By Sarah Mansheim
Greenbrier County’s brightest business people gathered at The Greenbrier this week to wine, dine, and toast one of their own. On Monday night, The Greenbrier played host to the annual Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. The $89 per ticket event allowed guests the opportunity to dress up, hobnob, and eat a delicious dinner of prime rib, twice baked potatoes and bread pudding.
Local businessman Allen Carson was honored by the chamber as Business Person of the Year. One of Carson’s employees (and former West Virginia House of Representatives delegate) Tom Campbell introduced the man of the hour with a light ribbing and a lot of compliments.
“I want to make sure I have a job tomorrow,” Campbell quipped to the audience of over 100 business people from Greenbrier County’s banks, nonprofits, schools, and other businesses – most notably, Carson’s many Greenbrier County businesses including Greenbrier Technologies, Greenbrier Medical Arts Pharmacy, PostNet and Rainelle Pharmacy.
Carson then charmed the audience with his “road to success” story, replete with an anecdote of being a young and poor newlywed who lost all of his possessions in a truck fire while moving to Dayton, Ohio in the 1970s, and another of his wife hocking their wedding bands to buy baby formula.
Carson ended his speech with what he said was one of his favorite Zig Ziglar quotes: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
Greenbrier County Circuit Judge James Rowe delivered the invocation before the dinner service, and thanked the Carson family for their philanthropic efforts in the Greenbrier Valley, particularly their generosity to Greenbrier Valley Theatre.
Another company, CORE Environmental Services, was honored as the Small Business of the year. CORE recently helped with the cleanup of the diesel spill on Rt. 92.
Following desert, guest speaker Keith Burdette, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce spoke to the chamber about West Virginia’s many gifts and challenges in the work world.
Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce President Alyson Dotson presents Business Leader of the Year Allen Carson with a plaque and a gift at the annual chamber meeting at The Greenbrier Monday night.