ST. PAULS — North Carolina’s Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall is set to be the speaker at this year’s St. Pauls Chamber of Commerce awards dinner.
The dinner is planned for May 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the R.E. Hooks Community Center. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple.
“I was very thrilled to learn that we were able to get the North Carolina secretary of State for our little town,” said Libby Ferguson, who is helping organize the dinner. “It should be an interesting talk and I think people will enjoy her.”
Marshall is expected to talk about the importance of small town businesses to North Carolina.
“She will give us an update on what the state is doing to help businesses,” Ferguson said. “If you look at her credentials, you can see that she is well versed on the subject. She started out as a teacher and has run a business herself.”
Marshall has worked as a Home Economics teacher in the public school and community college systems, owned a book and gift store and an interior-decorating business. She has also had a private law practice.
Since becoming secretary of State, Marshall has received numerous state and national awards for leadership in technology, government innovation, and women’s leadership. These awards include: the North Carolina 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award; the Distinguished Attorney Award from the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, a group that has only awarded this honor twice in its entire history; and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in Business by the Triangle Business Journal.
Marshall became the first woman ever elected to a statewide office in 1996.
Marshall had been a member of the state Senate before rising to statewide office. She holds a degree in Home Economics from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Campbell University. She has received honorary doctorate degrees from Campbell University, Lees McRae College and Meredith College. She serves as co-chair of the NC-Moldova Partnership for Peace and recently received an honorary doctorate degree from the Republic of Moldova State University of Medicine.
The annual event is also used to recognize individuals and groups with community effort awards, Ferguson said.
The night’s top honor, The Dan McCormick Award, will go the chamber member who helped promote growth in St. Pauls. That award was created in 1990 in McCormick’s honor.
The chamber will also to approve its executive board and budget for the coming year.
The offices are currently held by Sue Garrett, president; Will Williams, president-elect; Suzanne Malloy, past president; Doris McLean, vice president; Libby Ferguson, secretary; and Jimmy Taylor, treasurer.