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Celebrating North Carolina > The NC Chamber’s 81st Annual Meeting

The NC Chamber hosted its 81st Annual Meeting, presented by Food Lion, on March 22 where we were proud to honor two incredible North Carolina leaders and celebrate North Carolina’s success.

Chair of the NC Chamber Derek Steed; senior vice president, secretary, and General Counsel of Glen Raven, Inc.; set the tone when he kicked off the event. “We are here for our fearless leaders, our extraordinary businesses and organizations, and our individual successes that shape the collective good of North Carolina,” he said.

The Award for Distinguished Public Service was presented to former Director of N.C. Division of Emergency Management Michael Sprayberry. A constant through several administrations, Sprayberry’s focus on taking care of one another through COVID was representative of the way he led our state through a crisis throughout his tenure.

Read Our Profile on Michael Sprayberry

In his remarks, Sprayberry expressed his confidence in North Carolina. “We know that the talent assembled in this room has the ability to solve any problem, whether we are in the public sector or the private sector.”

Former President of Merck and Co., Inc. Willie Deese was honored with the Award for Distinguished Citizenship. Another people-focused leader, Deese shared, “I know that if we do the things that we are capable of doing, if we make the playing field level, if we include everyone, the sky is the limit.”

Over the last 20 years, Deese and his wife have provided full or partial scholarships to over 300 students and mentored countless others at North Carolina A&T. In 2020, North Carolina A&T State University named its College of Business and Economics after Deese.

Read Our Profile on Willie Deese

As the celebration came to a close, Steed reminded the audience that, “we are dedicated to repeating our rating as the top state in the United States to do business and we will continue to work hard on your behalf.”

View Photos from the 81st Annual Meeting


Click here to be notified when registration opens for the NC Chamber’s 82nd Annual Meeting celebration.