rural communities.
“It is a great honor to receive the 2022 Grassroots Advocacy Award. I view this as a Northern Regional Hospital Team award rather than an individual one. It is a privilege to help tell the wonderful story of Northern Regional throughout our region and in Raleigh,” said Lumsden. “We are not only an award-winning hospital, but also a critical economic engine and driver for our rural community. It is an honor to represent our 1,000 employees and the 250,000 patients we serve every year.”
Lumsden has served as president and CEO of Northern Regional Hospital since 2018. He served previously as chief executive officer of Virginia-based Halifax Regional Health System for 30 years. Lumsden is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE), a licensed Nursing Home Administrator, and was selected as a Top 20 most admired CEO in the Triad Region by the Triad Business Journal.
August 06, 2022
UScellular has appointed Darryl Canty to store manager for the company’s Mount Airy location at 752 S Andy Griffith Parkway. In this role, Canty is responsible for leading his team of wireless technology experts to help customers select the devices, plans and consumer electronics to best meet their needs. Canty has 18 years of wireless experience.
“At UScellular we work hard to ensure our associates are equipped with the knowledge needed to help customers make informed decisions about their wireless service,” said April Taylor, UScellular area sales for western North Carolina. “I am excited for Darryl to lead our Mount Airy store, and I’m confident that his leadership skills will guide our team to help customers in the area with their technology needs.”
Prior to this role, Canty was a manager for a national sales organization.
UScellular is always looking for professionals with sales experience, excellent communications skills and an enthusiastic commitment to customers. “Store leadership and full and part-time retail wireless consultant sales positions are available in a high-energy, professional environment, and interested applicants can apply online at uscellular.jobs,” company officials said. “These positions offer a competitive starting wage and benefits that include medical and dental insurance, a 401K and tuition reimbursement, along with incentives such as performance-based bonuses and discounted wireless service.”
July 31, 2022
Surrey Bancorp (Pink Sheets: SRYB), the holding company for Surrey Bank & Trust, this week reported earnings for the second quarter of 2022 were up sharply from the same period a year ago.
Net income for the six months ending June 30 was down slightly, from $3,081,159, or 74 cents per share in 2021, to $3,045,185 or 73 per shared this year.
For the quarter ending June 30, net income totaled $1,557,682 or 37 cents per fully diluted share, compared to $1,093,784 or 26 cents per common share earned during the second quarter of 2021.
The increase in earnings results from a slight increase in the net interest income and the recapture of the provision for loan losses.
Net interest income increased from $3,270,663 in the second quarter of 2021 to $3,385,534 in the second quarter of 2022. The increase in net interest income is a combination of an increase in interest income and a reduction in interest expense. Interest income increased from $3,393,790 in the second quarter of 2021 to $3,470,518 in the second quarter of 2022. The increase is primarily due to an increase in the fed funds rate.
Interest income from deposits with banks increased from $35,336 in the second quarter of 2021 to $434,171 in 2022. Interest income and fees on loans decreased from $3,322,262 in the second quarter of 2021 to $3,008,292 in 2022. The decrease results from a reduction of loan fees recognized by the bank related to the bank’s participation in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
In the second quarter of 2021 the Bank recognized $164,444 of PPP loan fees compared to only $7,462 in the second quarter of 2022. Interest expense decreased from $123,127 in the second quarter of 2021 to $84,984 in the second quarter of 2022.
The provision for loan losses decreased from $188,616 in the second quarter of 2021 to a recapture of $414,965 in 2022, a $603,581 decrease. The 2022 recapture results from a trend in loan charge-off recoveries and a reduction in environmental factors related to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Surrey Bancorp is the bank holding company for Surrey Bank & Trust and is located at 145 North Renfro Street, Mount Airy. The bank operates full-service branch offices at 145 North Renfro Street, and 2050 Rockford Street and a limited-service branch at 1280 West Pine Street in Mount Airy. Full-service branch offices are also located at 653 South Key Street in Pilot Mountain, 393 CC Camp Road in Elkin and 1096 Main Street in North Wilkesboro and 940 Woodland Drive in Stuart, Virginia.
For more information about the bank, or to see the full quarterly report, visit https://www.surreybank.com/about-us/
July 30, 2022
BLUEFIELD, VIRGINIA – First Community Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCBC), reported this week net income for the second quarter of 2022 stood at $11.21 million, or 67 cents per diluted common share, down from $13.2 million, or 76 cents per share, from the same period a year ago.
Net income for the first six months of 2022 stood at $20.73 million, or $1.24 per share, down sharply from $28.01 million, or $1.59 per share, the previous year.
Nevertheless, the bank declared a cash dividend of 29 cents per share to stockholders, an increase of 2 cents per share over the same quarter in 2021. The dividend will be payable on or about Aug. 19 to shareholders of record on Aug. 5.
”Net income of $11.21 million for the quarter was a decrease compared to the same quarter of 2021, which included a significant reversal of provision for credit losses,” the bank said in announcing the results and explaining the drop in net income. “The normalized provision for credit losses drove much of the difference between current year-to-date net income of $20.73 million and the same period in 2021.”
The quarterly income for the second quarter in 2021 was a record for the bank, representing a 65% increase over the previous year.
First Community Bankshares Inc., a financial holding company headquartered in Bluefield, Virginia, provides banking products and services through its wholly owned subsidiary First Community Bank. First Community Bank operated 49 branch banking locations in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee as of June 30, including in Surry County.
July 30, 2022
After dealing with Mount Airy’s planning-relating matters as a volunteer, Jeannie Studnicki is now doing so on a professional basis due to recently joining the Benchmark firm.
Benchmark is an entity based in Charlotte which has been contracted to provide planning services to Mount Airy since 2011, when city officials decided to privatize those functions.
That arrangement includes having personnel stationed regularly at the Municipal Building to handle matters involving zoning administration, long-range growth and others.
Studnicki, a 17-year resident of Mount Airy, is now part of that staff also including city Planning Director Andy Goodall. Her title is city planner.
She formerly served on the Mount Airy Planning Board, a key advisory group to the city commissioners which devotes initial study to annexation, zoning and related requests and then makes recommendations to the commissioners for final decisions.
Studnicki was a Planning Board member for seven years, having been appointed by the commissioners in 2015. She chaired that group for the past two years and rotated off it this year due to serving the maximum terms allowed.
The outgoing board member received special recognition for her city volunteer service from Mayor Ron Niland during a May 19 meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
“It was a natural progression when the city planning job presented itself,” Studnicki advised this week of her addition to the local Benchmark operation.
“This new position involves strategic thinking, goal setting, data collection and analysis, forecasting, design and public consultation, duties that I’m very familiar and comfortable with,” she added.
“It also allows me the opportunity to continue serving the city, its residents, and contributing to community growth in a meaningful way.”
Studnicki’s present responsibilities mirrored her work on the Mount Airy Planning Board. That included investigating present and emerging land-development trends and activities within the municipality, and recommending plans, policies and ordinances designed to maximize opportunities for growth while promoting public health, safety, morals and welfare.
While a Planning Board member, Studnicki assisted in the revision of far-thinking documents such as the Mount Airy Comprehensive Plan, along with zoning, sign, landscaping and other ordinances.
Focused on history
The new city planner, formerly of Toronto, has demonstrated a particular appreciation for architecture and historical preservation locally.
This included working to expand the number of Mount Airy districts in the National Register of Historic Places in recent years, motivated by benefits historically recognized places provide.
“Old buildings are witnesses to the aesthetic and cultural history of a city, helping to give people a sense of place and connection to the past,” Studnicki believes.
“Mount Airy thrives from its historic significance,” she observed. “Preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest — we’d be doing a disservice if its vibrant legacy of inspiration and energy isn’t maintained and enriched for future generations.”
Studnicki, whose background includes 25 years of experience in marketing and as a business strategist working with companies including Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, AstraZeneca and more, has filled additional volunteer roles in this community.
She is a past board member of Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, a present member of the Downtown Master Plan Steering Committee and also volunteers at Northern Regional Hospital, among others.
“Twenty years from now, I want to reflect on my time in Mount Airy and feel that I contributed in a meaningful way,” Studnicki commented.
“That I championed for the welfare of our residents by helping to design a city that met their needs and interests while addressing crucial urban problems.”
July 29, 2022
Northern Regional Hospital has earned a five-star rating for quality care – the highest award possible — in the most recently published ‘Hospital Compare’ report of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Northern Regional Hospital is one of 12 hospitals in North Carolina, and the only hospital in the region, to be so highly rated.
“This five-star designation comes on the heels of our recent Leapfrog ‘Grade A,’ the highest rating in patient safety, and is a testament to our unwavering commitment to quality care and service excellence,” said Chris A. Lumsden, president and chief executive officer of Northern Regional Hospital. “As we grow, improve, and expand clinical services and programs, we will uphold the superior standards that we have established in the delivery of high quality, safe care to patients and the communities we serve. Congratulations go to our entire Northern team.”
The Hospital Compare report, released July 27, compared quality data from 3,093 hospitals in the nation by looking at seven measurable indicators of quality performance, including the self-reported experiences of patients. Only 14% of hospitals in the country received a five-star rating. Hospitals are awarded between one and five stars based on quality performance, with five stars being the highest achievement for excellence.
According to Medicare.gov, Hospital Compare summarizes a variety of measures across seven areas of quality into a single rating for each hospital. Those measures are mortality, safety of care, readmissions, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, and efficient use of medical imaging. The report is designed to help patients make decisions about where they seek health care and encourage hospitals to continuously improve quality of care and patient safety.
“Northern Regional Hospital’s five-star designation speaks to the dedication of each member of our healthcare team – including physicians, nurses, allied-health professionals, administrators, support staff, and volunteers – who are focused 24/7 on delivering top-quality care to patients,” said Robin H. Hodgin, senior vice president for patient services and chief nursing officer. “It also speaks to the cherished level of trust our patients have in us to provide them with high-quality care and heartfelt compassion.”
July 29, 2022
After almost 30 years of service to the Twin Counties and the New River Valley, Jeff and Sharon Johnson have sold Jeff Johnson Chevrolet to their son, Adam Johnson. The dealership will also be changing its name to Johnson Family Chevrolet, to reflect its success as a team, and its commitment to family values.
“I am very excited to have purchased Jeff Johnson Chevrolet,” said new owner Adam Johnson. “I want to assure everyone we are going to continue with the same values that we have always offered including our no doc, processing or hidden fees approach, value pricing, family atmosphere and large inventory selection.”
Johnson continued, “I have chosen to change the name of the dealership to Johnson Family Chevrolet to reflect the fact that our success really comes from all of our team members and their dedication ensuring the very best in customer experiences.”
“We, of course, will continue the Johnson traditions, while also streamlining our customers shopping processes, making it easier than ever to purchase a new Chevrolet or quality pre-owned vehicle.”
Johnson Family Chevrolet will retain the entire staff and strive to serve the community.
July 27, 2022
Lindsay Davies, D.O., has joined the medical staff of Northern Regional Hospital to serve as a Hospitalist physician for inpatients at the nationally recognized 133-bed community hospital.
A board-certified physician, Dr. Davies served previously as a hospitalist at Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tennessee for two years; and, prior served three years as a hospitalist at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Virginia; and a resident physician at Norton Community Hospital.
