Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

Chamber accepting award nominations

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Nominations are open at for the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Citizens of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Jimmy Creech Small Business Person of the Year.

The chamber will present the awards at its 50th annual meeting on Feb. 21. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 17.

The Triangle East Chamber includes the towns of Kenly, Micro, Princeton, Selma, Smithfield Wilson’s Mills and the surrounding areas.

“Over 300 people attended this event last year, and we expect the number to be even more this time,” said Triangle East President and CEO Mike Mancuso. “This one will be bigger because it is about the 50th anniversary.”

“We wanted to make sure all the communities in our region are included, so winners of the awards will be named for each community,” Mancuso said.

While the Smithfield and Selma chambers came together in 1970 to form the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce, the individual chambers go back even further, with Smithfield organizing in 1937 and Selma in 1958.

The following rules govern the awards:

The Distinguished Citizens of the Year and the Citizen of the Year do not have to be members of the chamber, but the Small Business Person does.

The basic difference between Distinguished Citizens of the Year and Citizen of the Year is this:

The Distinguished Citizen of the Year goes to someone in each Triangle East community, with the award recognizing service to community over many years’ time. The Citizen of the Year represents the entire region and is recognized for specific service done within the past year.

Whether for Citizen of the Year or Distinguished Citizen, nominees should be people who have voluntarily given their time, talent and energies without remuneration. Also, they should be people who have made a commitment to the well-being of the Triangle East region and its quality of life.

The chamber presents the Jimmy Creech Small Business Person of the Year award in memory of Jimmy Creech, who operated Creech’s Pharmacy in downtown Smithfield for more than 50 years. The award goes to an outstanding small-business owner based on success, longevity and commitment to the community.

Kelly Wallace is director of operations for the chamber. “We are excited to be celebrating our 50th anniversary as the premiere business advocate for the Triangle East region, and these awards that will be presented are to celebrate our leaders and volunteers that have helped make our region what it is today,” she said.