N.C. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry

N.C. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry

Berry to speak at awards banquet

By John Henderson

Staff Writer

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N.C. Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry will be the guest speaker at an awards banquet May 20 in which local companies will be recognized for their safety records.

The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce and QVC are sponsors of the annual Excellence in Safety Awards Banquet.

The event begins with a reception at 5:15 p.m. at the Gateway Convention Center at 101 Gateway Boulevard.

dinner and program begins at 6:30 p.m. Berry will be the guest speaker for the event and will recognize the 2014 award recipients.

Berry was elected to the statewide office of Commissioner of Labor in 2000 after serving eight years in the N.C. House of Representatives. She is a native of Catawba County and currently lives in Newton.

“Berry has been awarded numerous recognitions from various industry sectors for her contributions to betterment of these industries, and has led the charge that has resulted in a great increase in North Carolina’s working environment and substantial savings for employers,” a Chamber press release states.

In operation since 1946, the N.C. Department of Labor’s Safety Awards Program recognizes private and public firms throughout the state that achieve and maintain good safety records.

The program also is designed to stimulate interest in accident prevention and promote safety in the workplace. A number of area companies have been recipients of past awards.

The event’s co-sponsor, QVC, this year has earned its third consecutive Gold Award.

“As one of the largest employers in the region, we are very proud of our talented and dedicated workforce,” QVC General Manager Bill Stanulis said. “Our culture and values empower all of our associates to play an active role in creating a safe, productive and fun workplace.”

Statewide, about 3,300 companies participate in the program with about 2,000 awards presented annually. Chamber Chairman Reuben Blackwell said he is excited about the upcoming event.

“When you look at the many companies that are represented at this event, having a superior work safety climate is a win-win for area citizens and our businesses, and speaks clearly to the commitment of a safe environment for any business’s greatest asset – its people,” he said. “We are excited to recognize the best of the best for their highly successful safety program implementation and encourage businesses to attend to learn more about these incentives that generate important results.”

Tickets for the banquet are $25 per person and can be purchased through the Chamber’s Calendar of Events at www.rockymountchamber.org or by calling 973-1211.

Table sponsorships also are available for this event. For more information, contact event manager Tammy Hawkins at 973-1201 or thawkins@rockymountchamber.org.