“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Davies to our medical staff,” said Jason W. Edsall, MD, chief medical officer of Northern Regional Hospital. “Her broad-based medical knowledge and experience, as well as her demonstrated commitment to providing quality care to patients, is a great fit for our hospital.”
Dr. Davies’ path to becoming a physician and, ultimately, a hospitalist (a specialist for inpatient hospital care) began at an early age when she visited her newborn sister in the hospital and was inspired by her local community family physician. “I grew up in the mountains of Appalachia where the only community doctor in town was an absolute pillar. Dr. Janice Gable manifested compassion, intelligence, and the actual art of medicine by caring for and treating the relatively rural community. She showed me that a woman could contribute so much goodness to the world which drove me forward and inspired me. Over the years medical interactions fascinated me and the direction of my life was very clear. The Science of how amazing the human body is drew me in completely.”
Dr. Davies’ approach to patient care is to “meet patients where they are — sometimes that means a lot of listening and sometimes teaching and instruction. I believe in gentle but direct conversations, as most people appreciate a straight shooter. I‘ve also found that if you break the science down and make it more relatable, the patient is more likely to understand the problem and buy into the treatment plan.
“This empowers the patient to contribute to their care from a place of respect and understanding. For example, I will sometimes describe the urinary system in plumbing terms, or neurologic or cardiac issues more as electrical situations. This helps patients relate to something they are more familiar with and therefore better understand what we are dealing with and how to go about treating the problem we’re facing.”
After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Alice Lloyd College in Kentucky, she attended Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee and earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree in 2013. The newly minted doctor then became a resident physician at Norton Community Hospital where she began an intensive three-year residency program in internal medicine.
“During my residency, I found through my rotations that I enjoyed the hospital setting the most, as that is where patients are very sick and you can follow their case to help them heal.”
Dr. Davies is a member of the American Medical Association and has served on numerous committees at previous hospitals, including patient safety committee and medical staff committees.
Dr. Davies is enjoying working with colleagues and applying her medical knowledge and skills to help inpatients at Northern Regional Hospital. “The group of physicians I am working with work well together, which leads to a collegial environment that thrives. I was impressed by the level of organization, dedication, and willingness to work together to ensure everyone in the group is an equal partner.”
She was attracted to Northern Regional Hospital for many reasons. “It is an independent community hospital with a commitment to give back to the community and remain independent,” said Davies. “I am also impressed at the magnitude of welcomeness I have felt. This is also a stunning part of the country not too far from home. It seems like a terrific place to raise my family with so much to offer them. I am so excited to join the team.”
Davies has three children, ages 6, 4, and 18 months old. They enjoy playing outdoors together, completing puzzles, conducting science experiments at home, and playing with cousins and their pets. They have two dogs and a bearded dragon.
July 20, 2022
DOBSON — The first youth apprentice program for registered nurses in North Carolina has culminated this year in nine local students committing to apprenticeships at Northern Regional Hospital in Mount Airy.
An additional five have signed to continue their employment with Northern Regional Hospital through the Surry-Yadkin Works program at a signing event held at Surry Community College. Ten nursing apprentices signed with Northern Regional Hospital in the program’s inaugural year in 2021.
“The youth apprenticeship program has developed even more amazingly than we could have dreamed,” said Robin Hodgin, senior vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer at Northern Regional Hospital. “We have been truly blessed with this group of students, a group that our staff has grown to love and appreciate. We’ve enjoyed seeing their smiling faces each day, not to mention their eagerness to learn new skills. We know these young ladies have very bright futures ahead, and we hope those futures return them to Northern Regional Hospital.”
The apprentices who signed are: Trista Berrier of North Surry High School, Hannah Hall of Starmount High School, Gisell Hernadez Aguilera of Yadkin Early College High School, Brianna Key and Mariela Secundino of Surry Early College High School, Callie Moore and Kate Parks of Surry Central High School, Cristina Seawell of East Surry High School, and Ashlyn Shore of Forbush High School.
Additionally, the following Surry-Yadkin Works pre-apprentices working at Northern Regional Hospital signed with with the hospital as PRN nurses at the event. (“PRN” stands for the Latin phrase “Pro re nata,” meaning “as needed,” and “occasionally”): Kylie Bruner, Hannah Johnston, and Clara Willard of East Surry High School, Ellen Bryant of Surry Central High School, and Natalie Payne of North Surry High School.
“Working at Northern Regional Hospital has not only been an eye-opener for me but has been a wonderful learning and working experience,” said Cristina Seawell. “The staff and especially my mentors on the Labor and Delivery floor, who are now like my family, have been amazing. They are the best teachers and have taught me so much. This must be my most amazing opportunity yet. My choice in pursuing my nursing career has become clearer since being here, and I am excited to continue my journey here, as I know that I will have lots of help and support along the way. I am very thankful.”
This opportunity is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship program and the state’s ApprenticeshipNC program through the N.C. Community College System Office that combines a paid work-based learning experience with classroom academics leading to a national certification. These students will earn free tuition for the associate degree nursing program at a North Carolina community college to become registered nurses.
The students began their paid pre-apprenticeships on Jan. 10 and worked through May 13 as certified nursing assistants and patient care technicians. They received high school or college credit for their employment along with a stipend each month for travel expenses.
“The partnership that Surry-Yadkin Works has established with Northern Regional Hospital is incredibly exciting for our local students as they are connected early in their educational journey to the hospital, so they can explore career paths,” said Crystal Folger-Hawks, program director of Surry-Yadkin Works. “If it’s a good fit, students can continue working at Northern Regional Hospital, while their college education is paid for through the ApprenticeshipNC program. This is a win-win for the business and students, and I’m proud to be a part of this endeavor.”
For more information about Apprenticeships at Northern Regional Hospital, visit wearenorthern.org/careers or email hrhelp@wearenorthern.org.
Surry-Yadkin Works is the first community-based internship program of its kind in North Carolina, officially beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, covering a two-county region.Surry-Yadkin Works is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College. The funding is also a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County and Yadkin County commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $100,000 prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit to help begin the program.
For more information about the Surry-Yadkin Works program, contact Folger-Hawks at 336-401-7820 or folger-hawksc@surry.edu or visit www.surryyadkinworks.org.
July 18, 2022
SALISBURY – Food Lion recently said nearly 300 of its associates will be celebrating 30 or more years of service with the company including five long-term associates from stores in the Mount Airy area.
“Recognizing associates who have shared their gifts and talents with Food Lion and nourished their neighbors for decades is incredibly important to us,” said Meg Ham, president, Food Lion. “These dedicated associates have touched the lives of their fellow associates and customers alike. We are so fortunate to have such committed associates and I so appreciate the care, compassion and commitment they share with Food Lion and the towns and cities they serve.”
Food Lion recognizes these associates celebrating 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service with the Years of Service Award. Each year, the omnichannel retailer holds a recognition event to share appreciation and gratitude for associates who have achieved these service milestones. At the Years of Service Awards event, each associate’s name, position, location and service milestone are read aloud and celebrated.
Locally, those recognized for 30 years of service include Pricing Coordinator Mary Fultz, Produce Sales Manager James Haymore, and Evening Manager Jason McGee.
Those recognized for 35 years of service include Perishable Associate Billy Meyers and Store Manager Chad Hiatt.
Food Lion, based in Salisbury has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 82,000 associates companywide.
July 15, 2022
CHARLOTTE. – Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) this week declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $1.005 per share, an increase of 2 cents per share. This dividend is payable on Sept.16 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug.12.
The company also declared a quarterly cash dividend on its Series A preferred stock of $359.375 per share, payable on Sept. 16, to shareholders of record at close of business on Aug.12, 2022. This is equivalent of 35.9375 cents per depositary share.
In addition, the company declared a semi-annual cash dividend on its Series B preferred stock of $24.375 per share, payable on Sept.16, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug.12.
Duke Energy has paid a cash dividend on its common stock for 96 consecutive years.
Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
July 03, 2022
DOBSON — Wayne Farms Dobson recently presented a $5,000 check to the Shepherd’s House to help underwrite the organization’s homeless shelter operation.
“But financial support is only one aspect of community partnership for the Dobson team,” the firm said of its donation. “The company has also signed on with Shepherd’s House as a resource for the agency’s Jobs First program, offering training and plant positions to homeless adults and even providing transportation to and from the job.”
“We wanted to help Shepherd’s House give residents the opportunity to change their situation,” said Dobson Complex Manager Matthew Wooten. “Providing financial support is important, but helping people find employment is even more impactful,” said Wooten, who noted that a number of former Shepherd’s House residents have been able to get back on their feet and leave the facility thanks to gainful employment at the Dobson complex.
At any given time, seven to ten shelter residents are working with Wayne Farms through the Jobs First program, and as they graduate and move on to other opportunities, Wooten stressed that new positions at Wayne Farms are always available. “Right now we’re paying $17-20 an hour with signing bonuses and we can have people working the day they apply.”
Wayne Farms has been a long-time supporter of Shepherd’s House, which provides basic lodging and meals for homeless individuals and families, along with an array of therapeutic, educational, life skills and health education classes and social services assistance. The 64-bed facility just completed a major renovation and expansion.
July 03, 2022
MOUNT AIRY — In addition to Northern Regional Hospital’s recognition as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission earlier this year, the hospital has received the American Heart Association’s GoldPlus Get With The Guidelines – Stroke quality achievement award.
The award, according to the hospital, is for “for its commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disability.”
Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the U.S. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so brain cells die. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability, and accelerating recovery times.
Get With The Guidelines puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping ensure patient care is aligned with the latest research and evidence-based guidelines. Get With The Guidelines – Stroke is an in-hospital program for improving stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to these guidelines, which can minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death.
“Obtaining Gold Plus recognition from the American Heart & American Stroke Associations reflects the outstanding stroke care patients receive at Northern Regional Hospital. Our Northern Interdisciplinary Stroke Team is activated from the moment a possible stroke is identified, throughout the hospital stay, and into the post-discharge period to assure our patients are surrounded with treatments and resources they will need to achieve a robust recovery,” said Emily Volk, transitional care nurse at Northern and one of the leaders of the project. “This Get With The Guidelines award recognizes the success we have experienced as we collaborate not only among Northern clinical staff, but also with valued community partners such as EMS, rehab and therapy agencies, pharmacists, and primary care providers. We are honored to consistently provide exceptional stroke care to the members of our local community.”
Each year, program participants qualify for the award by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, Get With The Guidelines participants also educate patients to help them manage their health and recovery at home.
“We are incredibly pleased to recognize Northern Regional Hospital for its commitment to caring for patients with stroke,” said Steven Messe, M.D., chairperson of the Stroke System of Care Advisory Group. “Participation in Get With The Guidelines is associated with improved patient outcomes, fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates – a win for health care systems, families, and communities.”
Northern Regional Hospital also received the American Heart Association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet specific criteria that reduce the time between an eligible patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster alteplase.
In addition, Northern Regional Hospital also received the American Heart Association’s Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll award. Target: Type 2 Diabetes aims to ensure patients with Type 2 diabetes, who might be at higher risk for complications, receive the most up-to-date, evidence-based care when hospitalized due to stroke.
July 02, 2022
GALAX, Va — As part of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebrations, the nonprofit honored seven members of its community of stewards at a ceremony on June 18, at the Blue Ridge Music Center. Among those honored was a Mount Airy business — W.L.A. Trucking.
