Readers’ Choice winners honored at gala

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Registered voters, nominees and winners of the third annual Wilson Times Readers’ Choice Awards celebrated the most favored local businesses and individuals at a gala Thursday night at Wilson Country Club.

“We all like being recognized for doing a good job, and we like to celebrate those who make a difference in the community,” said Keven Zepezauer, president and publisher of The Wilson Times. “It is nice to recognize not only businesses, but also individuals who go above and beyond in their occupations and the products they produce.”

The Readers’ Choice Awards is a friendly competition where supporters make nominations and then support their nominees with votes.

There were 130 categories that brought in the full spectrum of services around Wilson.

“This year’s contest we had 140,778 votes,”said Shana Hoover, director of sales and marketing for The Wilson Times. “That was from 9,652 registered participants.”

The contest has grown over the three years.

“We make small changes every year,” Hoover said.

Thursday evening’s gala with a cocktail reception, dinner and winner announcements is new this year.

Generally, there were three to five nominees for each category.

The largest responses were in the favorite barbecue, auto body shop and dance studio categories.

Some businesses won in multiple categories.

All finalists received a decal and winners received a certificate.

“They get stickers for their door that helps them be immediately recognized as Reader’s Choice winners,” Hoover said.

“The Wilson Times enjoys seeing the social media posts encouraging people to vote for their favorite restaurants, favorite medical providers, and all the various categories,” Zepezauer said. “We like the energy and excitement that it generates in the community.”

All winners will be in a special magazine to appear Wed. June 19 in The Wilson Times.

“It gives us a chance to honor the local businesses that do so much for the community,” Hoover said.