Wilson Chamber updates, rebrands leadership program

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


The Wilson Chamber of Commerce’s leadership program will have a new name going forward, but the focus won’t change.

“Beginning last year, we made two substantive changes to Dynamic Leadership, which precipitated our decision to rebrand the program as the chamber’s Executive Academy,” chamber President Ryan Simons said. “First, we retooled the executive retreat to be a much more meaningful experience, where our participants were able to explore their individual leadership styles. Secondly, we invited nonprofit members of the chamber to submit their requests to the class, allowing them to have choices limited to the actual charitable needs of our community.”

Each year, participants kick off the program with the retreat that allows them to determine their own leadership styles, build team cohesion and select a community service project to take on as a group. Following the retreat, members meet once a month throughout the community to learn more about Wilson’s agriculture, media and cultural arts, economic development, criminal justice and judicial system, local government, education, health care and state government. Meanwhile, the group raises funds for the community service project with more than $3,000 collected for the Hope Station Westview House.

“The Executive Academy is an essential part of the chamber’s goal to build a market where businesses thrive. Our business and nonprofit leaders need to be informed about the unique challenges and opportunities that set Wilson apart from its peer and aspirational communities,” Simons said. “The academy does that, and in turn, equips leaders with the resources they need to make smart decisions that impact their organizations and our economy.”

In June, the final Dynamic Leadership class paved the way for 16 bank leaders, school administrators, retail and service executives, nonprofit managers and health care and industrial supervisors in the inaugural academy class. The rebranding of the program comes one month after the chamber launched a new marketing campaign complete with a new logo and color scheme.

“I could not be more pleased with the quality of participants enrolled in the academy class of 2020, which mirrors exactly the type of high-level professionals that have gone through each one of the Dynamic Leadership classes before it,” Simons said. “I’m especially pleased that the chamber’s membership coordinator, Tyler Mayes, will be among the first graduates of the academy. Tyler will be assuming coordination of the academy beginning with the class of 2021.”

Call Mayes at 252-237-0165 for more information on the Executive Academy.


For those needing their fill of Flo’s famous biscuits, they’ll have to wait a week as owner Linda Brewer is executing a refresh of the popular eatery.

“We’re painting, refurbishing everything and cleaning up,” she said. “We’re working to make sure everything is wonderful for our customers.”

While work officially got underway when the restaurant at 1015 Goldsboro St. after closing at noon Saturday, Brewer said there was a lot of behind-the-scenes orchestration involved in lining up carpenters, painters and upholsterers. Construction will continue for the next week, but biscuits will be served again starting at 4 a.m. Tuesday.

“Everyone is going to have a brand new, old Flo’s,” Brewer said. “There won’t be any changes to the food or the prices, but it will be nicer for our wonderful customers.”


Despite a rebranding in 2012 by Andy’s Burgers, Shakes & Fries to Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries, one of the chain’s original restaurants reopened Friday under the original name.

“With Goldsboro being the home of the original Andy’s, the name still resonates with people in the area years after it switched to Hwy 55,” owner Jessi Bond said in a press release. “We continue to feel the brand loyalty our customers have toward the Andy’s concept. We thought this would be an ideal time to go back to the roots of the company and bring it full circle with the return of the Andy’s name.”

The chain started in 1991 as Andy’s Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburgers at the Berkely Mall, but relocated to 400 N. Spence Ave. in 1996. When the regional restaurant expanded beyond the state borders, the eateries were rebranded with the Hwy 55 name. With three other Hwy 55 locations, Jessi and Jonathan Bond purchased the Spence location in May 2018 and closed it for updates on Jan. 1. The newly renamed restaurant will retain the chain’s signature 1950s style, but has a refreshed look with new furniture, signs and an updated menu.

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.