The Greenville-Eastern North Carolina Alliance announced that Uconda Dunn, vice president of business development, has been named to the Southern Economic Development Council Board of Directors. She will serve a one-year term as alternate director for North Carolina.
SEDC is the oldest and largest regional economic development association in North America. Along with North Carolina, it also has members in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Dunn will join 39 other economic development professionals on the board.
“It is an honor to have been selected to serve in this role,” said Dunn, who has more than 15 years of experience in economic development at local, regional and state levels. “It’s a privilege to represent our state and continue to advocate for the advancement of North Carolina and our professionals in economic development.”
She said by serving on the board she hopes to bring in more professional memberships from all areas of North Carolina as well as increase the number of women and people of color in leadership roles within SEDC.
In addition to SEDC, Dunn is a member of the International Economic Development Council and the North Carolina Economic Development Association. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. She also holds a master’s in organizational change and leadership from Pfeiffer University and a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We are thrilled to welcome Uconda Dunn to our leadership family and appreciate her commitment to accelerated progress in the American South,” said Matthew Tackett, SEDC president.
He said Dunn joins the board at a time as it reimagines SEDC’s membership portfolio to better enhance professional capacity and amplify economic development. “We know she will provide careful and impactful guidance to North America’s oldest and largest regional economic development association,” he said.
“Every day our members inspire innovation, nurture historic brands that define world commerce, support emerging industries that supercharge new markets, and deploy future-focused strategies to perpetuate our position as a vibrant, welcoming, and thriving partner for global enterprise,” Tackett said. “The council board reflects the sophisticated SEDC network that has built our service territory into the world’s third largest and the best-positioned economy.”
Center for Family Violence Prevention’s director retiresLaura King, executive director for the Center for Family Violence Prevention, has announced her retirement.
King began her role as a voice for victims of domestic violence in 1992 as a volunteer with the Center for Family Violence Prevention. Over the span of 31 years, working with the agency in various capacities, King assisted with the founding of My Sister’s Closet in 1996, My Sister’s Attic in 2013 and My Sister’s Place in 2020. She also has helped plan and implement the annual DV Impact Luncheon since 2018; served on the statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team; raised awareness and more than $300,000 in donations via outreach events, presentations, speaking events and fundraising drives; and led efforts to explore the feasibility and plan for a Family Justice Center for Pitt County.
Although King is leaving her position as executive director, she has agreed to continue part-time support to the organization for special events planning and launch, outreach, public speaking engagements, fundraising and store sales and operations.
Board Chair Sharona Johnson said the Center for Family Violence Prevention operates with a professional staff to serve victims and their children. The leadership team will support the organization’s mission, vision and operations throughout the transition, Johnson said.
Winterville Chamber adds two new members
DesignCo Construction is the newest member to join the Winterville Chamber of Commerce. The business has been working in design and construction since 2004. Owners Mike and April Moore also are involved in the community, serving on the IBX Home Builders Association and volunteering with the Center For Family Violence Prevention.
DesignCo Construction specializes in commercial construction and custom residential and commercial design. The couple also works on renovation designs and can do 3D renderings.
They said they can tailor designs to specific needs, down to the types of renderings necessary to visualize projects. Contact the business at email@example.com.
Another new member is Brand and Web Designs. Owner Brandon Webb said he focuses on delivering customized, user-friendly and sustainable solutions that drive conversions and enhance the overall visual appeal of his clients’ brand.
Webb said he has a passion for creating websites and branding that are accessible to everyone. He considers factors such as color contrast, text sizing and alternative text for images, and making sure websites can be navigated with a keyboard. These accessibility features help clients rank higher in search results, he said.
Webb also is involved in the community. He currently serves on the board of ReLeaf Inc., an organization that has planted more than 3,000 trees in the area during the last 30 years.
Those looking to learn more about branding and website design can visit the Brand and Web Designs blog and subscribe to a newsletter designed to help business owners stay informed and make good decisions about their online presence and brand.
4-H, FFA get Farm Credit donation
The North Carolina FFA and 4-H organizations have received a $100,000 donation from AgCarolina Farm Credit and Carolina Farm Credit.
Funds were raised in conjunction with the three Pull for Youth sporting clays events held across the state in the fall of 2022. A total donation of $70,000, matched with a $30,000 gift from CoBank, was split evenly between 4-H and the FFA.
More than $600,000 has been donated directly to NC 4-H and FFA since 2017.
“A very special thank you to the volunteers, participants, and sponsors that made the recent Pull for Youth sporting clays events another success,” said Evan Kleinhans and Vance Dalton, CEOs of AgCarolina Farm Credit and Carolina Farm Credit, respectively. “The Pull for Youth sporting clays shoots bring together many folks with an interest in ensuring agriculture remains the leading industry in our state.
“The Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina, CoBank, and our Pull for Youth sponsors believe partnering together to provide funds to North Carolina 4-H and FFA will provide a bright future for youth in the agriculture industry.”
AgCarolina Farm Credit is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by its member-borrowers providing loans for land, equipment, livestock, and production, as well as rural home mortgages and rural living.
It has branches serving Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pender, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson counties.
Pitt Council on Aging officials win state awards
Rich Zeck, director of the Pitt County Council on Aging, and Cyndi Shimer, director of programs, received awards during a three-day North Carolina Association on Aging conference in Charlotte. It was the first statewide in-person conference in three years.
Shimer was presented with the “Excellence in the Field of Aging — Reaching for the Stars — Innovative Program Award” for the Brainiac Boot Camp program. This award honors an agency or organization that has an innovative and creative program that is working to enrich the lives of older adults. Zeck said Pitt County looks for programs that are creative but effective in enhancing the lives of older adults.
Zeck received the “Excellence in the Field of Aging — Rock Star Award” that honors a chief executive/administrative officer for the quality of leadership and organizational management they provide to their organization and to the aging network. Candidates are preferred have five-plus years of work experience as a chief executive or administrative officer with their organization.
Zeck also was a presenter at the conference and discussed how to move senior centers beyond four walls.
“It always nice to go to a statewide conference and hear people from Raleigh, Durham, Wilmington, Charlotte talking about what we have done, are doing and will do,” Zeck said. “We are making a difference not only in our community but across the state. Great job team.”
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