Here we ‘grow’

Published 5:12 pm Friday, May 3, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

MURFREESBORO – Local business leaders and other community members gathered on Tuesday to celebrate economic growth and development in Murfreesboro.

The Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet on April 30 at 135 Events on Main. Attendees were treated to a spread of food and drinks provided by local restaurants while socializing with one another, and then brief presentations were made by the featured guest speakers.

“We work for the betterment of the businesses here in Murfreesboro and the future businesses to come,” said Chamber President Cliff Forbes as he explained what the organization does.

On behalf of the recipient, Al Parker, Daryl Williams (left) accepts The Earl 98.3 Community Service Award from Station Manager Jay Jenkins. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

Forbes noted that the Chamber of Commerce serves as a resource for the business community, to provide support and information as needed.

“We’ve had a very active year in Murfreesboro,” said Daryl Williams, the Chamber’s Executive Director. “With hard work, faith, and good people, Murfreesboro has shown that it will stand the test of time, regardless of the economy.”

Williams shared an overview of Chamber events and projects throughout the year, including sponsoring town parades, hosting ribbon cuttings for new businesses, and helping finance the cost for additional lighting on Main Street year-round.

“The Chamber remains committed to the success of Murfreesboro businesses, committed to the citizens of our great town, and committed to bringing an enjoyable experience to our visitors,” he concluded.

Craig Dennis, who serves as a member of Murfreesboro’s Town Council, spoke about things that were happening around town in the past year. He mentioned fire department grants, upcoming sports for the recreation program, ongoing infrastructure projects, a revamped town website, and more. He also noted that work should begin soon to construct the pier and kayak launch at Murfree’s Landing.

“Our town is moving in a good direction and progress is being made,” Dennis said. “But there’s still a lot to do. We all need to work together as one to promote and grow our town.”

Dennis invited people to attend Town Council meetings which are held at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, and said he is looking forward to “another great year in Murfreesboro.”

Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce President Cliff Forbes (left) presents the Front Page Award to News-Herald Editor Cal Bryant. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

Hertford County Commissioner Board Chair Andre Lassiter celebrated achievements in economic development, including an increase in new small businesses over the past few years, and recognized Murfreesboro as a pivotal part of that development.

“But growth isn’t just about numbers,” he continued. “It’s about building sustainable communities that prioritize the wellbeing of our residents. Collaboration has been instrumental in our success thus far.”

Lassiter wrapped up his remarks by emphasizing the importance of working together hand in hand as they continue to build a prosperous future.

Dr. Rosemary Thomas, the new President of Chowan University, centered her remarks on changes happening at the school, including its transition to a “Life Skills University.” She also recognized current students who volunteered to help with the event that evening, and explained how the university is working with the local business community for upcoming internships and partnerships.

“We have faith in the future of this institution because of the young people we are serving, and we have faith in the future of this institution because of the town that claims us as their very own,” Dr. Thomas said.

The final speaker was Hertford County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jesse Pratt. He shared details about the district’s improvement plan, which focuses on academic excellence, staffing excellence, operational excellence, and engagement excellence.

After praising the work of Murfreesboro Chamber President Cliff Forbes (left), Chamber Executive Director Daryl Williams recognized his efforts over the past two years by presenting Forbes with a framed certificate. This award presentation came during Tuesday’s annual Chamber banquet. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

“We will strengthen our bonds between our schools and the wider community, enriching our education experience for all,” said Dr. Pratt. “Together, we will unleash the full potential of Hertford County Public Schools, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.”

The event wrapped up with the Chamber’s annual award presentations.

The Earl 98.3 Community Service Award was given to Al Parker for his work with the Murfreesboro Historical Association.

The Chamber surprised News Herald Editor Cal Bryant with the Front Page Award.

The Chamber of Commerce Award was given to Mike and Joni Saner, owners of Insert Coin Arcade + Bar.

And finally, Forbes was given the Past Presidents award as his term as Chamber of Commerce president came to a close.