• Chamber Salutes Community Heroes of 2017

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    December 14, 2017
    CHAPEL HILL, NC: Today, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce hostedSalute to Community Heroes” – the 15th annual awards ceremony, presented by AT&T, that honored the seven most outstanding first responders and employees from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County. 

    “Today, we honored the success of seven local first responders and employees of the year,” said Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the heroes among us who work each day, often unrecognized, to enhance the quality of life in Orange County.”
    Police Officer of the Year

    Officer Jordan Armstrong

    Firefighter of the Year

    Driver Michael Law



    Chapel Hill
    Police Officer of the Year
    Investigator Clark Dickens

    Chapel Hill
    Firefighter of the Year

    Firefighter Kendall High

    UNC Public Safety
    Officer of the Year

    Officer Robert Gerringer

    Orange County
    Emergency Services
    Employee of the Year

    Lysa May

    Orange County Sheriff's
    Employee of the Year
    Sergeant Timothy Brian Whitehurst


    The seven honorees were peer-selected and recognized for the valuable contributions they made in their departments and the communities in which they served throughout 2017. Once the honorees were selected, local photographer Lili Englehardt donated her time and talent to create their portraits, which were framed by Steven Ray Miller and displayed during the ceremony.  The portraits were gifted to the honorees at the conclusion of the event. 

    The awards ceremony was held in the Atrium of University Place with 200 guests, including the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and staff, elected officials, and business leaders along with the friends, families, and colleagues of the honorees. The awards ceremony opened with a vocal performance by Triangle Youth Music Chorus and photos are available for viewing via flickr

    “AT&T has a long-standing commitment to this community, and I’m honored to help celebrate these outstanding officers,” said AT&T’s Regional Director of External Affairs, Robert Doreauk, who served as the event’s emcee. 

    About the Chamber: The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce is a diverse membership organization of more than 1,200 local businesses and nonprofits that serves and advances the business interests of our community and builds a sustainable community where business thrives. 

    About the Honorees: 
    Police Officer Jordan Armstrong
    2017 Carrboro Police Officer of the Year
    Officer Jordan Armstrong began his law enforcement career with the Carrboro Police Department in 2012 and was promoted to Police Officer II at the beginning of this year. He works in the patrol division as a Field Training Officer and a member of the Critical Incident Unit. Just recently, Officer Armstrong worked closely with the Carrboro Police Department Administration on a successful proposal to obtain the federal funds needed to purchase body cameras for all officers. Officer Armstrong also has a love for riding bicycles. He attended training for law enforcement bicycle safety and is the only officer in the Patrol Division certified to ride the bicycle while on duty. Officer Armstrong is very knowledgeable and treats everyone within the department, town, and community with respect. For compassionately serving our community, we proudly recognize Officer Jordan Armstrong as the 2017 Carrboro Police Officer of the Year.

    Driver Michael Law
    2017 Carrboro Firefighter of the Year
    Michael Law has been a Driver with the Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department since April of 2011. As a driver, Law is responsible for safely transporting personnel to and from incidents, as well as checking off fire apparatuses each morning to ensure they are response ready. Driver Law regularly goes above and beyond his duties, which is especially helpful, since Carrboro Fire-Rescue is a small organization. In the past year he has obtained several certifications not required of his position. Driver Law is certified as a Fire Instructor III and qualified to instruct Firefighter and technical rescue certification courses. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy. He has used these certifications for the betterment of the department by instructing classes in-house, which has resulted in a huge cost savings for Carrboro Fire-Rescue. Always looking for ways to use his skills and talents to help others, Driver Law mentors and coaches personnel too. For his steadfast commitment to his crew and the whole community, we are proud to honor Michael Law as the 2017 Carrboro Firefighter of the Year.

