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Whitley named office professional of the year

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KENLY­— Described by Glendale-Kenly Elementary School Principal Cole Yarborough as being a “true asset to the daily functions of our school” in his nomination letter for her, Teresa Whitley of Kenly was named the Kenly Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 Office Professional of the Year during the chamber’s annual office professionals luncheon held April 24 at Southern Bank.

Chamber president Janie Holland made the award announcement and presented Whitley’s son, Kyle Whitley, and her husband, Doug Whitley, with a plaque and gift in recognition of her efforts.

Whitley was unable to accept the award in person due to having a prior commitment.

“Teresa Whitley is very passionate about our office being inviting to everyone who enters whether it is parents, community members, staff or students,” said Yarborough. “She wants everyone to feel welcomed and is always willing to stop and listen to anyone who wants to talk to her. We are a better place because of Teresa Whitley.”

In a separate nomination letter from her two grown children, Kyle and Kristen, Whitley was described as being someone who “always puts others before herself.”

Kyle Whitley read a letter from his mother saying she was proud and very moved to have received this honor from the Kenly chamber.

Teresa Whitley has been married to husband Doug for 41 years. They have two grandchildren, Camden and Kayla.

Guest speaker for the chamber event was Pat Killette, director of the Johnston Community College Small Business Center. Julie Maybee assisted her with the presentation.

“It takes a lot of guts and willpower to start a small business,” said Killette.

Her closing advice to guests was to “work hard, play hard, then, when you are all through, take a step back, look at your accomplishments and smile.”

Title sponsors for the event were Manheim North Carolina, Big Boys Truck Stop and Southern Bank. Event sponsors were Johnston County Visitors Bureau and Kenly 9 Petro. Kenly Drug and Pharmacy was also a contributor.

Lowell Mill Restaurant provided the meal, which consisted of mushroom ravioli, penne pasta, alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, grilled chicken, salad, rolls and cake.

Holland closed the meeting by thanking Southern Bank for allowing the chamber to use its facility for the banquet.

“Also, we want to thank all the office professionals,” Holland said. “We appreciate what you do.”