Aquesta Bank & Aquesta Insurance Services, Inc. held an awards luncheon on Thursday, February 25 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center to recognize nominees and select the final winner of the 2010 Greater Lake Norman Community Business Award. This year’s recipient of the award was Village Inn Pizza out of Statesville, NC who was selected by a panel of judges for the company’s hard work and perseverance through challenging times.
The award, originally called the Blue Chip Award, recognizes successful small businesses (between 3 and 400 employees), that have overcome adversity to achieve success and share their stories as models for other entrepreneurs. Each year the award is endorsed by various Lake Norman area chambers and business groups including the Lake Norman Chamber, Mooresville- South Iredell Chamber, Denver Area Business Association, Lincolnton – Lincoln Country Chamber, and the Catawba County Chamber.
Village Inn Pizza was founded by William “Ray” Lackey in 1967, when he opened the first of 12 locations in Statesville. In over 40 years, Village Inn Pizza never deviated from their original recipe. In 2008, Ray passed away unexpectedly, leaving Elizabeth Lackey-Miller as President. Within the year, two of the stores in Hickory burned to the ground by the hands of an arsonist. The family and the business had suffered three devastating blows. Instead of giving up, they chose to rebuild and rebound, rallying their family and employees together to start again. In the words of Elizabeth Miller, “We suffered together, we rebuild together, we’ve grown together, and we will stand together.”
The luncheon also featured speaker Andy Bricker, founder of “Race to Walk,” a foundation that is devoted to providing comprehensive programs for those suffering from spinal cord injuries.
Other nominees for the award included The Boat Rack, Inc (Denver, NC), Jerry P. Lackey Appraisal Services, Inc (Denver, NC), and Good Old Fashioned Auto Care and Repair (Cornelius, NC). Judges for the Award included Elizabeth Christenbury with Davidson College, Stephen Belenky with United Way, and Brad Rivers with Gaston College.