The Gavel was passed on January 31st at the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce Gala held at Adelio’s Ristorante.  The event was the biggest yet with over 175 attending. 


“The attendance was great this year, and I am very excited about the New Year,” said Bryan Britt, new Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.  Britt is the owner of Cakes and Pastries of Lumberton.  He replaces Mickey Gregory of Canal Wood, LLC as Board Chairman.


Cindy Kern, the Chamber’s Executive Director stated “The event was a huge success.  This annual event allows the Chamber to recognize our Board of Directors, present awards and recognize our many volunteers for their dedicated service to the Chamber.”


The Chamber presented three awards this year.  Mickey had the pleasure of recognizing the recipients.  Two “Rock Star of the Year” awards went to two very special ladies: Suzanne Abbott of Abbott Insurance Services, Inc. and Maureen Metzger of Southeastern Health. These ladies are always ready and willing to assist with any project and have raised lots of dollars to support the Chamber. They are both go-getters and we were delighted to recognize them for all their contributions to the Chamber.  The “Volunteer of the Year” award went to Richard Monroe.  When Mickey became Chamber Chair, her goal was to promote our community in a positive light by organizing an Image Committee.  Richard Monroe accepted the chairmanship of this Committee and provided his usual “AMAZING” leadership.  Under his direction, this Committee has accomplished rewarding results and will continue as a permanent Chamber Committee. 


The Chamber’s Retiring Board of Directors were recognized: Suzanne Abbott, David Edge II,  Latrisha Freeman, Adam Hardin, Billy Davis, Mark Morse, Wanda Sayer and Eric West.


The Chamber also recognized the newly elected Board members: Brion Oxendine-Realty One Group Heritage, Sara Collins-BB&T, Debbie Branyon-First Bank, James Bass-UNCP, Lisa Hunt-RCC, Tim Little-RC Partnership for Children, Tito Massol-Healthkeeperz and Sarah Campbell-Campbell Ear, Nose & Throat.


2019 Committee Chairs were also recognized: Community Development-Connie Russ Wallwork, Membership-Maureen Metzger, Amy Shooter-Ambassadors Club, Education-Merle Summers & Jay Britt, Legislative-Bo Biggs, Travel & Tourism-Angela Sumner, Special Events-Cheryl Page, Golf Tournament -Suzanne Abbott, Agriculture-Miles Mercer. 


Chamber Ambassadors who are the Public Relations arm of the Chamber were also recognized.  Those attending were:  Connie Wallwork-City of Lumberton, Angela Sumner-Lumberton Visitors Bureau, Sara Collins-BB&T, Faye Spaulding-Retired, Maureen Metzger-Southeastern Health, Suzanne Abbott-Abbott Insurance Services, Owen Thomas-Dial Insurance,  Amy Shooter-Wesley Pines Retirement Community, Rhonda Williamson-Equitable Advisors, Mickey Gregory-Canal Wood LLC, Rose Avant-Rodan & Fields and Debbie Branyon-First Bank.


Guests enjoyed cocktails, a delicious buffet and a night of dancing to the music by Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot.