Chamber banquet draws crowd

Published 11:07 pm Monday, April 22, 2013

BUSINESS BUILDERS:  Hundreds attended Belhaven Chamber of Commerce banquet at the Wilkinson Center. (MONA MOORE | Daily News)

BUSINESS BUILDERS: Hundreds attended Belhaven Chamber of Commerce banquet at the Wilkinson Center.
(ED DREW | Daily News)

Belhaven resident Lloyd Ballance racked up quite a few miles last year as co-chair of the 300th-anniversary committee.
“We didn’t miss anything, from Bath to Aurora,” he said.
Ballance was one of the few committee members who was not a resident of Washington, which meant each meeting was a commute, too.
His sacrifices were acknowledged at the 2013 Belhaven Chamber of Commerce banquet where he was named citizen of the year.
“I have to tell you I was surprised. They kept it a pretty good secret,” Ballance said. “I was extremely honored.”
He took some satisfaction in the North
Carolina Symphony’s willingness to return to Washington in June. It was proof that the first event was a success.
Ballance is an active member of the Off, Off Broadway Players. He also contributed to the chamber’s increase in membership. The increase was evident at the banquet when nearly every table was full.
Chamber member Julian Goff said about 120 people were in attendance.
“Which is a much larger crowd than last year,” Goff said. “We were at the point of beginning to wonder if we were going to have to put up more tables.”
Attorney Misa Raynor’s law firm was honored as business of the year. Raynor is the sole lawyer in her firm, is active in the Belhaven community and supplies a valuable service, said Goff. She has been practicing law in Belhaven for nearly 17 years and worked in some capacity of the law profession for about 30 years.
Raynor was also caught by surprise.
“My initial reaction was just total surprise. But, I felt very thankful to the community and the chamber for the vote of confidence in the work that I do,” she said.
Raynor said she loved working in Belhaven because of the people she has gotten to know and work with.
Ballance said he and Raynor had more in common than the Belhaven awards they now possess.
“The interesting thing that comes to mind is she and I both graduated from North Carolina Central Law School,” he said. “I told her, ‘Central did pretty good that night.’”
Ballance’s ties to old friends like Raynor are what drew him to Belhaven nine years ago. The peace and beauty of the area are what kept him there.
Beaufort County Community College President Barbara Tansey spoke briefly at the banquet. She said the college’s goal was to provide educational opportunities throughout the four-county area it serves. She noted that a nurse’s assistant class would soon graduate from attending classes at the Wilkinson Center in Belhaven.
Ken Robol demonstrated how social media could promote small businesses in Belhaven.
“He did some short, one-minute interviews with people,” Goff said.
The videos may be seen at
The banquet also included a performance by Dick Feyer, who sang several Elvis Presley tunes. Goff said the crowd really enjoyed it.
To learn more about the Belhaven Chamber of Commerce, visit them at or call 943-3770.