The Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce held its 128th Annual Meeting on Nov. 5 at the Benton Convention Center.
The Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award and Truliant Small Business Award were presented during the event. The former went to Walter McDowell, who was recruited by the Chamber in 2008 to lead a community collaborative initiative to improve the high school graduation rate.
He used his business acumen and strong personal connections to do everything possible to close the achievement gap between minority and majority students, while ensuring that each student graduates from high school. He also chaired the Community Education Collaborative for nearly five years. In that role, he voluntarily took on the task of raising funds to support the public school programs that are designed to keep potential drop-outs in school. As chair emeritus of the Collaborative, he continues to raise funds needed for key programs. Thus far, he has raised $2.5 million.
The Truliant Small Business Award was presented to Tar Heel Basement Systems, which specializes in basement waterproofing, crawlspace waterproofing and repair, radon mitigation and foundation repair. After 10 years in business, Tar Heel Basement Systems has maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
More than 600 business leaders attended the meeting, where the Chamber’s key accomplishments for the year were among the topics addressed.