The firm earned the Corporate Champion Award for the company’s support of the music center. The business, owned by Bobby and Debbie Post, has sponsored the summer concert series since 2018, and contributes to specialprojects, including the replacement of aging speakers and other equipment in the amphitheater. Bobby Post accepted the award on behalf of the company.
“Our 25th anniversary is really a celebration of the people who bring our mission to life through their contributions to the national park they love,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the foundation during the ceremony. “We are fortunate to count these honorees as members of our community of stewards.”
Ian Jordan was honored with the Youth Ambassador award for his contributions to Kids in Parks, a program of the foundation. Over the past five years, Jordan has visited more than 80 of the program’s TRACK Trail locations, and logged more than 100 miles hiking. He has become a Junior Ranger in 118 national parks and in every North Carolina State Park. He also helped Kids in Parks design, test, and implement a new smartphone-based Junior Ranger activity, creating an opportunity for children across the country to learn about the natural, historical, and cultural resources found in national parks.
Radio station 88.5 WFDD received the Media Partner Award for its work to spread the word about the venue’s musical programs throughout its 29 county-listening area, including northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. The partnership has furthered the center’s mission to celebrate the music and musicians of the mountains. Morning Edition host Neal Charnoff accepted the award.
The Yadkin Arts Council was honored with the Partnership Award. In addition to being a longtime sponsor of the summer concert series, the Yadkin Arts Council has collaborated with the music center to present the Sounds of the Mountains concert series each January when the national park venue is closed. This series is hosted by the Yadkin Arts Council at The Willingham Theater in the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center. The partnership has yielded 20 concerts showcasing bluegrass, old-time, gospel, and Americana groups. Yadkin Arts Council board president John Willingham accepted the award.
The musicians who volunteer their time and talents for the daily Midday Mountain Music sessions were honored with the Volunteer Service Award. What started as two musicians — Willard Gayheart and Bobby Patterson — playing tunes for Music Center visitors on Thursday afternoons, blossomed into the Midday Mountain Music sessions offered free for visitors each day. This amounts to about 800 hours of music, and as a group accounts for more than 3,000 volunteer hours during the season. Amy Boucher accepted the award for the Midday Mountain Musicians.
Long-time volunteer Aubrey Arrington’s numerous contributions to the music center and Blue Ridge Parkway include providing educational programs, training new seasonal rangers, leading hikes, organizing volunteer clean-up days, performing trail and facility maintenance, and more. For his support, Arrington was honored with the Blue Ridge Music Center Champion Award.
The National Council for the Traditional Arts was recognized with the Visionary Award for the organization’s work to establish the Music Center, founding the annual concert series that continues today, and opening the Roots of American Music exhibit in 2011.
First Citizens Bank is the premier sponsor of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The organization provides support for initiatives along the 469-mile route, including historical and cultural preservation, environmental protection, visitor amenities, and education and outreach. The Foundation’s work includes programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center, and the award-winning, nationwide Kids in Parks program.
June 26, 2022
DOBSON — Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation recently donated a retired fleet truck to Surry Community College to be used by the college’s facilities and maintenance department.
Ricky Bowman, vice president of operations for the electric company, was on hand to pass the keys of the 2010 Ford F-150 along to Dr. David Shockley, president of SCC, on the college’s main campus June 21. The title was signed over as well.
“We appreciate the donation of the truck by Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation. SYEMC continues to be a great partner of Surry Community College. The college will use the truck to support our facilities and maintenance department’s efforts to maintain and beautify our campus and learning centers,” Shockley said.
Bowman said SYEMC was happy to be able to support community needs through efforts such as the donation to the college, which is a neighbor of SYEMC’s office in Dobson. “One of the key principles we operate by is concern for community. Being able to support academic and economic needs in the region, such as Surry Community College, falls under that principle,” he said.
Surry-Yadkin EMC, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative founded in 1940, serves more than 28,000 member accounts in five counties, including Surry, Yadkin, Stokes, Wilkes and Forsyth.
Surry Community College was founded in 1964 and the campus is located in Dobson, North Carolina. As one of the state’s 58 community colleges, it serves Surry and Yadkin counties.
June 21, 2022
Jordan Edwards has joined the staff of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.
She will be taking the position of director of events. In her new post, she will be overseeing the annual Autumn Leaves Festival. She comes to the chamber from the Alleghany County Chamber of Commerce and the Alleghany County Public Schools.
“We welcome Jordon to the chamber team,” said Chamber President and CEO Randy Collins. “She comes to us with some great experience with event management and marketing.”
Edwards, who takes the post left vacant by the departure of Travis Frye earlier this year, can be reached at the chamber at 336-786-6116, ext. 204 or via email at jordon@mtairyncchamber.org.
June 12, 2022
Northern Regional Hospital recently awarded the 2022 Robin Hardy Hodgin Education Scholarship to two area students pursuing a career in the healthcare field. Each will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
Liszbhet Hernandez, of Mount Airy, and Kylie Bruner, of Pilot Mountain, were the two scholarship recipients.
Liszbhet is a 2022 graduate of Surry County Early College High School and will attend UNC-Charlotte in the fall to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing. Lizbhet’s aspirations for healthcare began at a young age, and she has volunteered at Dunmoore Plantation Assisted Living Alzheimer’s Care Unit and at Surry Medical Ministries.
“I was overjoyed to learn I had been chosen for this award, and I am thankful and grateful,” she said. “This scholarship will help me with my overall cost of tuition and books. I plan to use this scholarship towards my books and with the money that is leftover, I’ll pay off my tuition. I plan to be driven to succeed in the future and winning this scholarship will help me be one step closer to achieving my goal to become a nurse.”
Kylie is a 2022 graduate of East Surry High School and plans to begin her studies to become a nurse practitioner at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. She is working as a certified nursing assistant in Northern Regional Hospital’s Pre-Apprentice Program. Bruner has aspired to a career in healthcare since the age of 6, when she lost two of her grandparents to cancer.
“The scholarship provided to me by the Robin Hardy Hodgin Scholarship Fund will benefit me by providing a slight relief from the added stress of paying for college. I am so thankful to become a recipient of this scholarship because I feel valued and held to a great honor being chosen by the scholarship committee. As I embark on my educational nursing journey, the Robin H. Hodgin scholarship allows me to go to college more empowered and with less worry about the cost of my education,” she said.
Historically, the foundation has awarded 10 individual $1,000 scholarships, but this year, the committee chose to award two scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each to two graduates, screened and selected by a team of hospital leaders. The scholarship can be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, and supplies for selected students who enroll in accredited healthcare programs in the areas of nursing, pharmacy, or other allied-health professions. The scholarship, established in the 201-2020 school year, has already awarded $28,000 to support local graduates going into a healthcare field.
“This valuable program provides a much-needed helping hand to deserving students who have chosen to pursue fulfilling careers in healthcare while honoring the distinguished and ongoing career of Robin Hodgin, one of the most gifted and committed nursing leaders we have at Northern Regional Hospital,” said Chris A. Lumsden, president and chief executive officer of Northern Regional Hospital. “It is one of the numerous ways Northern provides support for our local youth, and exemplifies our commitment to education.”
Northern Regional Hospital established the scholarship program in October 2019, named in honor of Senior Vice President for Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer Robin H. Hodgin. The scholarship is funded through private donations, matched dollar-for-dollar by the Northern Regional Foundation. The Hospital’s Scholarship Committee awards one-time scholarships for up to 10 eligible students enrolled in a health science degree-granting program at an accredited college or university of their choice.
Scholarships are awarded to prospective students who reside in Surry County and the surrounding region and aspire to a career in nursing or allied-health professions – including respiratory therapy, physical therapy, medical imaging technology, laboratory science, pharmacy, and others.
“I am honored to serve on the scholarship committee for the Robin Hardy Hodgin Education Scholarship,” said Tina Beasley, executive assistant for Northern Regional Hospital. “This scholarship is a testament to the talents and leadership of Northern Regional Hospital’s top nursing executive, Robin Hodgin, who has served our hospital for more than 40 years. This scholarship program is designed to help jumpstart their careers of students pursuing a career in nursing or allied health. Recipients are chosen based on merit, academics, community involvement, and financial need. This year, both recipients ranked in the top 5 of their class and had high GPAs. Both students were involved in many extra-curricular and community activities. Each student received outstanding recommendations from their teachers and school administrators. We have no doubt that both Kylie and Lizbhet will represent Northern Regional Hospital well.”
For more information about the Robin Hardy Hodgin Scholarship Fund, about Northern Regional Hospital Foundation, and to donate, visit wearenorthern.org.
June 11, 2022
When passing by Mount Airy High School along North South Street, one notices the walls, sidewalks and signage of a typical educational institution — but probably don’t realize that a thriving business is also within its confines.
During one recent morning at Blue Bear Cafe as the school year wound down, Ocean Davis, a senior, was putting the finishing touches on a fruit smoothie after earlier serving up cookies and brownies to an appreciative recipient. Chances are, another customer soon would be ordering a fresh-brewed cup of latte from the student-run operation.
The coffee at Blue Bear Cafe is reputed to be so tasty that teacher Ashley Pyles did not shy away from comparing what the kids prepare to that offered by a international coffeehouse chain:
“They make the best coffee, hands-down, over Starbucks any day,” Pyles said proudly.
Along with a variety of coffees — including frappe, latte and Americano — there are several flavors of fruit smoothies available, various sweet treats including bundt cakes, snack items, hot chocolate, cider and more.
The menu at Blue Bear Cafe further includes specialty drinks featuring what apparently has become a local sensation, bubble teas.
Yet perhaps the best product served up there is success — cooked up daily by apron-wearing student entrepreneurs who are gaining valuable business experience during the school year which can aid them in a career.
“It’s never about the coffee,” Workforce Initiatives Coordinator Polly Long said when discussing the mission involved, or for that matter the caffeine, the stimulative ingredient of that popular beverage.
“It’s about the skills,” added Long, a longtime school system employee who is being given much credit for making the on-campus business a reality.
“A student-operated coffee shop has been a dream of Polly Long’s for years,” says a statement prepared in conjunction with the Blue Bear Cafe program receiving special city government recognition during a recent council meeting. That statement also references the role “students with extraordinary talents” have played in its success.
The cafe, which emerged in 2019, seeks to provide targeted youth with training in essential entry-level skills and create a pathway to employment in the service industry.
For example, junior Jennifer Griffin has her sights set on becoming a pastry chef.
Blue Bear Cafe operates through the Occupational Course of Study unit at the school and is overseen by teachers Jennifer Gentry and Ashley Pyles in addition to Long.
“Jennifer is sort of our pastry chef,” Gentry said of Griffin’s go-to role in the operation.
About 10 students are enrolled in the program during a given academic year. They also take regular courses in addition to working a specified number of hours for the cafe, constituting class periods. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when school is in session.
Student innovators
Blue Bear Cafe occupies a strategic space in the high school’s media center, which provides an inviting setting to enjoy a beverage or snack arguably rivaling that of any coffeehouse on the planet. The surroundings are pleasantly lit by large windows facing North South Street.
The place was arranged with the assistance of Goodwill Industries, Long said, which helped supply start-up funds to acquire new furniture and accessories.
