Chamber to host Duke Energy chief


David Fountain


Staff Writer

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The person in charge of one of the largest electric power holding companies in North Carolina highlights the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce’s 114th annual meeting sponsored by the Rocky Mount Mills.

Duke Energy North Carolina President David Fountain, who is also chairman of the N.C. Chamber of Commerce, will be the guest speaker of the annual meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at Nash Community College’s Brown Auditorium.

Duke Energy serves 3.3 million electric retail customers and 717,000 natural gas customers. Fountain assumed his current position in September 2015. He started with Carolina Power & Light in 2000, which later merged with Florida Progress to form Progress Energy. Fountain is known as being instrumental in the merger between Duke Energy and Progress Energy in 2012.

Fountain is responsible for the financial performance of Duke Energy’s regulated utilities in North Carolina. Fountain also manages state and local regulatory and government relations and community affairs. In addition, Fountain’s responsibilities also are advancing the company’s rate and regulatory initiatives, water strategy, hydroelectric licensing and lake services.

“We’re honored to have someone like David come and speak at our meeting,” Chamber President David Farris said. “We’re expecting another sellout of 400 attendees. This is also a time where we can share our achievements and our successes of the year past, while enjoying fellowship.”

Along with Fountain, Farris said, the event will also recognize finalists and a winner of the 2017 Distinguished Citizen of the Year. In addition to taking home an award, a video tribute to the recipient will be played to showcase their achievements.

For more than 20 years, the Distinguished Citizen of the Year has been known as the Chamber’s highest honor for a person who has demonstrated a noteworthy commitment to the Twin Counties. The Rev. James Gailliard, senior pastor of Word Tabernacle Church and founder of the Impact Center, was the winner of last year’s award.

“This is like a lifetime achievement award,” Farris said. “We historically have some great nominations, and the good news is that we had several worthy nominees this year that caused us to look at everything closely.”

There will also be several other awards given out at the annual event, including a new award created this year by Farris called the President’s Award that will be given to an individual or group that has made a positive contribution to the Chamber and has given unselfishly of their time for the betterment of the business community in the Twin Counties and local citizens.

At the annual meeting, Marty Nealey, vice president of operations and plant manager at Pfizer, will pass the gavel of chairman of the Chamber to Dewey Clark, president of N.C. Wesleyan College.

The meeting will also provide a brief overview of the activity happening in the Twin Counties and in the Chamber. Farris said the Chamber added nearly 60 members in 2017.

“There is plenty of momentum taking place in the area with the downtown revitalization picking up steam, and so much of the property recently being sold, “Farris said. “There are currently several properties under redevelopment. Also, there have been recent announcements of several of our existing manufacturing plants hiring more employees or planning to hire more workers. In addition, with the announcement of Corning and Triangle Tire Co., we feel  2018 and 2019 are going to be very special times for the Greater Rocky Mount area.”

Tickets for the annual meeting are $60 for members and $70 for prospective members. Tickets can be ordered through the Chamber website’s events calendar at rockymountchamber.org or by the calling the Chamber at 252-973-1211.