    Investigator Clark Dickens
    2017 Chapel Hill Police Officer of the Year
    As the Alcohol Law Enforcement lead investigator, Clark Dickens focuses on enforcing laws regarding the sale and possession of alcohol, as well as reducing underage drinking in Chapel Hill and beyond. This year alone, Investigator Dickens has organized and supervised 5 underage compliance checks, as well as 11 ALERT operations targeting underage possession and fake ID violations. In addition to enforcement operations, Dickens also schedules and trains businesses on how to sell alcohol responsibly. Whatever the assignment, Dickens can be counted on to jump in without hesitation. In February of this year, Dickens was placed into the on-call Investigator rotation. During his first week, Dickens was tasked with being the lead investigator on a homicide case. His work, along with the work of the rest of the division, led to an arrest and confession. For his valuable contribution to the Investigations Division we are proud to honor Investigator Clark Dickens as the 2017 Chapel Hill Police Officer of the Year.
    Firefighter Kendall High
    2017 Chapel Hill Firefighter of the Year
    Kendall High has been serving the Town of Chapel Hill since 2009. As a firefighter, Kendall exemplifies the type of team member and employee we want to serve this community. He is dependable, conscientious, does his job, and is willing to assist in any way. Kendall is never too busy to go above and beyond for his fire family. In addition to doing his daily duties at work, on his day off, he goes grocery shopping and makes gourmet meals for his crew. As part of his ongoing career development, Kendall attends numerous trainings offered by the Town Human Resources Department and represents his co-workers as a member of the Chapel Hill Employee Forum. Kendall provides great service to this community and to his fellow brothers and sisters in the fire department, EMS family, and any person he meets. He is one of those people who never meets a stranger and would give you the shirt right off his back. For his selfless service and years of dedication to the Town, we are proud to honor Kendall High as the 2017 Chapel Hill Firefighter of the Year.
    Officer Robert Gerringer
    2017 UNC Public Safety Officer of the Year
    Officer Gerringer, or Bobby as everyone knows him, began his Law Enforcement career with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, later joining the UNC Police Department in March of 2011. Currently, Officer Gerriger is assigned to the traffic unit as a Motorcycle Officer. Bobby’s responsibilities include traffic enforcement, accident investigation, pedestrian safety, and assisting uniform patrol throughout the day. In addition to his traffic duties, Bobby presents Traffic and Safety Awareness programs and Motorcycle Safety Classes to UNC employees. He is also responsible for the operation of the Department’s Mobile Command Center. Earlier this year, Officer Gerringer volunteered to assist the Department as a Field Training Officer. That assignment required Bobby to be temporarily reassigned back to uniform patrol to train and mentor a newly hired recruit. Bobby always maintains a positive attitude, seeks to assist young officers in their development, and goes wherever the department needs him. For his unwavering service and willingness to support others, we salute Officer Robert “Bobby” Gerringer as the 2017 UNC Public Safety Officer of the Year.

    ​Lysa May
    2017 Orange County Emergency Services Employee of the Year
    Lysa May started her career with Emergency Services in 2000 and has supported every division throughout her 17-year career. Her key responsibilities include preparing the budget for the entire department; handling purchases for each division; preparing audit reports; handling personnel actions; and—her favorite activity—ordering uniforms for the department. Without Lysa May, many details would go unnoticed. As the “quiet, behind-the-scenes, life support person for the agency,” she is quick to step forward and offer assistance regardless of the task or the Division. She works tirelessly for Orange County ES, often staying late to make sure that everyone’s “emergency need” is handled quickly and efficiently. Everyone recognizes Lysa May’s practical take on issues and many come to her for sage wisdom and advice. For her leadership, support, and willingness to always do more and better than the day before, we proudly honor Administrative Officer Lysa May as the 2017 Orange County Emergency Services Employee of the Year.
    Sergeant Timothy Brian Whitehurst
    2017 Orange County Sheriff Employee of the Year
    Sergeant Whitehurst came to Orange County from the Morrisville Police Department in January of 2016 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in August of this year. He is an exceptional Patrol Deputy and Field Training Officer. Filling a much needed position as supervisor of D-Squad at the Orange County Detention facility, he graduated first in his class from Basic Detention Officer Training school and had the highest test score on the State exam. Sergeant Whitehurst has gone above and beyond the call of duty devoting countless hours to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Orange County. His work has generated around $120,000 in grant funds used to purchase radar equipment, laser speed measuring equipment, portable breath test equipment, and a DWI simulator. Better equipment enables the agency to serve its citizens and makes Orange County a safer place to live. For his heroic service, we proudly recognize Sergeant Timothy Whitehurst as the 2017 Orange County Sheriff Employee of the Year.
    Katie Loovis, Vice President for External Affairs
    m: (919) 696-0781



  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
    104 South Estes Drive
    P.O. Box 2897
    Chapel Hill, NC 27515
    (919) 967-7075 Fax: (919) 968-6874