2023 Community Awards Finalists

by | Mar 9, 2023 | Announcements, Community

Each one of the following finalists have been selected based off of numerous submissions by the community over the course of the last month. While only one can win in each category, each of these businesses and individuals are deserving of these titles and we hope they are proud of their accomplishment and see how much the community appreciates their involvement and dedication.

We now ask our community to vote and help us select the winners for each of these esteemed awards! You can vote either by using the Google Form (sign-in is required to limit multiple votes) or by emailing director@wintervillechamber.com with your choices. You are not required to vote in each category. If you would like to learn more about any of the finalists, we used the information provided with each submission to help compile the reasons why they deserve the award and included them below:

  • Winterville Business of the Year Finalists
    • Cucinella’s – A favorite from the moment they opened, this family-owned pizzeria and italian ice shop serves delicious northern-style pizzas using recipes passed down in their family through generations. They have italian ice, gelato, and gelati in a variety of flavors that will help you satisfy any sweet-tooth craving!
    • Meating Ground Cafe – This specialty restaurant had a cult-following from before they even opened their doors. They have a variety of biscuits, lattes, sandwiches, salads, and soups – all with the delicious twist we’ve come to expect from them!
    • Winterville Flower Shop – A staple in Winterville for many years, Winterville Flower Shop provides beautiful arrangements with incredible service for any occasion! You’ll be hard-pressed to find another business that you can call to place an order with little more information than a delivery address and budget and wind up with such a thoughtfully curated arrangement.
  • Winterville Citizen of the Year Finalists
    • Alton Wadford is a familiar face and name to many involved in the community. He has been a member of the Winterville Chamber of Commerce Board for many years, has been involved in the Watermelon Festival for just as long, and is continuously showing up for his community. Alton will always say yes to someone asking for help, and truly has a love for our Town and does his part to make it a great place to live and work.
    • Carolyn McGinn is someone always looking out for others’ needs firsts. She’s an avid supporter of local businesses and local people, always seeking ways to help and never hesitating to step up for anyone she meets. Her genuinely, compassion, and follow-through are what sets her apart from others.
    • Glenda White is known to many as kind, strong, and selfless. She’s been involved in many things in the community over the years, including serving on the Chamber Board for several years, serving the Jackie Robinson Baseball League, and as a minister and leader at her church, Greater Judah Christian Center. Glenda is always eager to lend a helping hand or be a confidant to those in need.
  • Winterville Teacher of the Year Finalists
    • Kourtney Payton has been a kindergarten teacher at Wintergreen Elementary School for 16 years – her whole teaching career. Staff at Wintergreen say she is a teacher dedicated to helping each student with their individual needs, including by going above and beyond for her ESL students and by keeping her students’ parents informed and involved. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, a women’s educator organization, she focuses on teaching cultural diversity to her students, and serves as the grade level chair and is on the school improvement team at Wintergreen.
    • Michael Keyes is a 6th grade English teacher at AG Cox Middle School. His students say he makes them feel safe and comfortable in the classroom, and know him as someone they can go to for anything they need. His colleagues describe him as kind-hearted and driven, always looking for new, interesting, and more advanced ways to engage his students and challenge them to the be the best they can. The staff says his hard work shows not just in his students’ reviews of him, but in their higher than average test scores!
    • Ryan Keyes is a teacher at South Central High School who’s described as passionate and dedicated, loves his students, and takes pride in his career as an educator.
  • Winterville Volunteer of the Year Finalists
    • Cindy Kosor believes strongly in the importance of giving back to the community. She shows this passion by always being involved in sponsoring a fundraiser or some type of give-back event. Even when her plate is full, she never says no to an opportunity to help. She pours her heart into whatever she’s involved in, most prominently right now she serves as the Board Chair for Daughters of Worth.
    • Kristina Tyson has been serving the community for years behind the scenes as a financial contributor and rallier of supporters for different causes, but recently heard the need of a business owner to join the Board of JOY Community Center and Soup Kitchen. This organization was already close to her heart, and she wanted to do more, so she pushed aside her desire to be out of the spotlight in order to better serve this organization. The leaders here say she jumped in to every task with her whole heart and has truly made an impact in everything she’s been a part of.
    • Saul Horowitz has been involved in nearly every organization in town since he moved here only a handful of years ago. With each organization he’s served, he’s made sure to make a true impact. The Winterville Civitan Club, Watermelon Festival, Chamber Board, JOY, and more have all seen his service!
  • Winterville’s Most Dedicated Public Servant Finalists
    • Ricky Hines is the new Mayor of the Town of Winterville, previously serving on the Town Council for many years. He strives to always be involved in what’s going on in the community. Constantly attending one event or another to meet his constituents or be part of a give-back in town, you’ll be hard-pressed to find him not in the know about what’s going on in our area.
    • Ryan Willhite is the Chief of Police for the Town of Winterville where he has served us for the past 10 years. His strength and integrity have led our officers well and is reflected in how well they keep our community safe.
    • Veronica Roberson serves on the Town Council, and has for many years. She’s a true local, and makes it a point to always know what’s going on in her town. She’s always involved in something going on to give back to the community, and uses what she learns with different organizes to highlight the needs of the citizens.
  • Winterville’s Favorite Spot to Shop Finalists
    • Grace and Grit Mobile Thrift Store is a new business with a unique business model that’s taken the community by storm. They appear at pop-ups and vendor events with their decked-out trailer filled with beautifully selected second-hand clothes. They have women’s, men’s, and kid’s sections and even sell bags, jewelry, and a few home items too!
    • Plant and See Nursery has just celebrated their 45th year in Winterville due to the love the community has for them! Here you will find plants of all types, big and small, common and unique, indoor and outdoor, and all the supplies you need to help keep your garden thriving!
    • PostalAnnex is known for more than just “making ship happen” – although they do that incredibly well. They also have local artisan-made items inside for you to be able to pick up a goodie for yourself or a gift for a loved one. Only here can you find all the things you need for your more distant family *and* have it packed and shipped in one fell swoop.
  • Winterville’s Favorite New Business Finalists
    • Fish Window Cleaning opened in April of 2022 and has since done much more than work to keep all the windows in the area sparkling. Owner Thomas Carter has made it a point to be a business owner with a desire to be constantly learning and always giving back. This includes giving a free window cleaning to a local cancer survivor in October, and most recently servicing the Pitt County Council on Aging facility for free just to give back to a local non-profit.
    • Sweet Porpos Rolled Ice Cream & Bakeshop in September of 2022 with a mission of bringing sweet treats and fun rolled ice cream but with their sweet purpose of providing employment opportunities and training to those with disabilities. You’ll also find inside a special room dedicated to allowing those with sensory issues to have their own quiet place to enjoy their treat.
    • Trish Nails & Spa in November of 2022 with a goal of providing a self-care second home to those in our area. They believe in the saying “can’t pour from an empty cup” and work to make it easy for you to keep your cup full!