UNCP alumni and employees among honorees during annual Pembroke Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet

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Mary Beth Locklear and Cammie Hunt

Mary Beth Locklear, left, interim director of the Office of Regional Initiatives, receives the Advocate of the Year during the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. Dr. Cammie Hunt, right, associate vice chancellor for Engaged Outreach, receives the Beautification Award, on behalf of the Entrepreneurship Incubator.


Several UNC Pembroke alumni and employees were among those honored during Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce’s 42nd Annual Awards Banquet. The event was held on Friday, March 4, at the University Center Annex. 

UNC Pembroke Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings, who attended with his wife, Rebecca, offered greetings. Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. also spoke prior to the presentations of the awards. 

The 2016 award recipients are: 

Advocate of the Year - Mary Beth Locklear, ’03, ’13, interim director of the Office of Regional Initiatives shared the award with Patrick Strickland, ’01, ’07, who serves on UNC Pembroke’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.  Strickland serves as director of the Department of Energy for the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. 

* Beautification Award - UNC Pembroke’s new Entrepreneurship Incubator. The Entrepreneurship Incubator opened December 2015 and is located at 202 Main Street in downtown Pembroke. It houses the Small Business and Technology Development Center along with the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship Incubator includes space for 10 start-up businesses and will provide opportunities for UNCP students to get hands-on learning experiences. 

* Harry West Locklear President Award – Illya Chavis-Lindsey, ’99, a former UNC Pembroke employee. She worked at the Regional Center for several years. Harry West Locklear was the first president of the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce. A Pembroke businessman and civic leader, he was the first American Indian to serve on the Robeson County Board of Education in 1963. He was a trustee at Pembroke State College, the first Pembroke Lion’s Club president, and first Pembroke Fire Chief. 

* Business of the Year – First Bank of Pembroke. Marcus Bryant, city executive and Senior Vice President, accepted the award on behalf of First Bank. Bryant, ’94, serves on UNC Pembroke’s Foundation Board of Directors. 

Chancellor Cummings applauded the recipients for being outstanding stewards for the greater Pembroke community. 

“UNC Pembroke values its partnership with the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce and looks forward to an even brighter future as the university, town, Lumbee Tribe, and the constituents of this area focus on collaboration.”

Chamber President Faline Locklear Dial said a new element was incorporated into the presentations this year to spice things up. 

“This year there were nominees for each category,” Dial said. “There was a PowerPoint presentation shown for each nominee. I want to acknowledge Ed Ricker, the videographer for UNCP, for creating the PowerPoint presentations.” 

“We were very excited to bring different elements to the chamber banquet this year,” Dial said. “We appreciate the response from the community and congratulate the winners in the various categories.”

Dial serves as secretary for UNC Pembroke’s Foundation Board.  

“We appreciate the collaboration between the university and the chamber on this effort,” Dial said.

Dial said she would also like to thank the UNCP staff who helped make the banquet a success, including Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor of Advancement, who served as emcee, Patricia Fields, executive director of the Givens Performing Arts Center, and Robert Canida, director of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Canada and Fields, both are chamber members and served on the banquet planning committee. 

UNC Pembroke is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system.  For more information contact Joanna Warner, interim executive director of University Communications and Marketing via email (joanna.warner@uncp.edu) or by phone (910.775.4587). Connect with UNC Pembroke online at uncp.edu or on social media to learn how the university is changing lives through education.