The Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday honored two local business leaders for serving the community via the organization.
Ron Haley, president and chief executive officer of River Community Bank, was presented the Fred Herring Award from the Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG), an affiliate organization.
Mike Grogan, founder of Southeastern Wood Products, was presented the chamber’s Chairman’s Award.
The awards were given at the chamber’s 54th Annual Meeting and Leadership Recognition Dinner at Chatmoss Country Club.
The Fred Herring Award is C-PEG’s highest honor. Herring “dedicated his professional life to the betterment of this community,” as well as C-PEG, recalled C-PEG President Clay Campbell. Herring died of cancer in 2001.
“This award reminds all of us,” Campbell said, “how important it is to stay engaged in the development of our community, regardless of the obstacles that are facing us in our personal and professional lives.”
Haley is a “very successful, hard-working individual who has been such an integral part of C-PEG’s recent success,” Campbell said.
For instance, he said, Haley helped establish C-PEG’s Small Business Grants Program and now serves on its selection committee.
Haley also is a former C-PEG president. While coping with a health problem nearly two years ago, “he continued to remain engaged and involved in C-PEG’s work, further proving his commitment,” Campbell recalled.
Haley is on the Patrick County Economic Development Authority and the Patrick Henry Community College Board. He also is involved in the Bassett Historical Society.
Although Haley lives in Patrick County, “his work has never stopped on the boundary lines of the counties,” Campbell said. “He is a true depiction of a regional advocate who has impacted his region to the best of his ability.”
“We truly appreciate his loyalty to this organization and ... that he has always been aware of the difference that we (C-PEG) can have and will continue to make in Martinsville-Henry County,” Campbell added.
The Chairman’s Award is given to the person who the chamber’s immediate past chairman believes has had the biggest impact on the organization within the past year.
Grogan received the award for taking the chamber’s Education Foundation “to another level,” said Immediate Past Chairman Guy Stanley.
For years, he said, the chamber discussed ways “to ramp up” efforts of the foundation to fund innovative classroom activities which local schools cannot fund themselves.
“It became very clear that to make a bigger impact, we would need to raise more dollars,” and Grogan set in motion a plan to do that, Stanley said.
“Our fundraising efforts doubled due to his relentless spirit and smooth-talking ways,” added Stanley.
Yet Grogan is “a man who would truly give you the shirt off his back,” he said.
Grogan, who now is on the Education Foundation’s board, also is a past vice chairman of membership services for the chamber.