Lincoln County has an exclusive club embedded in the history of selections of Man of the Year and Woman of the Year named during the annual Lincolnton/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Banquet. The latest selections were made this past Thursday. For some, itâ€™s almost an expected reward for outstanding citizenship that canâ€™t go unnoticed in this small-town environment For others itâ€™s a recognition of hard work and community service impressive enough for citizens who observe it to step forward and provide the nomination. Whatever the level of success the recipient has attained, we usually nod in agreement when we hear about their accomplishments.
That was the case this past week when the Man of the Year award went to Pete Acker, CEO of Lincoln Medical Center. He has two impressive records of service. One is in his leadership performance as top executive of the hospital. The hospital was beset by financial problems when he took his job in 1995 but he turned it around with some difficulty, sometimes controversial management moves. Today the hospital is financially stable and growing. Acker also has an impressive record as a volunteer leader in the community, most notably his efforts to help establish Lincolnâ€™s YMCA. He has also served as president of the Rotary Club of Lincolnton and helped guide the new Helping Hands Clinic.
The Woman of the Year is equally impressive. Helen Jonas is known throughout the Vale area as one of the top teachers for nearly a half century. She is also recognized as an energetic volunteer who plays piano and sings at nursing homes, and delivers meals for Christian Ministry. The list of community service projects goes on and on.
Renee Moody, known and loved by the many students she taught in her gymnastics classes, was named Small Business Person of the Year. Moody brings to her students important lessons in character and sportsmanship as well as instruction in gymnastics.
Perhaps the reasons the selections seem so appropriate is the involvement of important community organizations in their selection â€” the Rotary Club for Man of the Year, and the Business and Professional Womenâ€™s Organization for Woman of the Year. Both organizations are made up of long-time citizen leaders.
Congratulations to these honorees for joining this esteemed alumni club of Lincoln County.