Bright Future and Brilliant Legacy Awards

NEWTON, NC (Oct. 22, 2019)—The city of Newton congratulates the recipients of the 2019 Business Advisory Committee Bright Future and Brilliant Legacy awards.

Peoples Bank received the Bright Future Award for a business that employs more than 100 people. Carolina Vines received the Bright Future Award for a business that employs fewer than 100 people. Shuford Abernethy received the Bright Future Award for an individual economic development leader. Dianne Davidson received the Brilliant Legacy Award for an individual economic development leader who has made an impact on Newton’s business community over an extended period of time.

Peoples Bank is a 107-year-old community bank founded in Catawba County that consistently remains focused on providing exceptional service to their customers, their employees and the community. In 2017, the bank made a multi-million dollar investment to their Newton-based corporate office to provide a modern, up-to-date facility for their employees and the best service to their customers. The bank employs more than 340 people throughout their corporate office in Newton and branches in Catawba, Alexander, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Iredell, Durham and Wake counties. The bank believes in supporting local communities through monetary donations, offering time and volunteerism, and providing assistance in times of crisis. Supporting local schools, nursing homes, nonprofits, and crisis efforts are just a few of the ways that Peoples Bank is committed to remaining as passionate about our community as they are about banking.

Carolina Vines was opened by Michael Waltuch, Twyla Deese and Dennis Baucom in May 2013 in Downtown Newton. They serve fine wine, craft beer, and a light food menu. The Carolina Vines building was refurbished thanks in part to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Main Street Solutions Fund. The business, which started with two employees, has now expanded to five employees and includes Catawba Farms, a vineyard and winery that employs an additional 10 people. In 2018, the second-floor space above Carolina Vines was developed into a residential living space. Carolina Vines has hosted a series of concerts called Get Your NewtOn! and provides a food truck for guests.

Shuford Abernethy is a Newton native and realtor. He is currently developing Azalea Glen, an active adult townhome community designed specifically for adults over the age of 55. The stylish, classic homes provide amenities and services designed to promote an independent lifestyle and help homeowners remain independent. The 75-townhome community is located off Radio Station Road. Six homes have been completed and five homes are currently under construction. When completed, Azalea Glen will have added an estimated $19.6 million to Newton’s tax base and generate $106,000 in annual tax revenue. Abernethy chose to invest in Newton in part because of the city’s decision to begin the Downtown Newton Streetscape Revitalization Project.

Dianne Davidson opened Dianne’s Dairy Center in 1986 in North Newton. The restaurant is a go-to spot for great food and fellowship for Newton residents, many of whom frequent the restaurant daily. Davidson is known for creating jobs for Newton residents, especially first-time job opportunities that can be difficult to obtain. Over the years, Davidson has quietly given back to the community by donating food and other items for church suppers, fundraisers and nonprofit events. She has also opened her restaurant on Christmas to deliver meals to emergency and public safety workers who need a hot meal on the holiday.

“Newton is so fortunate to have so many talented business leaders working every day to build our brilliant legacy into a bright future for new generations,” Newton Mayor Anne P. Jordan said. “I would like to congratulate Peoples Bank, Carolina Vines and Shuford Abernethy on winning this year’s Bright Future Awards, and Dianne Davidson on winning the Brilliant Legacy Award. I am grateful for their contributions to the city, and I wish them many more years of continued success.”

The Bright Future and Brilliant Legacy award recipients were honored at the Business Advisory Committee’s Business @ The Amphitheatre event on Oct. 18 at the Frank & Sue Jones Amphitheatre in Downtown Newton. Speakers included Newton Mayor Anne P. Jordan, Newton Business Advisory Committee Chair Jennifer Stiver, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Lindsay Keisler and Newton Planning Director Randy Williams. Photos from the event are available by clicking here.

The Bright Future and Brilliant Legacy awards recognize the exceptional contributions of businesses and business leaders to the Newton community. Nominees are judged on any of the following: innovativeness; economic development accomplishments; community commitment or involvement; measured objectives which may include jobs created, jobs retained or improved, monetary investment in the community, or additions to the tax base; and additional benefits to the community.

The mission of the Business Advisory Committee is to advise Newton City Council on business issues that impact the city including retail, commercial, downtown, and residential development; ordinances and codes to support development and redevelopment; investments needed by the public and private sectors to carry out development and redevelopment projects; and potential incentives to attract new business investment.

The current Business Advisory Committee includes Chair Jennifer Stiver, Vice Chair Leslie Yount, Larry Adams, Lisa Crump, Susan Flowers, Jessica Hoffman, Bradley Saine and Suzanne White.

Business professionals are encouraged to stay up to date with Business Advisory Committee events and announcements by registering their contact information at www.newtonnc.gov/baccontact.

Peoples BankThe Newton Business Advisory Committee (BAC) presented the 2019 Bright Future Award for a business that employs more than 100 people to People Bank. Pictured above from left are BAC Chair Jennifer Stiver, BAC Vice Chair Leslie Yount, Council Member Jerry Hodge, Council Member Jody Dixon, Kim Bazzle, Lance Sellers, Jody Street, Paula Parker, David Reitzel, Mayor Anne P. Jordan, Council Member Anne Wepner, Mayor Pro Tem John Stiver and BAC Member Lisa Crump.

Carolina VinesThe Newton Business Advisory Committee (BAC) presented the 2019 Bright Future Award for a business that employs fewer than 100 people to Carolina Vines. Pictured above from left are BAC Chair Jennifer Stiver, BAC Vice Chair Leslie Yount, Mayor Anne P. Jordan, Council Member Jerry Hodge, Twyla Deese, Dennis Baucom, Council Member Jody Dixon, Council Member Anne Wepner, Mayor Pro Tem John Stiver and BAC Member Lisa Crump.

Shuford AbernethyThe Newton Business Advisory Committee (BAC) presented the 2019 Bright Future Award for an individual economic development leader to Shuford Abernethy. Pictured above from left are BAC Chair Jennifer Stiver, BAC Vice Chair Leslie Yount, Jayne Abernethy, Council Member Jerry Hodge, Shuford Abernethy, Rose Abernethy, Council Member Jody Dixon, Mayor Anne P. Jordan, Mayor Pro Tem John Stiver, Council Member Anne Wepner and BAC Member Lisa Crump.

Dianne DavidsonThe Newton Business Advisory Committee (BAC) presented the 2019 Brilliant Legacy Award for an individual economic development leader who has made an impact on Newton’s business community over an extended period of time to Dianne Davidson. Pictured above from left are BAC Chair Jennifer Stiver, Mayor Anne P. Jordan, BAC Vice Chair Leslie Yount, Dave Lingafelt, Council Member Jerry Hodge, Dianne Davidson, Council Member Jody Dixon, Council Member Anne Wepner, Mayor Pro Tem John Stiver and BAC Member Lisa Crump.