It is tastefully adorned by walls painted in a soft-brown and olive-green color scheme, imprinted with phrases such as “serving kindness one cup of the time” and inspiring words including “imagine,” “create,” “inspire” and others.
Students respond by constantly adding new drinks and even developed a website to promote the business. A Blue Bear Cafe Facebook page is available to assist with orders.
The facility’s spic-and-span kitchen is located in a side room, near a counter area where students check out library materials as part of dual, harmonious existence between the two facilities. A gift shop specializing in student-made products also is located at the cafe offering items including mugs and T-shirts and handcrafted items from local entrepreneurs.
Along with the culinary talents honed by the youths, other abilities are learned that they can apply to many additional career endeavors besides a coffee shop itself.
These include leadership, communication, organization skills and teamwork, plus the real-life functions of dealing the public in taking orders, making change from a cash register and processing credit card orders.
“They’re seeing it in real time,” Long said of the impression left on those from the outside world who are able to witness education being applied to an actual enterprise. The students involved are a mixture of upperclassmen and lowerclassmen who ensure a seamless transition with the transfer of knowledge as they come and go.
“They are basically learning how to run a business on their own,” Pyles observed.
While the cafe is shut down for the summer, before resuming operations again with the start of the next school year, it has been popular among members of the public who can call in and pick up orders on the campus.
In other cases, large orders will even be delivered to customers.
“We are in the black,” Long said of the cost related to that service given the surge in gas prices. “What we try to do is break even,” with any profits going right back into the business.
“We use some of that money to take them (students) on field trips,” Gentry advised.
Long is hoping to expand Blue Bear Cafe to a downtown location if one can be found under the right circumstances.
City accolades
The smell of success from Blue Bear Cafe has emanated to City Hall a couple of miles away, as evidenced by the special recognition it received during a recent meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
Pyles attended that session along with two students, Griffin and fellow junior Shatavia Robison, who were there for a presentation on the program highlighted by the girls passing out chocolate chip cookies to those in attendance.
The cookies were contained in colorful packaging with labels extolling such sentiments as “be nice” and “choose happiness.”
“This program is first and foremost all about our kids,” Pyles said of the effort that “has just blown my mind.”
“The Blue Bear Cafe is one of the bright shining lights of the Mount Airy school system,” Commissioner Jon Cawley remarked, while thanking Polly Long for her involvement.
“I know y’all will go far in life,” Commissioner Marie Wood told the students.
“Great job, ladies,” said the board’s Joe Zalescik.
“This is what a community like Mount Airy is and can be,” Mayor Ron Niland said of the cafe’s success.
June 09, 2022
Surry Community College hosted a Graduate Career Expo recently, providing graduates with the opportunity to meet with many businesses who were recruiting employees.
“We appreciate the support of our local businesses by their participation in this inaugural event,” said Rachel L. Hiatt, SCC coordinator for Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship Initiatives. “The college’s Purpose Center offered graduates help with resume preparation and interview skills during workshops in April.”
Businesses in attendance were Carport Central/The Central Steel Group; Chatham Nursing and Rehab; Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital; J’s HVAC Unlimited LLC; Johnson Granite Inc.; Moore and Associates Engineering and Consulting; Mountain Valley Hospice; Ottenweller Company; Pike Electric; Prism Medical Products; Salem Electric Co.; Surry Communications; Wayne Farms LLC; and Weyerhaeuser; Workforce Unlimited.
The SCC Marketing Department took complimentary digital professional headshots of students for their social media sites during the event.
Any business representative wishing to partner with SCC to find employees, interns or apprentices should contact Hiatt 336-386-3291 or hiattr@surry.edu.
June 08, 2022
GREENSBORO — Three-and-a-half years after Kieffer | Starlite sign company purchased Burton Signs of Mount Airy — and less than a year after announcing an expansion at the local plant — Kieffer | Starlite has opted to sell the facility as part of a company-wide, multi-month reorganization.
And in so doing, the former Burton Signworks company in Mount Airy has come full circle.
Allen Industries, a family-owned company based in Greensboro, announced on Wednesday it had acquired the Mount Airy production facility of national sign company Kieffer | Starlite earlier this spring.
The move brings together two firms which have, in some ways, always been connected. Wayne Burton, founder of what would eventually become Burton Signworks, started the Mount Airy business in 1983 — after learning the trade by working for Allen Industries.
“Wayne Burton got his start in the sign business working for Allen Industries in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s before starting Burton Electric Signs Inc. in 1974,” said Tom Allen, Allen Industries president.
Burton grew his sign business from a one-man, one-truck operation to a business with as many as 50-75 employees before eventually selling his sign company to a local business group in 2007, according to Allen Industries. Burton continued to work there until his retirement in 2010.
He ran the operation as a family-owned business, something Tom Allen said his firm does as well. His grandfather started Allen Industries in 1931 with neon signs, successfully growing into a full-service signage and architectural elements manufacturer and installation company. Now he, his brothers, and some fourth-generation family members work at the firm, which has manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and Ohio.
The Mount Airy facility will be Allen Industries seventh location, allowing the signage company more capacity, equipment and expertise to design, build and maintain every type of signage and re-imaging program and fulfill even more projects across the U.S. and abroad. Allen Industries completed nearly 2,000 national and international installations last year.
The Mount Airy facility has already undergone some changes over the past two years. Its previous owners announced last spring it would be consolidating two area locations into one, at 699 Junction Street, and expanding its workforce and production facilities.
That owner, Kieffer | Starlite, has since undergone significant changes as well. In November, the firm announced it was “right sizing” its operations, shutting down all of its production facilities except for Mount Airy and one in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. In April, the firm announced it had been acquired by PSCO Global Group, and that acquisition included the Wisconsin plant. While the sale of the Mount Airy facility was not announced until Wednesday, that also took place in April.
Now, the local manufacturing operation is in the hands of the place where its founder got his start in the sign business.
“Wayne Burton ran his operation with the same family-oriented atmosphere we strive for at Allen Industries,” said Tom Allen. “Just as we mentored him early in his career, Wayne was well known for his nurturing of young individuals starting in the signage profession and as a result, he had the loyalty and tenure of his employees. Much like Wayne’s business, Allen Industries has many longtime employees who start here and retire with us. With the acquisition of this Mount Airy facility, the Allen-Burton legacy comes full circle and we couldn’t be more pleased to become a part of this fantastic community.”
Allen Industries plans to add employees and “bring back the numbers and culture of the former Burton Electric Signs/Burton Signworks and welcomes all applications.”
“At Allen Industries, you’ll find a family business and culture where our people are our most valuable asset and our team members work together to meet customer needs. With industry-leading benefits and incentives, associates are valued, encouraged to develop, and are rewarded for their performance,” Allen said.
For more information the company, or potential job openings there, visit www.allenindustries.com/careers.
June 05, 2022
DOBSON – The week of Earth Day saw Wayne Farms employees living up to their “Amazing Starts With Me” motto, holding a Dobson Complex Cleanup, then undertaking a joint effort uniting the Dobson Sustainability Team with city workers to spruce up the town and maintain common areas.
Wayne Farms Dobson was title sponsor for the Town of Dobson’s annual Dobson Spring Folly, a town-square community fair held in conjunction with Earth Day and featuring local business and merchant booths, food, games and prizes for hundreds of local attendees.
The Wayne Farms booth showcased company sustainability initiatives and career opportunities, complete with games and prizes focused on sustainability, recycle/reuse and other eco-friendly themes. The company also recently upgraded the local plant complex to be more energy-efficient, installing new EV Car Charging Stations at the facility as part of Wayne Farms Dobson’s ongoing effort to bolster sustainability, support community priorities. and encourage environmentally responsible corporate and individual practices at work and in everyday life.
“It was great to see our people out there making things better as part of the community where we live,” said Matthew Wooten, Wayne Farms Dobson complex manager and long-time community leader.
“We’re proud to do our part and we had a lot of fun doing it,” said Stephanie Reynolds, one of the Wayne Farms Dobson organizers.
Dobson’s approach to sustainability is part of Wayne Farms’ larger mission of sustainable operations under its “Amazing Starts With Me” organizational tenant. Focused on producing quality products, responsible stewardship of resources, humane treatment of animals, supporting employees and championing communities, the company said it has a long history of partnering on local causes. Community support in the form of financial aid, food products and volunteer labor is central to the company’s operating ethos, including assistance for local social service agencies and community organizations.
June 05, 2022
The need for sustainability is discussed often these days, and a Mount Airy sock manufacturer has received statewide recognition for making that happen within its operations.
This involved Nester Hosiery recently being presented with a 2022 Manufacturing Leadership Award for Sustainable Manufacturing by the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
The award program of that organization highlights companies for their commitment to the state’s industrial sector, as proven by outstanding performance in the areas of manufacturing excellence, sustainable manufacturing, innovation, workforce development and economic development/developing markets.
Nester Hosiery is a leading U.S. producer of performance merino wool socks and the parent company of the Farm to Feet sock brand.
“Sustainability is one of Nester Hosiery’s core tenants and we continually strive to improve our processes and systems to be the best global citizen we can be,” Anna Draughn, the company’s director of merchandising, said in a statement.
For example, in 2020 Nester Hosiery used 393,229 less kilowatt-hours of energy than it did in 2019 thanks to a number of energy-reduction programs including an air leak detection initiative on which it partnered with Surry Community College.
By identifying and repairing air leaks throughout Nester Hosiery’s production processes, it is estimated that the company could save 16,000 kilowatt-hours.
Along with reducing its plastic and cardboard usage, Nester has a strong internal recycling program and encourages employees lacking access to curbside recycling to bring recyclable materials from home.
In 2020, Nester Hosiery diverted 212.22 tons of those materials from the local landfill.
The company received formal recognition for its manufacturing excellence through such efforts at an awards ceremony in Durham in late May during an event called MFGCON.
It is known as North Carolina’s premier industrial conference that features the most up-to-date and relevant topics among influential manufacturing “thought leaders” in the state.
Nester Hosiery markets itself as the designer and manufacturer of the most innovative socks in the world, a key producer in the outdoor industry operating state-of-the-art knitting, finishing and packaging equipment to make premium outdoor performance socks.
It does so for leading outdoor brands and retailers as well as under its own Farm to Feet brand.
Nester Hosiery strives to have customers value the company’s manufacturing capabilities along with its commitment to social and environmental responsibility, while being an important employer and economic driver for this area.
The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership is the official representative of the MEP National Network in North Carolina.
That network is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing domestic production.
June 04, 2022
CHARLOTTE – Duke Energy continues to expand solar power in North Carolina with its 22.6-megawatt (MW) Stony Knoll Solar power plant in Surry County now in operation.
The project is owned and operated by Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions (DESS). The project was selected as part of the competitive bidding process established by 2017’s solar legislation in North Carolina.
The solar plant contains 76,600 panels with single-axis tracking. The plant is located on 195 acres in Dobson, near Rockford Road. The facility will power the equivalent of 5,000 homes.
“In addition to our many renewable energy projects across the nation, North Carolina continues to be fertile ground for solar power,” said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions. “With the help of our partners in Surry County, we have brought online the largest solar power plant in the county.”
