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

Chamber honors a champion of Clayton: State Rep. Donna White

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


CLAYTON — Donna White’s support of Clayton is perhaps unrivaled.

As a state lawmaker, she has secured funding for vital infrastructure projects in Clayton. Before that, she served on the Clayton Planning Board for 15 years and was chairwoman of the Clayton High School Advisory Council for 13 years.

Last week, the Clayton Chamber of Commerce recognized White for her service, naming her its 2019 Citizen of the Year.

“Those who nominated Representative White for this award said she has always been such a strong support of the Clayton community in so many ways,” said Larry Bailey, last year’s Citizen of th Year and this year’s award presenter.

Most recently, White was instrumental in securing state dollars that will help extend N.C. 42 East to Ranch Road, making it easier for commuters to reach the U.S. 70 bypass of Clayton. Also, “she played a huge role in making the expansion of the water-treatment facility a reality, which will allow our community and business sector of continue to grow,” Bailey said.

Outside of Clayton, White served three terms on the Johnston County Board of Education and is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Safer Schools. Also, she is a member of the Johnston County Area Transit Service Advisory Board and the Johnston County school system’s Health Advisory Board.

“Donna White always makes herself available to listen to our community’s concerns, and she is a strong advocate for all of us,” Bailey said. “Representative White always looks at issues and works for the greater good of her district without regard to politics. She works in a nonpartisan way to do the best job for her constituents.”

A Johnston County native, White graduated from Clayton High School and the Watts Hospital School of Nursing. A public health nurse for many years, she was most recently an aging and health specialist in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

White represents Johnston County in the State House. She is a member of Hocutt Baptist Church in Clayton.

More chamber awards

The Clayton Chamber presented a number of other awards at its banquet last week. Among those honored were Ruth Anderson, Leaving a Legacy Award; Simon Garren, Key Contributor Award; Christine McLatchy of Powhatan Elementary School, Super Star Teacher of the Year; Carpet Steamer 911, Business of th year; Will Lawson, Innovator of the Year; Josh Davis, Innovator of the Year; and Matt Thompson, Ambassador of the Year.

Also, the chamber saluted the following for their help with last year’s Harvest Festival: Pascual Goicoechea, Simon Garren, Boone Williams, Will Lawson, Brad Palmer, Ariel Ramirez, Josh Davis, Tony Johnson, Brent George, Tara Abernathy, Michael Penny, Jeremy Coley and the Clayton High School Junior ROTC.

The chamber presented its Gratitude Awards to the Clayton Police Department, Clayton Fire Department and Johnston County EMS.

And the chamber honored members of its Men of Business Committee: Matt Thompson, Michael Pagliocca, Dyrke Maricle and Dave Ferrell.

Dana Wooten is president and chief executive of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. “Since the Clayton Chamber of Commerce produced its first strategic plan three years ago, it has never strayed away from its mission to champion business, economic development, and education in the great town of Clayton,” she told some 260 banquet attendees. “Clayton Chamber of Commerce remains inspired, dedicated and motivated to continue building upon the foundation we have so strongly put in place, and I can confidently say the future of Clayton Chamber of Commerce is so bright.”

Other awards

The Clayton Rotary Club presented its Community Service Award to Derrick Thompson.

The Clayton Women in Networking group named Terri Black its Businesswoman of the Year.

The annual Women’s Club of Clayton awards went to Donna Steele, Outstanding Citizenship and Patriotism; Rachel Masimore, Clubwoman of the Year; and Faye Brooks, Clubwoman with Heart.

The Clayton Downtown Development Association presented the following awards: Best New Downtown Business, Patty Cake’s Littlest Cupcake Shop; Best Downtown Design, Rising Tide Building and Renovation; Business of the Year, Boulevard West; and Downtown Contributor Award, Brad Stoneking, Dan Barbour and Andria Merritt.