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Dawn Maynard, Hubert Kinlaw honored at Chamber’s awards banquet

Dawn Maynard had to pause for a moment while recalling her 12 years as executive director of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday night, Maynard presided over her final annual meeting and awards banquet for the organization. She announced in April her plans to step down from the part-time position at the end of June.

“I’m here with a heavy heart tonight,” Maynard told about 150 people at Lu Mil Vineyard. “I want to thank the board for their support and thank (husband) Alan for his support for the past 12 years.”

Incoming board president Jennifer Leggett surprised Maynard with a gift basket and an award of appreciation from the Chamber. Maynard received a standing ovation.

Former Bladen County Coroner Hubert Kinlaw received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, which is North Carolina’s highest honor. The award is given by governors to people who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accompolishments.

“I realize now why my family kept reminding me about the Chamber banquet and wanted to make sure I was going,” Kinlaw said. “I’m just grateful.”

Kinlaw served as coroner from 1986 until retiring in 2018. He also worked for Sampson-Bladen Oil Company for 60 years before retiring in January.

Other Chamber members recognized Tuesday were:

* Maurice Williams of Whimsical Florist with the Outstanding Chamber Member Award.

* Walter McDuffie of McDuffie Pest Control with the Outstanding Samll Business Award. McDuffie’s family presented him with a painting recognizing his 55 years in business.

* Bruce Dickerson of Dickerson Pharmacy with the Caring Person Award.

* Charles Ray Peterson of Bladen Community College and the Bladen County Board of Commissioners with the Honorary Lifetime Chamber Member Award.

Jake Womble of Goldston’s Beach and Lauryn Godwin of Sharonview Federal Credit Union began their three-year terms as members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

Greg Burns, who is a division engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation, was the guest speaker. He reviewed some of the road projects planned for Bladen County and the area, including the widening of N.C. 87 from Elizabethtown to Riegelwood.

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