New inductees to join Hall of Fame


Staff Writer

Monday, September 17, 2018

Several noteworthy people from the Twin Counties were selected to join a distinguished local group.

Twin County Community Pride will induct 10 people from Nash and Edgecombe counties into its 15th Twin County Hall of Fame class. A banquet for the new inductees will take place on Nov. 9 at the Rocky Mount Event Center. 

Rocky Mount Councilwoman Chris Miller, who is a past president of Twin County Community Pride, said the 2018 class includes seven men and five women, with six of the inductees are living and six will be inducted posthumously. The class includes Dr. Robert Barbe and the Rev. Carolyn Barbe, Dr. Newsom Pittman Battle and Dr. Margaret White Battle, James Erastus Batts, Dr. Charles Marshall Coats, Janice Beavon Gravely, Lt. Col. James Mercer, Robert “Bob” Melton, Betsy B. Strandberg, Samuel A. Toler and Janice Bryant Howroyd.

The occupations of the inductees include an author, painter, educator, the ‘King of Barbecue,” doctors, a veterinarian, a 30-year Little League coach, a military and public safety officer and two groundbreaking female business owners, according to Hall of Fame officials.

“We’re glad that we’re able to recognize another group of people from our Twin Counties area that have helped improve our area with their activity and accomplishments,” Miller said. “We also believe this event brings people together across both counties whether they’re black, white, well-educated or blue-collar folks.”

Among the inductees, Howroyd, a Tarboro native, is the founder and CEO of the largest female-owned workforce management company, ACT-1 Group. Howroyd is the first black woman to own a billion-dollar business. The multimillionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist reportedly runs a company that generates $1.1 billion in net sales. She is one of the richest-self made women in the country, with a net worth that Forbes magazine reported at $420 million.

It’s local people’s success stories like Howroyd’s that Miller said is important for local young people to know about.

“Beside recognizing these folks, I feel it’s so important for our young people to see what these people have done that can inspire them to know they can do great things in life even though they come from a rural area that has its challenges economically,” Miller said.

Miller said the plan is to have the Hall of Fame portraits and the information about the inductees to be hung in the pre-function area of the Event Center, and the portraits are supposed to be installed before the grand opening of the 165,000-square-foot facility. 

Miller added the space in the Event Center for the Hall of Fame ceremony can hold up to 175 people in the upstairs room and 450 people in the downstairs room.

“We think people who haven’t attended an event at that point at the Event Center will be impressed and excited to attend,” Miller said.

Tickets for event are $60 per person and can be ordered at www.tchof.com. No tickets will be sold at the door. For more information, call Miller at 252-977-1438.