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Greenville City Council member Kandie Smith announces she will seek the new District 8 seat in the N.C. House of Representatives.

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Bill Caldwell

Monday, January 1, 2018

Smith to Join Race, Equity, and Leadership Council

Greenville City Council member Kandie Smith has earned another appointment to a National League of Cities federal committee. Just days after being named North Carolina's representative on the NLC Public Safety and Crime Prevention Advocacy Committee, Smith has been appointed to the NLC Race, Equity, and Leadership Council (REAL Council).

"I am excited to have another opportunity to participate in meaningful work for the people of North Carolina," Smith said. "The REAL Council provides me with a chance to continue working toward bringing people together and ensuring equity for all."

The REAL Council provides an opportunity for Smith to share her expertise and insights on how the NLC can achieve the overall mission for REAL to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of local elected officials to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial tensions and build more equitable communities. The NLC created the REAL Council to serve as the leadership group for this initiative. Smith will work to enable the REAL Council to identify opportunities for the NLC to work towards the initiative's mission and goals.

The REAL Council is comprised of members who represent leaders from the policy and advocacy committees, constituency groups, member networking councils, and other advisory groups. The Council will convene in-person twice a year at the NLC's two annual conferences - held in March and November - and a third time at the NLC's Summer Leadership Meeting.

This is a one year appointment for Smith with the option to be reappointed at the end of her term.

Lewis hired as new agent at Keller Williams

Keller Williams Realty Points East has hired Garrett Lewis as its newest agent.

Lewis is a native of Pitt County, growing up in Farmville. She earned a masters in education and worked with Pitt County Schools for 12 years.

Lewis said her interests are traveling and spending time with her family. 

Keller Williams is an international real estate franchise company with more than 134,000 real estate agents, operating in 790 offices across the globe.

S&A Cherokee founder announces retirement

Nash County native Ron Smith, founder of the communications company S&A Cherokee in Cary, has announced his retirement effective today.

He will remain as a part owner of the company, having slowly ceded the day-to-day operational duties over the past year to Chuck Norman and Bill Zadeits, two other owners and principals.

Smith will remain a member of the management team, which includes Norman, Zadeits, Amanda Dunlap and Michael Colborn. The company has about 40 full- and part-time employees.

Smith founded Smith and Associates in 1982 and later started Cherokee Publishing Company in 1990. Smith and Associates was a full-service public relations firm and Cherokee Publishing produced magazines. Smith rebranded the company as S&A Cherokee in 2005 when all activities were established as one business entity.

S&A Cherokee now houses two divisions: S&A Communications, a public relations and marketing firm, and Cherokee Media Group, publisher of numerous print and digital publications, and organizer of several automotive industry trade conferences in the United States and Canada.

Smith grew S&A Cherokee from a one-person PR firm to an award-winning company that has been named to the Inc. 5000 and the Triangle Business Journal Fast 50, and was named Small Business of the Year by the Cary Chamber in 2010. Smith himself has won numerous awards and recently received a lifetime achievement award from the National Remarketing Conference at Used Car Week in Palm Springs, Calif.

Smith has always been interested in both journalism and public relations. He first got into journalism when he went to work with the Nashville Graphic as a high school junior. Following his studies at Brevard College, Smith joined the Rocky Mount Telegram and quickly became the newspaper’s city editor.

Smith grew up in Dortches and graduated from Northern Nash High School. After earning his bachelor’s degree from N.C. Wesleyan College, he served as the city of Rocky Mount’s first public information officer.

Williams elected president of realtors association

Helen Williams recently was elected the 2018 president of the Rocky Mount Area Association of Realtors Inc.

Williams was sworn in at the association’s annual Awards and Installation Banquet in November at Benvenue Country Club.

Williams said she is excited about the upward trend in the real estate market in Rocky Mount and vicinity, and she's looking forward to a very productive and rewarding year as the association president.

Hospital CEO to lead Wilson Chamber board

Wilson’s largest gathering of business and community leaders is less than a month away, which means Gary Davis’ tenure as chairman of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce board is coming to an end.

“The community needs to understand that our annual meeting is not simply a recitation of past accomplishments, but rather a celebration of service to Wilson. It recognizes business leaders who take an extra step in making sure that their success is shared with others,” said Wilson Chamber of Commerce President Ryan Simons. “Nowhere is that more pronounced than with our board, which is made up of a diverse group of businessmen and women committed to growing our chamber and community.”

The annual meeting will kick off with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the Kennedy Family Theatre at Barton College. Davis, a sales leader for State Farm Insurance, will open the meeting before passing the torch and gavel to incoming chairman Bill Caldwell, the CEO of Wilson Medical Center.

“Gary, and Wes Berry before him, have done a great job, and sometimes when you’re coming into a role like chairman of an organization like this where things are working really well, the primary objective is not to mess things up,” Caldwell said with a smile. “I think the leadership of the board and of Ryan and his staff have done a phenomenal job. What we’re doing is working, so I just want to help continue that legacy.”

At the meeting, Davis will become the immediate past chair, while four members — Berry, Chris Vester, Michael Darr and Tawanda Auston — will retire from the board. Caldwell will step into the role as chairman while Anita Turnage Jones will become chair-elect, Heather Driver will serve as secretary/treasurer and four others — Black Godwin, Joey Lamm, Jose Pabon and Dindy Perry — will become board members.