The facility’s design and construction of the project were performed by SOLV Energy. The solar power generated by the project will be delivered through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
North Carolina is fourth in the nation for overall solar energy. The outlook is promising for more solar energy as Duke Energy develops a proposed Carolinas Carbon Plan, which is being considered by state regulators.
“Solar power continues to play a vital part of our clean energy transition,” said Stephen De May, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We expect renewables to grow significantly in the years ahead as we focus on meeting our customers’ needs for increasingly clean energy.”
May 30, 2022
Fourteen students recently graduated from Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program at the Yadkin Center.
The graduates include Kyle Dowell, Michael Jones, Emily Parker and Justin Smith of Mount Airy; Ardella Walsh of Pilot Mountain; Christopher Moore of Siloam; Marcie McKinney of Elkin; Osiel Burgos of Jonesville; Stacey Deel of Yadkinville; Jeff Lowe of Boonville; Tosha McCoy of Purlear; along with Travis Booth, Jay Murat and Michael Norrell of Winston-Salem.
Surry Community College will be offering another section of Truck Driver Training starting in the summer. The class will run from Monday, August 1 through Tuesday, Oct. 4, and will meet from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Median pay for truck drivers is $47,100 per year, according to the United States Department of Labor,” college officials said. “Drivers with experience can make more than $50,000. With a shortage of up to 12,000 truck drivers in North Carolina and as many as 200,000 nationally, CDL-certified drivers will easily be able to find jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor says the profession is expected to keep growing – by 6% during 2020-2030.”
“There are currently job openings for truck drivers locally and nationally. We developed this program as a direct response to the requests from local truck driving representatives who need skilled applicants to fill job vacancies,” said SCC President Dr. David Shockley.
The SCC Truck Driver Training Program teaches proper driving procedures, safe driver responsibility, commercial motor vehicle laws and regulations, and the basic principles and practices for operating commercial vehicles. The coursework includes motor vehicle laws and regulations, map reading, vehicle maintenance, safety procedures, daily logs, defensive driving, freight handling, security and fire protection.
Highway driving training exercises and classroom lectures are used to develop the students’ knowledge and skills. Graduates are qualified to take the Commercial Driver’s License Test and are employable by commercial trucking firms. They may also become owner-operators and work as private contract haulers.
Admission requirements include official driving record; physical examination; reading placement test score of 40 or higher; disclosure form; high school transcript; and drug testing.
For more information about SCC’s Truck Driver Training Program, contact the Yadkin Center at 336-386-3580. The tuition is $1,876, and some students qualify for a tuition scholarship. To check eligibility, visit www.surry.edu/funding.
May 28, 2022
Northern Regional Hospital received an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for spring 2022. This national distinction recognizes Northern Regional Hospital’s achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and error in the hospital.
“I am honored to be part of the Northern Regional Team where providing safe care is at the forefront every day,” said Lynn Lambert, director of quality management at Northern Regional Hospital. “Patient safety is intentional with every encounter. Receiving a Leapfrog Grade ‘A’ is recognition that we can all be proud of.”
The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization, assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to general hospitals across the country based on more than 30 national performance measures reflecting errors, accidents, injuries, and infections, as well as systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm.
“I am extremely proud of the entire NRH team of 1,000 caregivers. An ‘A’ grade confirms our efforts to deliver the highest quality of care and places NRH in the top tier of all hospitals in the United States. Job well done,” said Chris Lumsden, president and CEO of Northern Regional Hospital.
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harms to patients. The grading system is peer reviewed, transparent, and free to the public. Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.
“As our health care system continues to feel the strain of the pandemic, I thank the workforce and leadership of Northern Regional Hospital for sustained commitment to patient safety, day in and day out,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “An ‘A’ Safety Grade is an outstanding achievement, and one that is not possible without a 24/7 effort by the entire health care workforce to protect patients from harm. This community should be proud.”
To see Northern Regional Hospital’s full grade details and to access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter, Facebook, and via its newsletter.
May 22, 2022
The Board of Directors of Surrey Bancorp (Pink Sheets: SRYB) has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 10.5 cents per share on the company’s common stock. The cash dividend is payable on July 8 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 17.
Ted Ashby, CEO of Surrey Bancorp, stated the dividend was based on the company’s operating results, its “strong financial condition and a commitment to delivering shareholder value.”
Surrey Bancorp is the bank holding company for Surrey Bank & Trust and is located at 145 North Renfro Street, Mount Airy. The bank operates full service branch offices at 145 North Renfro Street, and 2050 Rockford Street and a limited service branch at 1280 West Pine Street in Mount Airy. Full-service branch offices are also located at 653 South Key Street in Pilot Mountain, 393 CC Camp Road in Elkin and 1096 Main Street in North Wilkesboro, and 940 Woodland Drive in Stuart, Virginia.
Surrey Bank & Trust can be found online at www.surreybank.com.
May 21, 2022
A ribbon-cutting was celebrated on Friday, May 13 to celebrate the opening of a new Coldwell Banker Advantage location, followed by a community-focused open house on Saturday featuring BJ’s Snack Shack food truck, music, and games.
“We are excited to be at this new centralized location. The space is very modern and fully equipped to serve our agents and clients,” said Suprena Fay, broker of record at the Mount Airy office.
The building at 1191 West Lebanon Street was erected in 2005 by JG Coram Builders for Webb Associates Interiors. Anne Webb is a trained interior designer for residential and commercial projects. She loves being in Mount Airy and has relocated her business next door to 1217 West Lebanon Street.
Coldwell Banker Advantage is part of the Coldwell Banker Advantage Family of Companies with approximately 1,900 agents, 57 offices, throughout the Triangle, Triad, Lake Gaston, Kerr Lake, Fayetteville, Southern Pines & Pinehurst, Wilmington, New Bern and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, marketplaces.
May 17, 2022
Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care has been named a 2022 Hospice Honors recipient by Healthcarefirst, a provider of billing and coding services, surveys by the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers, and advanced analytics.
Hospice Honors is a program that recognizes hospices providing “the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view,” the local hospice organization said in announcing the award.
“Hospice Honors recipients are industry leaders in providing quality care and constantly seeking ways to improve,” said Ronda Howard, vice president revenue cycle and surveys at Healthcarefirst. “We are honored to be aligned with such high performing agencies like Mountain Valley Hospice and we congratulate them on their success.”
Award criteria were based on hospice survey results for an evaluation period of October 2020 through September 2021. Award recipients were identified by evaluating performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Performance scores were aggregated from all completed surveys and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a National Performance Score calculated from all hospices contained in the Healthcarefirst’s database.
Hospice Honors recipients include those hospices scoring above the Healthcarefirst National Performance Score on 20 of the evaluated questions. Visit www.healthcarefirst.com to learn more about the awards.
“We at Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care are honored to be recognized by Healthcarefirst for our commitment to providing compassionate, quality care for our patients and unwavering support for their families” said Tracey Dobson, CEO and president of Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care. “As a recipient of the 2022 Hospice Honors, we pledge to continue that same level of commitment in the years to come.”
May 14, 2022
Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care is making two separate moves — creating a new position for donor relations and stewardship and a literal move, changing locations for its headquarters.
Katherine Brinkley has joined the staff as director of donor relations and stewardship.
“One of Katherine’s primary responsibilities in this newly created position will be to implement and manage a comprehensive stewardship program,” the organization said in announcing her selection.
Most recently, Katherine served as the assistant director of marketing and community engagement at ABC of NC in Winston-Salem. She also held a variety of positions at Trellis Supportive Care.
“Katherine is passionate about the hospice mission,” said Sara Tavery, senior director of philanthropy. “She will lead our efforts to recognize and thank donors for their gifts in support of end-of-life care for our patients and their families.”
Brinkley is a volunteer with the young alumni leadership council of UNC and is a member of the Junior League in Winston-Salem. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Hispanic linguistics. She resides in Winston-Salem.
In an unrelated move, the non-profit agency will be moving its headquarters, from 401 Technology Drive, to 1427 Edgewood Drive, Suite 101, in Mount Airy.
“The pandemic taught us many things, among them that we no longer need expansive office space, and that patients are better served when we are closer to their homes, health facilities, or hospice homes,” said Tracey Dobson, CEO and president of Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care. “This new space will allow us to maximize our services to patients and their families.”
For more information visit www.mtnvalleyhospice.org
May 11, 2022
The Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce will host a morning networking event called Business Over Breakfast on Thursday May 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The event will be held at the Mount Airy City Schools Central Office, 351 Riverside Drive, Mount Airy.
Business Over Breakfast will feature tabletop networking where attendees can talk about their businesses and exchange business cards. Attendees will rotate tables and have the opportunity to meet almost everyone in the room. People who may be interested in this event are sales managers, sales professionals, business development staff or any small business owner.
The event will feature a buffet breakfast catered by the Ol’ Farmer Restaurant, from Cana, Virginia. The breakfast is open to all members of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce or any prospective member. Sponsorships for the Business Over Breakfast are available and provide marketing for sponsoring companies and event tickets.
Chamber President and CEO Randy Collins remarked “traditional business networking is alive and well in Surry County. Attendees will meet many business prospects in a short amount of time. Bring your business cards and come join us.”
Tickets or sponsorships can be purchased on the chamber website www.mtairyncchamber.org. Questions on the event should be directed to Jordon Edwards at the chamber via email at jordon@mtairyncchamber.org.
May 08, 2022
Scenic Automotive Group recently presented a Subaru Share the Love check of $10,600 to Yokefellow Ministry – Mount Airy. Scenic recently held two fundraisers to raise the money for the food bank.
Yokefellow volunteer, Dixie Ratliff, said that Yokefellow Cooperative Ministry has been in existence for 50 years. It continues today with its mission of providing food, prescription medicine, and utility assistance to the underserved in Surry County as well as neighboring cities in Virginia. Each year Yokefellow has touched the lives of thousands of individuals and families in crisis situations. Even through the pandemic, Yokefellow never closed the doors. Yokefellow is primarily a volunteer organization.
”Without the generosity of businesses, organizations, churches and individuals, Yokefellow would not be able to serve our community,” he said.
May 07, 2022
Surry Regional Association of Realtors recently partnered with Bradys Coffee Company to kick off Nurses Month and say “thank you” to the Northern Regional Hospital staff for their continuous hard work over the past two years. As a thank you, Realtor members raised funds to provide hospital staff with a free cup of coffee and donut.
May 05, 2022
Northern Regional Hospital has a new exit and entry point after opening Northern Drive on Friday.
This private drive, formerly a section of Worth Street, is located between the intersections of Rockford and S. South Streets and will serve as a way to access the Northern Regional Hospital campus.
Located adjacent to the Northern Regional Hospital Emergency Department, Northern Drive accesses parking lots E-1, E-2, and E-3, which are designated parking for the Emergency Department, outpatient services, and visitors. The new lot, E-2, adds 51 parking spaces, along with an additional nine spaces in Lot E-3, for a net gain of 60 new parking spaces. The Northern Drive area lots boast new LED lighting and large banners identifying the lots on the light poles. Northern Regional Hospital is pleased to continue offering free parking to patients, visitors, and staff.
Chris A. Lumsden, president and CEO of Northern Regional Hospital, commends Northern Regional Hospital Facility Services Director Greg Casstevens for his work in serving as general contractor for this exceptional project.
“We are very excited about the new parking spaces and designated pedestrian crosswalks, which, along with the additional lighting and signage, will make our campus much safer for our community,” said Casstevens.
