Pictured is past Chairperson Jennifer Stephenson of Speech Pathology Services of Robeson, Inc. passing the gavel to the 2024 Chairperson Debbie Branyon, Branch Manager/Vice President of First Bank in Lumberton at the Chamber Gala recently. Chamber Gala a Success The annual Chairman’s Gala sponsored by the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce was held on January 26th at Adelio’s Restaurant. The event room at Adelio’s was transformed into an elegant dining/dancing/networking venue. The beautiful arrangements were sponsored by Flowers By Billy and The Secret Garden. This spectacular event brought support from numerous businesses with corporate tables. Over 150 attended this night of celebration that recognized Chamber members, businesses and individuals who have impacted our community over the last year. The gavel was passed this year from Past-Chairperson, Jennifer Stephenson, owner of Speech Pathology Services of Robeson, Inc. to the new Chairperson, Debbie Branyon. Branch Manager/Vice-President of First Bank in Lumberton. She stated “the event was great with numerous Chamber supporters in attendance and I am looking forward to an exceptional year”! Cindy Kern, Executive Director of the Chamber stated, “The event was an incredible success and one to be remembered”. Highlights of the evening was the recognition of retiring Board Members, newly elected Board members and our many dedicated volunteers. The Gala also allowed time to meet and network with other Chamber members in a relaxed atmosphere. Retiring board members are: John Franklin, John Hendren, Dr. Phillip Stephens, Josh Jackson, Allen Elks, Suzanne Abbott and Bebe Wright-Williams. The newly elected Chamber Board members are Tito Massol-Centerwell Home Health, James Bass-UNCP Givens Performing Arts, Eric West, Attorney, Dwight Gane-Pine Crest Golf Club, Jennifer Hickman-Flo-Tite, Inc./Max-Seal, Mark Peterson-Robeson Pediatrics, P.A., Latricia Freeman-Southeastern Life Center and Libby Davis-Jernigan’s. Committee Chairs for 2024 are: Membership/Ambassadors-Beth Hunt, Special Events-Scotty Thompson, Golf Chairman-Suzanne Abbott, Education-Merle Summers, Travel/Tourism-Angela Sumner, Community Development-Sarah Beth Ward, Legislative-Bo Biggs, Chaplain-Jay Britt, Image Committee-Suzanne Abbott and Agriculture-Miles Mercer. The Chamber Ambassadors were also recognized for their support. Following those introductions, Suzanne Abbott of Abbott Insurance Services, LLC was presented with the Spirit Award for 2023. Suzanne is Finance Chair for the Lumberton Christmas Parade and The Chamber Golf Classic. Her work ethic is exceptional and she is dedicated to making each of these events successful. She is also Chair of the Image committee. The evening of celebration concluded with guests continuing to enjoy delicious food and entertainment by the well-known band of Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot. The dance floor stayed busy until the band stopped playing. Because of the support of our Chamber Members and volunteers, I am so proud to say WE ARE A VIBRANT CHAMBER! The best is yet to come.