Lake Norman-area businesses were recognized for overcoming adversity at a special awards luncheon hosted by Aquesta Bank of Cornelius.
In its third year, the Greater Lake Norman Community Business Award honors small business entrepreneurs who have achieved success.
Four nominees shared their stories at the Feb. 25 event.
Jerry Lackey of Jerry P. Lackey Appraisal Service, Inc. in Lincoln County provides real estate valuations for residential and commercial properties. Several years ago, Lackey had problems with his kidneys, which eventually made transplant surgery necessary. The transplant was a success, but in 2008 Lackey needed another transplant.
Debbie Pope, Lackey's employee, volunteered to donate a kidney. While recovering, Lackey's daughter, Addie, along with his employees continued to run thebusiness. Residents of Lincoln County even raised money for Pope's medical expenses. Lackey attributes his success to his faith in God and the love and support from his friends, family and community.
Joe Carbon started Good Old-Fashioned Auto Care in 2003 in Mooresville. Carbon fixes 1-2 cars per day, five days a week with a motto of quality craftsmanship. He gets to know his customers and their vehicles and can fix anything that is wrong with an automobile.
With his business thriving, Carbon received the devastating news that he was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. After surgery and four months of chemotherapy, Carbon decided to discontinue his treatments.
Later, blood tests showed that he was free of any cancer cells. Despite these challenges, his business only closed for two weeks. He does not know exactly what the future will bring, but he intends to live his "bucket list" every day.
The Boat Rack is a full-service marina located in Denver and owned by David Lowman and 2010 marks their 30-year anniversary.
In August 2004, they were putting finishing touches on a new 15,000-square-foot showroom. On the morning of the final inspection, an electrical mishap caused a fire that gutted both the old and new showrooms, including 15 new boats and trailers. Lowman and his crew were shattered.
Lowman put up temporary sales trailers and lined the remaining boats outside. The roadside blowout sale began and was a success. The showroom was rebuilt, and the Boat Rack was back to business within six months. Today, the Boat Rack continues to focus on the hard work and promotion that carried them through the disaster.
Elizabeth Lackey-Miller is president of Village Inn Pizza, founded in Statesville in 1967 by her grandfather, Ray Lackey. Ray created the homemade sauce and dough that Village Inn Pizza has used for 40 years.
In February 2008, Ray passed away unexpectedly. Although it was hard to go on without its founder, Elizabeth was named president, and they celebrated their 40th anniversary in October in Statesville.
On Jan. 19, 2009 their Hickory location was burned to the ground by an arsonist. Six nights later, their second Hickory store caught fire by a copycat arsonist. The loss of both locations was devastating. The company rallied and reopened the first Hickory store in a new location in May 2009, just five months after the fire. The second store is scheduled to reopen in March. They have received strong support from the Hickory community.
Village Inn Pizza was awarded the Greater Lake Norman Community Business Award.
"We suffered together, we rebuilt together, we've grown together and we will stand together," said Elizabeth.