May 05, 2022
U-Haul Co. of North Carolina has announced that a local business — Gen 1, LLC — recently signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Mount Airy community.
Gen 1, located at 874 N. Franklin Road, will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, moving supplies and in-store pickup for boxes, officials say.
With its addition, there are five U-Haul dealers operating in Mount Airy, according to Andrea Batchelor, a spokeswoman for the moving equipment and storage rental company that has been in business since 1945. It is headquartered in Phoenix and considered the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage.
U’Haul’s business model that involves teaming with independent dealers to offer moving equipment has filled a niche with the coronavirus outbreak, company officials say.
With COVID-19 creating challenging times for small businesses, more than 20,000 dealers across the U.S. and Canada are creating supplemental income through their U-Haul partnerships, they add.
U-Haul’s belief is that when a customer rents from a U-Haul dealer, they are directly supporting an independent small business in their community.
It also is an official American Red Cross disaster responder which has offered free storage and container support during weather crises such as hurricanes.
May 03, 2022
The Farm to Feet sock brand of a Mount Airy company not only is focused on manufacturing products for the outdoor recreational market, but now blending that with inclusion and diversity.
Farm to Feet, which is associated with Nester Hosiery, has collaborated with an entity known as Black Folks Camp Too (BFCT) to create a new Unity Blaze sock style.
It is aimed at promoting BFCT’s mission to remove fear, add knowledge and invite more African-American folks to experience the activity of camping and enjoy outdoor lifestyles with others.
This is coinciding with the development of what is described as a three-quarter crew technical hiking sock featuring Black Folks Camp Too’s Unity Blaze logo. That symbol is denoted by two crossed logs and a campfire meant to promote the forging of bonds across all aspects of adventure and universal equality.
“Black Folks Camp Too is bringing more people into the outdoors, including many right in our backyard in North Carolina,” Matt Brucker, Farm to Feet general manager, said in a statement. Brucker became general manager of Nester Hosiery brands earlier this year, including Farm to Feet.
The new Unity Blaze socks are available on websites of both Farm to Feet and Black Folks Camp Too, along with select retailers, with a larger rollout to all Farm to Feet retailers scheduled this August. A portion of proceeds from the sale of the sock style will benefit BFCT.
“Our Unity Blaze socks are not just any kind of socks,” Earl B. Hunter Jr., who founded Black Folks Camp Too in 2019, said in a statement. “Our socks are helping folks signal to the world that they treat everyone, everywhere, equally while encouraging more unity in the outdoor community — together, we are changing the world one campfire at a time.”
At the core of Black Folks Camp Too’s mission is the belief that when more African-Americans become active camping enthusiasts and begin enjoying outdoor lifestyles, it will help break down barriers to create more-inclusive communities and stronger relationships overall.
“Working with Earl and the team at Black Folks Camp Too, together we can encourage more people to explore the outdoors and experience its rejuvenating power while inviting others to join us and increase diversity in the outdoors,” added Brucker.
The Unity Blaze technical hiker sock of Farm to Feet/Black Folks Camp Too is designed with targeted cushioning and ventilation to provide all-day comfort on the trail while naturally regulating temperature. It features a 19.5-micron merino wool knit with materials sourced entirely from U.S. ranchers.
These socks also contain a seamless toe closure that reduces the chances of blisters, according to promotional information. Comfort compression helps lower fatigue while reinforcement in critical areas ensures durability.
Farm to Feet, promoted as a maker of 100% American socks, turns out that footwear in its sustainability focused facility in Mount Airy said to employ the highest-level knitting techniques possible.
The brand prides itself on producing the most-comfortable and feature-rich socks available under the belief that socks are meant for the outdoors — designed for everyone to follow his or her own trail.
Farm to Feet also is committed to improving the outdoor recreational experience and advocating for the protection of wild places, says a company announcement about its collaboration with Black Folks Camp Too.
The Unity Blaze sock retails for $25, with more details on it and how to find a local retailer or buy online available at www.farmtofeet.com.
April 30, 2022
Thursday saw a competition in Pilot Mountain that pitted the business acumen of budding high school entrepreneurs against one another in a test of skill and moxie. YESurry is their chance to dip a toe into the proverbial shark tank without the fear of losing a limb or being eaten for lunch.
Teams from local high schools made a pitch presentation for their businesses. Students were encouraged to look around for a need where a new business or service would be useful. The students must then double back after all groups have gone for an “elevator pitch.”
“You will be talking to our Mr. Moneybags, who is very rich and invests in new companies,” Sue Brownfield explained to the students. “Suddenly, you are riding up in an elevator with Mr. Moneybags. So, you need to ‘pitch’ yourselves and your company – you want Mr. Moneybags to say ‘Meet with me next Monday at 10 a.m.’”
The winner of the competition was Grace Phillips of North Surry High for Grace Got Cakes. Phillips said, “I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve been trying to start businesses since I was like 5 years old, so this just means a whole lot, and I’m excited for the future of Grace Got Cakes.”
She took home prize money totaling $2,500 to put toward her business. She acknowledged kids her age are not usually trying to run a business and “it has taken a toll on my social life for sure. I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with my friends.
“I see the value of doing this over going out, but I try to balance my social life and take breaks and hang out with friends. In the long term this is going to do more for me than going to parties.” It appears ‘work-life balance’ has entered high school curriculum.
Diana Casares-Carapia got up at 3 a.m. to make her confections for the competition before then going class for the day. She made a tasty pitch and Confectionery Diana took home a $1,000 check for second place, paired with $500 for winning at her school level.
She began baking to help her family make ends meet during COVID. She now has outstanding orders she needs help filling and requested investors to, “Invest in me.” Having taken business classes at Surry Early College, Casares-Carapia is ready to open her own store in Dobson upon graduation.
Elkin High came in third which doubled their initial winnings to $1,000 for Students Pay Students. Braden Oliver and Luke Burchette made their elevator pitch for an online hub where students, with teacher recommendation, can apply to tutor other students. They mentioned building a sense of camaraderie amongst the students as they aid one another.
“Find your niche,” keynote speaker Will Pfitzner encouraged the students. “There are hundreds of thousands of other people interested in what you are.”
He went on to discuss the dangers of rampant consumerism as a means by which to seek self-identity. Digital identities will lessen the desire to buy things to gain a sense of self or status. With increased access to information, he encouraged the students to be mindful of media “brainwashing” and seek their own information.
YESurry launched at Mount Airy High in 2019 and quickly grew to all seven high schools. Brownfield said the entries this year were “a notch above. They really elevated their game.”
“We want them to become business savvy: how do you start a business, how to do a business plan, a financial plan, what is your competition, how do you network,” she explained. “The advisors have challenged their team for the last several months.”
“The competition asks them to pool and hone skills they have already learned in school and supplement those with new skills,” advisor Greg Perkins said.
“I have personally seen my team develop the poise and confidence to present convincingly to business decision makers, to experience the highs and lows of product and business plan development and display the patience to complete those processes,” said the president of Perkins Financial in Mount Airy.
From inception of the concept through development of a business plan on to the final presentation takes effort. Learning to collaborate, synthesize ideas, and develop executable plans are skills that will benefit these students wherever life takes them.
“The competition is an incredible opportunity for kids to learn what the ‘real world’ is going to expect from them,” Perkins said. It should then also show the students what to expect in return and hitting an obstacle is something they will contend with.
Rejection is not a lesson anyone wants to learn, but it is a fact of business life that not every venture will succeed. For some, a cold business lesson was dispensed in a more palatable format than a door slammed shut with a rejection later in life.
“These kids are learning to conquer the fears that keep many adults from pursuing the entrepreneurial urges,” Perkins observed, “the conquering of which provides our next generation of job creators and community leaders.” The incubation of the next generation of teachers, business, and industry leaders in and for Surry County is a recurring drumbeat that is growing louder from different corners of he county.
“A lot of times we hear about young people who leave the county and never come back,” Todd Tucker said previously of keynote speaker and first-ever Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Will Pfitzner. “His story is just the opposite.”
Pfitzner is the NCSU alumni who decided to chase something he enjoyed doing rather than the almighty dollar. His ‘local man makes good and returns to Mayberry to much adulation’ story is a tale business and community leaders alike would like to see replicated.
He also alluded to the fact that the traditional four-year college track is not for everyone. Therefore, programs such as YESurry create opportunities for students to envision a different path forward both for themselves and Surry County.
These young adults put their skills to the test and while Grace Phillips won the day, the community altogether may be the ultimate winner.
April 29, 2022
More than 300 area students turned out Thursday for the second annual Student Job Fair held by the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s been a great event,” said chamber president and CEO Randy Collins.
The fair is aimed at high school juniors and seniors, along with college students, who are looking to get into the area workforce, either for long-term employment, summer work, or for internships.
There were 48 vendors on site, with booths set up to give students a taste of what their particular business and field might look like. It was also a chance for area employers to make contact with prospective employees and interns.
Lenise Lynch, general manager at Hampton Inn of Mount Airy, said her business could definitely use additional employees, particularly in housekeeping, on the front desk, in the laundry and maintenance departments.
She said working with youth just coming out of high school or college is an ideal situation for the hotel and for the prospective employee — as she believes it would be for most any business.
“It is a chance for a business to be able to help them learn what is expected (in the workforce),” she said, adding that young people in their first or second job are often easier to mold and train into being a strong employee.
“We can catch them coming out of high school and help them begin a great career,” she said. In her industry, she said it is possible to start out in most any position and move up into management, even ownership.
“I’ve been doing this for 16 years,” she said. Lynch began working at the Hampton Inn as a front-desk attendant, and within two years was the general manager, a position she has held since then.
Collins said that is exactly the idea behind the job fair, to help students learn there are career opportunities in their hometown.
“We hope the students realize there are some good paying jobs right here in our community,” he said, steady jobs that can be a career.
Staff Sgt. William Arnder with the North Carolina Army National Guard said Thursday was a good day for him and his colleague working at the job fair.
“We had more than 25 who signed up,” he said, referring to students who had given him their contact information and expressed interest in exploring work with the Guard. He said he was hoping to see 15 to 20 folks who would sign on with the Guard from Thursday’s event.
Arnder said most the positions with the Guard are essentially part-time posts, with some weekends and summertime required, but that in addition to the pay someone can earn, the Guard also offers opportunities for troops to have college paid for.
Anna Johnson and Brenna Belcher with Xtreme! Marketing said they had quite a few folks interested in their display.
“A lot of kids are interested in graphic design and digital marketing,” Johnson said, adding that her firm is looking to expand with more work coming in than they can do with the present sized staff. Several students left resumes or completed applications there.
Teresa Grimm of Hardy Brothers Trucking said her booth attracted many students.
“We’ve had quite a few of them who wanted to be mechanics,” she said. “One, she specifically wanted to be a diesel mechanic.”
While her firm can definitely use mechanics, she said their biggest need is for drivers. Her firm needs both drivers to run regional routes who typically make two or three runs a week covering a total of 2,000 to 3,000 miles; and long-term drivers going coast-to-coast. For those going west and back, she said the company generally likes two-person driving teams, and a husband and wife team is often perfect for such runs.
Grimm said her company refers students interested in this field to the truck driving program at Surry Community College.
