ROCKINGHAM — The Rockingham Downtown Corporation named new leadership and recognized one of the city’s most popular businesses for its contribution to the community at Tuesday’s meeting.
Susan Kelly, who has served as president for four years, took her name out of the running for the next year term leaving the seat open. Kelly, who is also the county extension director, cited a desire to have someone with more freedom at the helm of the group because hers was limited as a county employee.
No one else had put their name in the hat for the position prior to the meeting. Kelly joked that being president just meant “running meetings,” to which Mayor Pro Tem John Hutchinson countered with, “You’ve done much more than run meetings.”
After much deliberation about who had the desire to take the position — and who would have the time along with each member’s day-to-day responsibilities — the members named Hutchinson to succeed Kelly as president of the organization. He will serve a one-year term.
Hutchinson said he didn’t expect to leave the meeting as president but that he’s “very excited” about the opportunity.
“We’ve got a good group with good ideas … it’s just a matter of making it happen and bringing people together to work on ideas we already have,” Hutchinson said.
Kelly said the group is at a “crossroads” as downtown Rockingham has built energy over recent years, and is now at a position where it must ask “What direction do we want to go?” She will still serve as an officer of the group, saying, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Robin Roberts, general manager of Hudson Brothers Deli, put herself in the running for the vice president seat vacated by Pam Easterling. The members confirmed Roberts for the position, in which she will serve a one-year term.
The corporation members awarded Hudson Brothers its 2017 Featured Business Award, which Roberts accepted on behalf of the owner, Rex Hudson.
This is the third year the corporation has given the award and the first time Hudson Brothers has won. The nominees were: Kool Kakes Bakery and Cafe, Sunbelt Distribution, Re/Max Southern Realty, and Hudson Brothers — which was nominated twice.
Hudson Brothers opened on Sept. 27, 1980 and Roberts has been the general manager since 1989. Kelly commended Hudson Brothers for making “such a big contribution” to Rockingham’s nightlife, as well as providing a place for businesses and community groups to hold meetings.
“I really appreciate this,” Roberts said. “We try to do whatever we can for the community.”
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]