Chamber members throughout the county honored owners of Little Italy in King, Giuseppe and Pasquale Looz, last week as the King Chamber Business Leaders of the Year in the annual Chamber Awards Banquet on Thursday.
The duo received a lengthy standing ovation while accepting the 2017 award sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas.
“Thank you so much; we really do appreciate it. We can’t do it without you and your support is very important to us,” said Giuseppe Looz. “This is just the beginning and we’re just starting. We’re proud of our community every day.”
Retired Community Leader of the Year
Lou Charland was recognized as Retired Community Leader of the Year.
The 86-year-old has been married for 27 years and has six children, eight grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. He retired from the U.S. Navy after 31 years of service and has dedicated his life to community service. Charland is actively involved in his church, serves on the Stokes County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors and works as a liaison for King Outreach Ministries. He’s received dozens of community service awards along with military accolades.
“It’s taken me many years to get this old,” he said with a smile.
He told the crowd he’s beginning to slow down, especially now that he’ll be 87 next month.
“What I want to do while I have this platform is to ask the young fellows out there to step up to the plate and relieve some of us old guys. We need volunteers and the volunteer opportunities in this community, you can’t believe.”
Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award
Make a Difference in King (MADIK) was honored as this year’s Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award recipient. Jimmy Flythe, Director of the West Region of Government and Community Relations with Duke Energy, said the recognition is a tribute to individuals and groups who use their talent and compassion to positively impact a community.
“An idea began in 2015 by Ashley Turner to have an inclusive playground in King for all children, including those with physical challenges. Initially they thought they’d need to raise $300,000, but identified needs as the project progressed. There were a lot of questions about the capacity to raise such a large sum of money, however, MADIK persevered and today they’ve raised more than $400,000 and are expecting additional donations,” he said.
Flythe commended the non-profit for building the playground in just six days with a rotating volunteer base throughout the process.
“It’s a great community success story.”
Turner accepted the award and took the opportunity to thank her board and the hundreds of volunteers who rallied around the project.
“We’ve had a long road for the past two years, but we’ve pulled through. We have a new playground, so thank you.”
Better Business Innovation Award
West Stokes High School’s Tech Team was honored with the Better Business Innovation Award sponsored by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The group, made up of Jermaine Laster, Calvin Owen, Jonathan Deridder, Devin Thompson, Noah Kiger, Daniel Bowman and teacher Forrest Munden were recognized for understanding innovation as a catalyst for growth and making a positive impact in their school.
Brian Wright, CEO of the Northwest N.C. BBB, said the young men have been instrumental in using their knowledge of technology to assist Chromebook users.
“They’ve helped students and teachers with technology, issues with student laptops in the classroom and given tutorials throughout the school,” he said.
The students also single handedly created an app to organize help desk tickets and how-to use Chromebooks.
“They’ve utilized the resources available and with their talent they’re making an impact throughout the school system,” Wright added.
Future Business Leaders of the Year
The Chamber honored students from the county’s high schools who have shown leadership and interest in pursuing a business career.
Will Cave was recognized as the Calvary Christian School Future Business Leader. The senior, and son of Greg and Lynette Cave attends Calvary Baptist Church in King where he has served in the bus ministry for the past four years and is active in the youth group. Cave has worked on the farm with his grandfather for several summers and also works part-time while playing sports and maintaining an A average in honors courses at Calvary Christian School. He has served as captain of his soccer and basketball teams and has earned numerous awards in soccer, basketball, and baseball at the conference and state levels. After graduating from Calvary, Cave plans to further his education by earning a degree in Computer Engineering or Computer Software Development.
Charley Moser, daughter of Chuck and April Moser of King was selected as the Future Business Leader from Stokes Early College. She is an aspiring veterinarian and currently works at Northwoods Stable, where she helps clean stalls and cares for horses while shadowing a local veterinarian. Upon graduation she plans to attend The University of Tennessee to study large animal science. She hopes to become a large animal veterinarian in Stokes County. Her goal as a veterinarian is to help educate the public and help animals in need.
Andrew Morrow, the son of David and Rhonda Morrow, was honored as the West Stokes High School Future Business Leader. He is currently in his senior year of high school and his coursework study for business includes Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, Personal Finance and Microsoft and Microsoft Excel and Access. He has participated in the Student Government Association and was elected as a sophomore and junior representative. He helped create the official West Stokes time capsule during his time in the student government association. Morrow plans to attend college and study in the field of technology.
Isaac Williams, the son of Beth Williams was honored as this year’s North Stokes Future Business Leader. He is a four year member of the North Stokes High School band and enjoys participating in the National Honor Society and Beta Club. He has enjoyed business classes at North Stokes and has taken Personal Finance, Microsoft and PowerPoint, and is currently enrolled in Multimedia and Webpage Design and Accounting I. He will take Accounting II next semester and plans to major in Accounting during college.
Kathryn Caudill is a junior at South Stokes High School and was chosen as the school’s Future Business Leader. She is actively involved in Beta Club, swim team and manages the wrestling team. Outside of school she volunteers with the North Forsyth Swim Club as a mentor to younger children. She enjoys school, learning, traveling the country, reading, writing and learning Spanish. She plans to attend UNC at Chapel Hill to major in pre-law and minor in Spanish and then attend law school to become an estate and probate attorney.
Isabella Garnett was honored as Stokes Future Business Leader from Meadowbrook Academy. She is the daughter of Robin Draughn of King. She has excelled in a number of career and technical education courses and is a top student at the school. Following graduation, she plans to continue her education at Surry Community College and study to become an X-Ray technician.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.