Among the four dozen local businesses with booths set up was Northern Regional Hospital, staffed by Daniel Combs, who works in the hospital’s staff development and student programs, and Vanessa Bottomley, a unit coordinator in the emergency department.
Bottomley said the two used a CPR simulator to show youth how to determine if someone needs CPR, and how to administer the often life-saving maneuver.
“We probably had 100 kids use that today,” she said.
While medical-related jobs are what most people think of when considering a hospital-related career, Combs said he tried to emphasize to those visiting that there are other jobs there.
“We have people in marketing, people who work in the labs, who do x-rays. One young lady said she wasn’t interested in any of those, she wanted to go into accounting. I told her, we have accountants, too.”
Bottomley emphasized that the job fair may have been aimed at showing students the job opportunities in Surry County and Mount Airy, it also is a time for the hospital and other employers to learn about a whole new wave of potential workers.
“We have very good talent right here,” she said of folks in the community.
April 29, 2022
Surrey Bancorp income down
Surrey Bancorp (Pink Sheets: SRYB), the holding company for Surrey Bank & Trust (the “Bank”), this week reported net income of $1,487,503 or 36 cents per fully diluted common share. That was down nearly 25% from the same figures a year ago — $1,987,375 or 48 cents per share — from the same period a year ago.
The bank said the drop was largely because the bank realized non-interest income of $858,778 in the first quarter of 2021 with the sale of its wholly owned insurance agency, SB&T Insurance.
First quarter net interest income for the present year decreased 3.6% from $3,392,180 to $3,271,453. The net interest margin decreased from 3.24% to 2.86% due to a general decrease in interest rates and a change in earning asset mix, bank officials said.
“Higher yielding loans made up 60.5% of average interest earning assets in the first quarter of 2021 as opposed to 53.3% (this year),” the bank noted.
Noninterest income decreased from $1,420,337 in the first quarter of 2021 to $375,109 during the same period in 2022. The decrease is due to the the sale of SB&T Insurance.
For more information on the banking company, or a full look at its first-quarter report, visit www.surreybank.com
Insteel sees record earnings
Insteel Industries Inc. (NYSE: IIIN) recently released its second quarter results, showing record net earnings, more than doubling figures recorded over the same period in 2021.
For the quarter ending April 2, Insteel reported quarterly net earnings of $39 million, or $1.99 per diluted share, up from $14.9 million, or 76 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.
The company benefited from strong demand for its reinforcing products and incremental price increases to recover the continued escalation in costs.
Net sales increased to $213.2 million from $139 million for the prior year quarter driven by a 65.4% increase in average selling prices and a 7.2% decrease in shipments. The average selling price increase was the result of price increases implemented across all product lines during the quarter to recover rapidly escalating costs, which offset the impact of lower shipments resulting from tight supply conditions for raw materials.
The company reported gross profit increased to $57.1 million from $30.2 million in the prior quarter. Operating activities provided $6.3 million of cash compared with providing $15.3 million for the prior year quarter due to an increase in net working capital, which used $32.6 million of cash in the current year quarter. In the prior year quarter, net working capital used $800,000.
The strong quarter helped fuel an equally strong six-month year-to-date period, with net earnings for the first six months of fiscal year 2022 $62.1 million, or $3.17 per diluted share. That is more than double the previous year figures, which were $23.1 million, or $1.18 per share, for the same period a year ago.
Net sales increased to $391.7 million from $258.6 million for the prior year period driven by a 67.5% increase in average selling prices and a 9.5% decrease in shipments. Gross profit increased to $99.4 million from $50.1 million in the same
period a year ago.
For more information, visit https://www.insteel.com/
First Community Bank
BLUEFIELD, VA – First Community Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCBC) this week reported quarterly income of $9.52 million, or 56 cents per diluted common share, for the quarter ending March 31, a sharp decrease from the $14.61 million reported for the same period a year ago. Despite the drop, the bank declared a 27-cent quarterly cash dividend to common shareholders, an increase of 8% over the dividend paid during the same quarter last year.
The dividend is payable to common shareholders of record on May 6, and is expected to be paid on or about May 20.
The bank said the net income decrease was primarily driven by a return to “more normalized expense in the provision for credit losses of $1.96 million for the first quarter of 2022 compared to a $4 million reversal of provision in the first quarter of 2021.”
The bank said the current year provision is largely due to robust loan growth in the first quarter, principally led by commercial loan demand. The reversal of provision in the first quarter of 2021 was driven by a significantly improved economic outlook than in early 2020.
Salaries and employee benefits increased $787,000 or 7.23%, from last year. During the quarter, the company implemented annualized wage increases of approximately $2.5 million “as part of its ongoing strategic initiative to enhance Human Capital Management, which included an increased minimum wage.”
The Company’s loan portfolio increased by $78.73 million, or an annualized growth rate of 14.74%, during the first quarter this year. “Loan demand and originations were strong in all categories, including construction, commercial real estate, residential mortgage, and consumer loans,” bank officials said.
The bank also reported it repurchased 132,000 common shares for $4.09 million during the quarter.
For more information visit www.firstcommunitybank.com
April 29, 2022
Two Surry Early College High School students competed in the YESurryHigh School Entrepreneurial Competition earlier this month.
“Both students had innovative ideas with excellent plans and presentations,” the school said of the effort.
First place went to Diana Casarez Carapia, who won $500 to invest in her confectionery business, Confectionery Diana. This confectionery business allows customers to purchase treats and goodies such as chocolate covered strawberries, cakepops, cupcakes, and more. Diana moved on to compete in the countywide competition.
Second place went to Cole Caroll who won $250 to invest in his collectible cloth doll making business, Curiously Cozy. This doll making business is where customers can purchase collectible cloth dolls dressed in historical fashion that will include pamphlets on notable events and aspects of the era in which the doll is dressed.
April 25, 2022
For the second year in a row, the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Student Job Fair.
The event, featuring more than three dozen area employers, is set for Thursday, from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park.
Admission is free, and all area students who are hunting for jobs are invited to attend.
”Interested students should sign up in their school career center,” chamber President and CEO Randy Collins said. Students should also take copies of their resume to the fair, and they can submit their resume, via email, in advance of the event. All resumes submitted will be sent to the job fair vendors. Resumes may be emailed to: jordon@mtairyncchamber.org.
Last year was the first time the chamber had worked with the area school systems to host a student-centered job fair, and it seemed to be a big success.
“It’s encouraging to me to see young students getting the opportunity to connect with local businesses,” Surry County Schools Superintendent Travis Reeves said at last year’s gathering.
While the fair is an excellent opportunity for students to make contact with area businesses and potentially start the process of finding employment, it is not out of the question a student or two could leave the event with a job already secured.
“A student heard about our program through the welding program at Surry, and he specifically came up here to get a job with us,” said Tampco HR & Safety Director Emily Cave during the 2021 job fair, adding that he was hired at the fair. “I think the job fair is wonderful. It’s great for us to be able to see these students one-on-one, and it’s good for them to speak with people and shake people’s hands.”
Not only were the local high schools included during 2021, students from colleges including UNC Charlotte, Catawba, Western Carolina and area community colleges such as Surry also attended. College students are welcome again this year.
Chamber officials said the willingness of area businesses to take part has been a big factor in making the fair a success. A number of local employers are expected to have a booth set up and who are helping to sponsor the fair.
Gold Level Sponsors of the Job Fair include:
• NC Army National Guard
• Chick-fil-A of Mount Airy
• Primland, Auberge Resorts Collection
• McDonalds
Silver Level Sponsors of the Job Fair include:
• Surry Communications
• Johnson Granite
• Insteel Industries Inc.
• Wayne Farms LLC
• Hardy Brothers Inc.
• Shenandoah Furniture
• CK Technologies, LLC
Bronze Level Sponsors of the Job Fair include:
• Allegacy Federal Credit Union
• Bottomley Enterprises
• Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care
• Rodgers Realty
• Surry Community College
• Xtreme! Marketing
• Workforce Unlimited
• Cooke Rentals
• Surry County NC Works
• Food Lion
• Lowes Home Improvement
• Chatham Nursing
• Salem Electric Company
• The Resource
• Accurate Insurance Solutions Inc.
• Carport Central, Inc.
• Leonard Building Supplies
• McDonalds
• WestRock
• RidgeCrest Retirement LLC
• Hampton Inn of Mt. Airy
• Kona Ice
• Galax Health and Rehab
• WLA Trucking Inc.
• Debbie’s Staffing Services Inc.
• Northern Regional Hospital
• Surry Economic Development Partnership, Inc.
• Shelton Vineyards
• Pilot Mountain Vineyards and Winery
Vendor space is still available for the Student Job Fair. For more information, contact Jordon Edwards via email at jordon@mtairyncchamber.org or call 336-786-6116, ext. 204.
April 24, 2022
An annual tradition is back — perhaps bigger and better than ever before.
Thursday, the Mount Airy News held its Readers Choice Award luncheon at Cross Creek Country Club, recognizing local businesses and professionals who were chosen as among the best in their respective fields by Mount Airy News readers.
More than 100 people gathered for the awards lunch to recognize dozens of area businesses chosen by Mount Airy News readers as their favorite enterprises in the Greater Mount Airy and Surry County area.
“When you say you have won a Mountie, you have really won something,” Regional Publisher Sandy Hurley said to those in attendance. The Mounties, as the awards are called, go to the individuals or businesses voted among the top at what they do. Hurley told the gathering more than 20,000 votes were cast in this year’s tally.
Representatives of many of the award winners, as well as the primary sponsors of the event — Carport Central, Cibirix, Northern Regional Hospital, J’s HVAC Unlimited LLC, West Ridge Insurance, Carolina Roofing, and Dr. John Gravitte, DDS —were on hand not only to receive their awards, but to comment on what their business does, and what the awards meant to them.
Of course, being the first Mounties awards ceremony in two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, was on the minds of many who spoke.
“Not too long ago, we gathered like this and we had no idea we would hear the word ‘COVID’…we’d hear the word ‘pivot,’ that we’d hear the word “remote,’” Hurley told the crowd of business owners and managers. But, she said, those phrases and principles have dominated the business world over the past two years. However, many area businesses were able to pivot, where able to adapt, and last week’s gathering was a celebration of that.
Chris Lumsden, CEO of Northern Regional Hospital, spoke of how the concept of togetherness kept hospital staff focused on the task at hand, even when the facility was setting record highs for the number of patients, while staffers were many times out with COVID-19.
“When times got tough, the team really stuck together,” he said of the hospital’s 1,000 caregivers.
Whether fighting through a pandemic, or in more normal times, the hospital official said one thing he believes is critical to the success of any business is investing in its people. He said over the past year, the hospital has invested $275.000 in its employees and other members of the community, helping them to afford training and certification in various medical fields.
“That is very important,” he said. “With the labor shortage, it is important to grow our workforce.”
Jeffrey Trenter of Carport Central and Cibirix, said he believes his companies received so many reader votes because his company has a guiding philosophy: “We just try to do the right thing.”
That has led his business to significant growth, to the point that it does far more than carports, with many commercial and residential projects. With Cibirix, he said the marketing firm can help businesses grow their online presence.
Sandra Matthews of West Ridge Insurance in Pilot Mountain said being recognized at the Mounties was a thrill.
“We are honored,” she said. “We are just honored to be recognized.”
