Marston receives Pinnacle of Achievement Award from Chamber

Marston receives Pinnacle of Achievement Award from Chamber

Lucy Marston, center, receives the 2018 Pinnacle of Achievement Award from 1992 winner Debbie Chused Thursday afternoon at King's Restaurant while Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce President Laura Lee Sylvester looks on. The Chamber gives the award every year to a very deserving businesswoman in our area. Photo by Bryan Hanks / Neuse News

It would be hard to find a more positive person in the area than Lucy Marston. That was a common refrain shared at Thursday afternoon’s Rotary Club of Kinston meeting where the personable and elegant Kinston-Lenoir County Tourism director was honored as the Pinnacle of Achievement winner for 2018.

The Pinnacle of Achievement Award was one of five honors bestowed Thursday by the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber also awarded the Administrative Professional of the Year award to Stacy Speight Humphrey of ERA Kinston Realty Group; the Microenterprise Award of the Year to Bud Taxi Services (Alton “Bud” Cannon); the Small Business of the Year award to Hightower Communications (Joel Hightower); and the Minority Business of the Year award to Supreme Choice Healthcare (Nikisha Williams, CEO).

Marston was genuinely surprised by the honor.

“I am very honored, I am very flattered and very surprised,” she said following the ceremony. “I am joining the ranks of some of the most lovely, beautiful, wonderful and talented women in Lenoir County.”

Criteria for the highest annual award a female can receive from the Chamber other than Citizen of the Year includes demonstration of excellence, creativity and initiative in their professon; providing valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life in their community; and assisting others in reaching their full leadership potential.

Marston has served as the tourism director for Kinston and Lenoir County for a dozen years and also assisted with the design and construction of the Kinston-Lenoir County Visitors and Information Center. She personally completed the interior design and coordinated the procurement of the historical artifacts and furnishings in the center.

She’s also served as chair of Lenoir County Governor’s Volunteer Award Program, created and organizes the Smile Campaign Program for Kinston and Lenoir County, and served as president of the Rotary Club of Kinston.

An all-star group of Kinston and Lenoir County residents nominated Marston for the honor, including Debbie Chused, Dirk Griffith, Barbara LaRoque, Dr. Lonnie Blizzard, Danny Rice, Brenda Canup, Bill Ellis, June Cummings, Dr. Brantley Briley and Kate Marston Daniels.

In Chused’s nomination of Marston, Chused – the 1992 winner of the award – wrote, “(She) demonstrates support of women and business by being a strong leader who motivates those around her. She encourages men and women and children to be the best they can be.”

Rice and Marston have worked on many community projects through the years and he said it was his honor to nominate her.

“Lucy’s leadership has been diverse from her role as Kinston/Lenoir County Tourism Director for 12 years,” Rice wrote in his nomination. “Her involvement in multiple community organizations has resulted in a significant impact of the success of those organizations.”

Cummings, the former executive director of the Lenoir-Greene United Way and the 2001 winner of the award, recalled her first meeting with Marston in her nomination.

“She immediately impressed me as a lovely, smiling, engaging, interesting and caring woman,” Cummings said. “Her accomplishments since that time have been numerous and her contributions to our community have improved the quality of life throughout the area.”

Humphrey is the office manager for ERA Kinston Realty Group; in her nomination of Humphrey, Realtor Pat Jones wrote, “She knows what needs to be done and gets it done without prompting. She is pretty much running our company as well as Eastern Outdoor in the administrative role.”

LCC Small Business Center Director Greg Hannibal lauded Bud Taxi Services as the Microenterprise winner.

“(Cannon) is beginning to see the positive side of self-employment, and he now feels that this is the perfect business for him,” Hannibal said.

Hightower Communications is located in La Grange. In his nomination of the company for the Small Business Award, Jacques Passailaigue wrote, “Hightower Communications is one of the premier wireless communications contractors in the U.S. Joel started the business 20-plus years ago by himself and has grown it into a multi-state organization.”

Supreme Choice Healthcare is on Hardee Road in Kinston. It provides personal service for those with developmental disabilities to adults and children. It also provides care to those who are mentally impaired, those who suffer from chronic illness and who are at risk for placement in intermediate care facilities.

Heather Hildebrand wrote of Supreme Choice Healthcare CEO Williams, “(She) instills good leadership skills and values in each employee. … (She) promotes others to invest in themselves, encourages school for PCAs (personal care aides) to become CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) and makes ways for class to be affordable.”

 Past Pinnacle of Achievement winners on hand for Thursday's ceremony at King's Restaurant included, from left, Brenda Canup (2007), Tammy Kelly (2011), Kay Harrell (1995), Jan Parson (2013), Debbie Chused (1992), Lucy Marston (2018), Frances Parrott Theodorakis (2000), June Cummings (2001), Linda Rouse Sutton (2012), Sandy Landis (2002), Agnes Ho (2009) and Judy Jones (2015). Photo by Bryan Hanks / Neuse News

Past Pinnacle of Achievement winners on hand for Thursday's ceremony at King's Restaurant included, from left, Brenda Canup (2007), Tammy Kelly (2011), Kay Harrell (1995), Jan Parson (2013), Debbie Chused (1992), Lucy Marston (2018), Frances Parrott Theodorakis (2000), June Cummings (2001), Linda Rouse Sutton (2012), Sandy Landis (2002), Agnes Ho (2009) and Judy Jones (2015). Photo by Bryan Hanks / Neuse News

Athena and Pinnacle Award Recipients

1988 – Jewel Mullinex

1989 – Pat McCain

1990 – Lucille Harrison

1991 – Carol D. Tyndall

1992 – Debbie Chused

1993 – Dr. Rose Pully

1994 – Alice Tingle

1995 – Kay Harrell

1996 – Lisa C. Green

1997 – Annette T. West

1998 – Nell A. Jarman

1999 – Eliza N. Worthington

2000 – Frances Parrott Theodorakis

2001 – June Cummings

2002 – Sandy Landis

2003 – Joyce Cherry

2004 – Rosalind S. McDonald

2005 – Connie Nobles Mintz

2006 – Leigh Harvey McNairy

2007 – Brenda Canup

2008 – Suzanne Gallaher

2009 – Agnes Ho

2010 – Shirley Herring

2011 – Tammy Kelly

2012 – Linda Rouse Sutton

2013 – Jan Parson

2014 – Jackie Brown

2015 – Judy Jones

2016 – Ann B. Cherry

2017 – Sue N. Proctor

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