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The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce recently held its annual awards event. During the event, the Chamber recognized five Young Professionals PACE [Professional and Community Engagement] award winners as well as this year’s Leadership Southside graduates. Averett University, in partnership with the Chamber, recognized the 2021-2022 Educators of the Year. Also honored were two outstanding businesses with the Pinnacle and Pinnacle Small Business awards.
Telly Tucker, President of The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research made remarks on leadership and encouraged attendees to continue to invest their time and talent in our region, a region that will see exponential growth over the next three years.
Five young professionals were honored as PACE award winners. The Chamber created the Professional and Community Engagement Awards to showcase exceptional young professionals in the Dan River Region. This year’s winners were Madison Eades, The Bee Hotel; Austin Scher, Danville Otterbots; Laura Singleton, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; Kaylyn McCluster, Pittsylvania County – Deputy Clerk; and Stuart Sutphin, Open Doors FP.
Leadership Southside, a leadership cohort for outstanding local professionals, emphasizes leadership styles, team building, transformational leadership, problem solving, facilitation, and effective communication. Twenty-one professionals graduated from Leadership Southside XXVII and were recognized at the event:
- Kirsten Aherron, River District Association
- Laura Ashworth, City of Danville – Office of Economic Development
- David Coffey, City of Danville – Fire Department
- Amy Davis, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
- Madison Eades, Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
- Conner Finney, Travelnation
- Hailey Fowlkes, Sovah Health
- Charly Harris, J.T. Minnie Maude Charitable Trust
- Tamantha Hurt, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
- Cassie Jones, Averett University
- Brandie King, Negril
- Pete Kostopanagiotis, Daniel, Medley & Kirby
- Amy Parikh, Carlisle School
- Doug Plachcinski, City of Danville – Planning Department
- Jakeeta Scott, Danville Pittsylvania Community Services
- Donald Smith, City of Danville – Police Department
- Jarrett Stone, Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
- Brad Stowe, Chandler Concrete
- Martina Tatum, Gateway Health
- Tammy Turner, ValleyStar Credit Union
- Kellie Wyatt, Dan River Nonprofit Network
This year, 33 teachers from Danville City Schools and Pittsylvania County Schools were recognized as winners from their individual schools, and three were selected from that pool each to receive a $2,500 stipend, generously provided by Averett University. The winners were Sharon Leigg, George Washington High School; Sharon Cobb, Chatham Middle School; and Elizabeth Echols, Chatham High School.
The Chamber’s Board created the Pinnacle Small Business Award in 2019 to recognize excellence in businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The winner is distinguished as a small business or organization that contributes to the economic vitality and quality of life in the region through innovative, ethical business practices, professionalism, and strong community involvement. It is the highest honor awarded to a small business by the Chamber, and this year was awarded to Marlow Services, LLC.
Marlow Services, LLC. started in 2015 as a side venture from a small room in their home as a husband-and-wife team. The initial goal was to provide phone and tablet repair services that would truly dazzle their customers by focusing on customer-based solutions and technical excellence. By 2019, the demand for services had grown enough for them to take the leap and make it a full-time job and focus. That customer focus guided the team in their expansion from mobile repairs out of a minivan, to a space in their garage, to a full-service repair and retail store with a full line of wireless accessories. Today, they continue to evolve and strive to find the best solutions for individuals and business customers. The company has been honored and motivated by the recognition they have received so far with over 335 combined 5-star reviews on Google and Facebook, 4,500+ social media followers, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and the Danville Register and Bee’s Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Electronics Store (2022 and 2021), Best Customer Service (2022) and Best Place to Work (2022).
The Chamber's Board created the Pinnacle Award in 2011 to recognize a business or organization whose outstanding achievements serve as a model for success. It is the highest honor awarded to a business by the Chamber, and this year was awarded to Goodwill Industries of the Valleys.
Goodwill Industries of the Valleys stands out most for their vast contributions to our region, beyond the boundaries of Danville and Pittsylvania County. This company is so much more than their retail stores. Their mission is to help youth, adults, and seniors who have obstacles to finding employment. They provide training and employment programs to help people obtain the skills they need to be competitive, but also to provide opportunities to enter fields where they can build upon their skills and continue to grow. Goodwill also offers a healthcare training program, day support and a re-entry program to the Danville area. These programs provide training and employment assistance, and the result brings independent contributing individuals to the community. Goodwill offers afterschool and summer programs for at risk youth where the participants have free internet access, access to computers and other technology, tutoring services, nutrition aid, mentoring, summer camps and activities to foster positive experiences.
They believe that the more we pour into improving the lives of those living in our communities, the better the communities are for generations to come. When you give people not only the help, but the tools they need to succeed, you give them a lifetime of abilities to grow and achieve.
The Chamber was thrilled for the opportunity to honor this year’s extraordinary award winners. This was the first in person Awards Event the Chamber has hosted since the pandemic in 2019. Congratulations to each award recipient!