Nathan Gough, of J’s HVAC Unlimited of Mount Airy, said one of the hallmarks of his company is that they are “Committed to doing what’s right,” and that running a successful business is about more than just generating revenue.
Amanda Fretwell, with Dr. John L. Gravitte, DDS, PA, said Dr. Gravitte has been serving the Mount Airy community for 18 years, with his annual free dental clinic, along with working with the schools. Being able to “give back’ is something that is important to him and his staff.
For a full list of winners, see the special Best of the Best section inside today’s Mount Airy News.
April 22, 2022
The rental business of a local commercial laundry service has been acquired by Alsco Uniforms, a large company with a national and international presence based in Salt Lake City.
Professional Rental Service (PRS) is located at 220 Frederick St. in Mount Airy, long owned by local businessman Gene Rees. It specializes in uniform rentals along with supplying items such as linens, mats, towels and mops and operating a new and used clothing store.
The business is listed as having been established in 2001 and before the acquisition by Alsco, employed 40-plus people, Rees said Thursday.
Unlike other takeovers of smaller operations by larger entities, he believes there was no net job loss among that force.
“They hired all our route associates, our delivery team,” Rees said of Alsco.
“We wanted to do it when we could protect our employees,” the local businessman said regarding any potential layoffs resulting from the sale which could have been offset by the strong labor market existing now.
“There were some who just retired,” Rees said in explaining the end result of no actual losses.
Age was a factor in the move, involving both Rees and folks in top positions at Professional Rental Service in their 70s.
“The biggest reason, I was born in 1951,” he said. “(It was) in recognition of my age.”
Rees said now seemed to be the time to sell in order to ensure a smooth transition, rather than waiting for an illness among key management, for example, which might have undermined that.
He had indicated in mid-March that the rental business was being sold, coming on the heels of him being approached from outside about acquiring the operation.
“An option to sell a company is always out there in this industry,” Rees said of the uniform-rental sector, adding that he talked with other larger companies that were potential buyers before deciding on Alsco. “We felt their culture matched our culture.”
Rees said the transaction included the business accounts of Professional Rental Service, but not its building on Frederick Street or equipment. “Not one piece.”
That structure is being provided rent-free to Alsco for three months to help with the transition, along with a management team for the same period.
After being finalized, the acquisition recently was announced by James Gutheim and Associates, a firm in Encino, California, which served as the financial adviser for the transaction.
Terms of the sale have not been disclosed.
Alsco (which stands for American Linen Supply Co.) is a private, family owned operation that has been in business since 1889.
It employs more than 20,000 people in locations worldwide, according to online sources.
Alsco’s core function includes providing linen- and uniform-rental services to customers that include restaurants, health-care organizations, automotive industries and other industrial facilities.
It continues to be managed, owned and operated by members of the original founder and owner’s (George A. Steiner) family, Kevin and Robert Steiner.
Alsco is considered a trailblazer in the laundering and delivery of ready-to-wear uniforms.
April 21, 2022
An annual tradition is back.
Thursday, the Mount Airy News held its Readers Choice Award luncheon at Cross Creek Country Club, recognizing local businesses and professionals who were chosen as among the best in their field by Mount Airy News readers.
We’ll have a complete rundown of the winners, along with a special section honoring them, along with plenty more photos, in Sunday’s edition of the paper. Until then, here’s a glimpse at some of the festivities.
April 21, 2022
Eleven students recently graduated from Surry Community College’s Truck Driver Training Program at the Yadkin Center.
The graduates include Daniel McNeil of Mount Airy; Isaiah Johnson and Matthew Strickland of Pilot Mountain; Marco Secundino of Elkin; Taylor Galyean of Lowgap; Luis Anorve of Jonesville; Mike Clendenen of Traphill; Bradley Collins of Pinnacle; Michael Wright of Winston-Salem; Cody Brown of North Wilkesboro; and James Jordon of Iredell County.
Surry Community College will be offering two sections of Truck Driver Training Classes starting this spring and summer. The first will run from Thursday, May 26, through Thursday, Aug. 4. The second section will run from Monday, Aug. 1, through Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Median pay for truck drivers is $47,100 per year, according to the United States Department of Labor. Drivers with experience can make more than $50,000, officials with the community college said.
“With a shortage of up to 12,000 truck drivers in North Carolina and as many as 200,000 nationally, CDL-certified drivers will easily be able to find jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor says the profession is expected to keep growing – by 6% during 2020-2030,” according to information released by the school.
“There are currently job openings for truck drivers locally and nationally. We developed this program as a direct response to the requests from local truck driving representatives who need skilled applicants to fill job vacancies,” said SCC President Dr. David Shockley.
The SCC Truck Driver Training Program teaches proper driving procedures, safe driver responsibility, commercial motor vehicle laws and regulations, and the basic principles and practices for operating commercial vehicles. The coursework includes motor vehicle laws and regulations, map reading, vehicle maintenance, safety procedures, daily logs, defensive driving, freight handling, security and fire protection.
Highway driving training exercises and classroom lectures are used to develop the students’ knowledge and skills. Graduates are qualified to take the Commercial Driver’s License Test and are employable by commercial trucking firms. They may also become owner-operators and work as private contract haulers.
Admission requirements include official driving record; physical examination; reading placement test score of 40 or higher; disclosure form; high school transcript; and drug testing.
For more information about SCC’s Truck Driver Training Program, contact Dr. Douglas Underwood at 336-386-3584 or underwoodd@surry.edu. The tuition is $1,876, although tuition scholarships are available. To determine eligibility, visit www.surry.edu/funding.
April 14, 2022
The Small Business Center at Surry Community College will be offering multiple online webinars in April and May free of charge.
The webinar Instagram for Business will be held April 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar will explore Instagram marketing strategies to gain the right kind of followers and convert them into paying customers.
The webinar Basics of Bookkeeping will be held April 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar will teach you how to properly record financial transactions and the three most important financial reports. This webinar is intended for new business owners or those who need a refresher on the basics of accounting.
The webinar Online QuickBooks will be held April 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar will teach the industry best practices on how to record daily transactions, manage and pay bills, reconcile your bank and credit card statements and generate financial statements every month.
The webinar Desktop QuickBooks will be held May 5, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar will cover the basics of navigating QBD, and how to get the most out of this software installed directly on your computer.
The webinar Website Building 101 & 102 for Small Businesses will be held May 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This seminar can help you quickly and efficiently design a website for your business with little technical knowledge.
The webinar (Re)Launch Your Airbnb in One Weekend: A Masterclass on Airbnb Hosting will be held May 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar is intended for anyone exploring Airbnb as an income stream, wanting to launch or upgrade their Airbnb and for those wanting to provide a five-star experience for guests.
The webinar How to Find Your Customers Using Social Media will be held May 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This webinar will teach you where and how to find your customers, along with information on SEO keywords and free market research tools.
The webinar Canva: Design Basics will be held May 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar will teach you how to create professional graphics, short videos and print materials on the free design tool Canva. This hybrid session will consist of instruction and hands-on experience.
The webinar Canva: Advanced Design Skills will be held June 2, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This seminar will give a deeper dive into the advanced capabilities of Canva. You must have a Canva account and working knowledge of Canva. A Canva Pro (paid subscription) account is highly recommended.
To register or to view a complete listing of the upcoming Small Business Center offerings, visit www.surry.edu/sbc. After registering for a webinar, a link to join the event will be emailed to you.
April 13, 2022
Surry Community College is offering new certificates in office administration and medical office administration that can be earned in two semesters or less. The program certificates also work as pathways toward completing a diploma or degree. All the classes are offered online.
The Medical Office Administration program has added a Patient Services Representative Certificate, which can be completed in two semesters. The program also offers a two-semester Medical Billing and Insurance Certificate and a one-semester Medical Office Administration Certificate.
The Office Administration program has added a Customer Service Representative Certificate, which can be completed in two semesters. The program also offers a two-semester Office Finance Certificate and a one-semester Office Administration Certificate.
When a student completes a certificate, those credit hours can then go toward the completion of a diploma in Office Administration or Medical Office Administration. Upon earning a diploma, these credit hours will count toward an associate degree.
Lead Instructor of Medical and Office Administration Mitzi Poore, says, “Students in Medical and Office Administration will have the choice in the fall of completing one of three certificates. Students can choose to continue to receive the other certificates, their diploma, or their degree. If someone is working in the field and needs a credential, these certificates offer an excellent opportunity to get your credential while you work because all classes are offered online.”
Anyone with questions about the program should contact Poore at 336-386-3293 or poorem@surry.edu. For help with college application, class registration or financial aid, contact Student Services at 336-386-3264 or studentservices@surry.edu.
April 12, 2022
Little more than a year ago, Mount Airy’s Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories was purchased by New York-based Kinderhook Industries, with the purchasing firm in that transaction expressing a desire to grow Leonard’s footprint.
Tuesday, Kinderhook and Leonard announced the local company would be more than doubling that footprint with the purchase of Cook Portable Warehouses.
“Our rapid expansion and growth strategy just went into overdrive,” said Leonard CEO Mike Pack, in a presentation to Leonard employees. “Today, I am thrilled to announce the acquisition of Cook Portable Warehouses.”
Cook was founded in 1984 by Greg Cook and has since grown to operate 65 company owned locations, along with supporting a network of independent shed dealers and five manufacturing facilities. All totaled, the firm operates in 14 states, with 261 employees.
Leonard, with 556 employees, already worked with 72 locations spread across five states. This is the fourth, though largest, acquisition Leonard has made since being bought in March 2021 by Kinderhook. The combined larger company will give Leonard operations stretching as far west as Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio, and as far south as the Gulf Coast and the Tampa, Florida region. The firm already had operations in North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.
“We are more than excited to welcome the entire Cook team to Leonard,” Pack said. “The Cook manufacturing expertise and long-tenured team, coupled with the additional Cook retail locations, will be a catalyst for our unit growth and expansion strategy.”
“The addition of Cook’s retail locations and manufacturing capacity, perfectly position Leonard to continue their aggressive growth strategy. With Cook, Leonard has more than doubled the number of retail locations in our first year of ownership,” said Tom Tuttle, managing director of Kinderhook.
“The combination of Cook and Leonard is an exceptional match given both companies commitment to quality and exceptional customer service.” said Greg Cook, founder and president of Cook. “We look forward to leveraging the best practices of both organizations to better serve our customers.”
“Cook is not only an impressive performer, but they also align perfectly in support of our expansion plans as we move from regional retailer to a national retailer,” Pack said in his message to employees, alluding to the possibility of continued growth and acquisitions. “In the short-term you will feel very little impact from Cook, but we will share more information in the future as the two companies begin working together to achieve our goals and exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, nor was it clear if all employees will be retained, or if new jobs will be created.
Leonard was founded by brothers Tyson and Mike Leonard in 1964, first as Leonard Aluminum Utility Buildings in Swainsboro, Georgia, before expanding to Winston-Salem, eventually moving the company headquarters to Mount Airy.
In 2015, Tyson Leonard sold the firm to Copeley Capital from Charlotte along with a small group of senior managers at Leonard.
In March of 2021, the company announced it had been acquired by Kinderhook, an investment firm which owns and operates more than 200 industries and businesses.




© 2018 The Mount Airy News

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