- To help accomplish its goals each year, The Office for Regional Initiatives is dependent upon professionals, businesses and students to help drive the economic base of our economy in the local community. Therefore, each year, to recognize and promote success in the business community, the Regional Center hosts a Business Visions Program and presents awards to students, entrepreneurs and business leaders in the following award categories:
Master’s in Business Administration Student of the Year is awarded to a UNC Pembroke student who has excelled in his/her major and has exhibited attributes for a successful career. (Selected by the UNCP School of Business).
Recipient: Kyle Chavis
- Associate of Applied Science—Business Administration Student of the Year is awarded to a Robeson Community College student who has excelled in his/her major and has exhibited attributes for a successful career or career growth. (Selected by the RCC Business Department).
Recipient: Mary Elizabeth Williford
- Master’s in Public Administration Student of the Year is awarded to a UNC Pembroke student who has excelled in his/her major and has exhibited attributes for a successful career or career growth. (Selected by the UNCP Public Administration Department).
Recipient: Michael Estler
- Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded to a risk-taker(s) in the free enterprise system, which has identified a potential business opportunity, developed a plan to achieve specific goals and has been successful in accomplishing established goals. (Selected by the SBTDC).
Recipient: Ricky Harris, Dakato Hawk Construction Inc.
Business of the Year is awarded to a business that has made significant achievements opportunities; such as: innovation of leading edge technology/services/products that enhance and advance business building or product expansion that creates a positive impact on the local business community by generating new jobs, increasing sales or enhancing the aesthetic value of the property; dedicated service to the general community through consistent support of community endeavors that enhance the quality of life in the region or other notable accomplishments. (Selected from local chambers input).
Recipient: R. Riveter
- Business Person of the Year is awarded to an executive who makes a significant contribution through success in a local business or industry as well as through contributions to the civic, cultural and social life of the community. (Selected from local chambers of commerce input).
Recipient: Ron Roach, Contempora Fabrics
- Nonprofit of the Year, is for recognizing outstanding achievement by a nonprofit organization using direct response marketing to advance its mission. The organization that receives this award will have demonstrated outstanding performance in the following areas: Has an outstanding record of sustained achievement in data-driven marketing fundraising and has consistently demonstrated successful financial performance; is a recognized leader with a solid reputation for excellence in the nonprofit and data-driven marketing communities and with the public at large; meets the high ethical standards of the nonprofit community, and complies with generally accepted standards for management and public disclosure; has demonstrated innovated data-driven marketing techniques.
Recipient: Robeson County Arts Council
- The Excellence Award for Large Business, this is the first year for Business Visions Awards and the Office for Regional Initiatives to recognize outstanding achievement by a large corporation that has demonstrated outstanding long-term or sustained commitment through financial support and the creation of a corporate culture that encourages and motivates employees/others to take leadership roles in philanthropy and community involvement.
Recipient: Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation
- The Excellence Award for Agricultural, this is the first year for Business Visions Awards and the Office for Regional Initiatives to recognize the outstanding achievement by an agricultural industry. Business Visions commend each and every farmer for their hard work and dedication to the industry. We would like to recognize those that standout for their commitment to innovation, giving back to their communities, committing to good land stewardship and being a great example for future generations.
Recipient: Jack Leggette Farms
- Dr. Collie Coleman Spirit of Unity Award is presented to a person who has shown the ability to identify strategies and activities to respond to challenges in the community in a “spirit of unity”, uniting the community to work towards a common goal for the enhancement and betterment of economic development and quality of life in the region.
Recipient: George Breece
Award winners are selected by a committee of representatives. For guidance, the judges consider innovative farming techniques, examples of commitment to land stewardship, community engagement and leadership.