Six honored at Women of Distinction event sponsored by PCC

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 Photo of women honored at PCC Women of Distiction luncheon

Piedmont Community College (PCC) honored the accomplishments of local women on Thursday, March 23, at the College’s first Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon. The event was held at the Kirby Cultural Arts Center in honor of women who exemplify the vision of the College by being a contributor to their own community and beyond, and have demonstrated excellence in the categories of Education, Community Development, Business, Healthcare, Community Service, or Volunteer Caregiving.


Ticket proceeds were used to create a new scholarship fund through the Piedmont Community College Foundation.

Twenty-seven nominations were reviewed by a committee comprised of College and community representatives from both Caswell and Person counties. Honorees were selected based on the information provided in their nominations and reference letters, with the committee weighing factors including service as a role model or mentor, excellence in her field, and widespread contributions to her community.

“The women honored at PCC’s Women of Distinction Luncheon are phenomenal women. While each of them hailed from a different background, they all share a common thread - their love for Person and Caswell counties. Each honoree, in her own right, has crafted a legacy in Roxboro, Yanceyville, and surrounding communities that will last for generations,” said Dr. Joyce Johnson, Vice President of Instruction and Student Development at PCC and Co-Chair of the Women of Distinction Awards. “These women did not sit back and keep quiet. They knew there was a time to speak, to make decisions, and to show strength and courage. They are definitely trailblazers.”

The following community leaders were honored at the 2017 Women of Distinction Luncheon:

Education: Margaret Bradsher, Chairman of the Person County Board of Education
Beginning her career more than four decades ago, Margaret Bradsher has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to education, maintaining that the success of our youth is the key to the success of Person County’s future. She has been a member of the Person County Board of Education since 2008, where she currently serves as Chairperson. She has served on the Person Board of County Commissioners, as well as numerous committee appointments over the span of her career, consistently focusing on the enhancement of student opportunities in her community and beyond.

Bradsher has served as a role model and coach for hundreds of educators in Person County, and her leadership in the changing field of education has remained proactive and strong. While she has excelled in her career path, she has also strived to go beyond the walls of the schools to involve herself in other community activities that will benefit the youth and adults of Person County. A former colleague of hers wrote, “Margaret takes seriously her charge each day to improve the education profession and our society.” For that, we are grateful.

Community Development: Sandra Hudspeth, Executive Director of Caswell County Partnership for Children

Sandra Hudspeth has served the Caswell County Partnership for Children as Executive Director for more than eighteen years, demonstrating dedication to her role in advocating for children, youth, and families in her community. She has consistently lead staff, service providers, and the organization’s Board of Directors, to provide quality services to the children of Caswell County, often stepping in to provide direct services when needed.

Hudspeth has worked to develop and implement North Carolina Smart Start annual plans, the NC Pre-K Program, and grant programs funded by federal and private entities. She serves on numerous local, regional, and state-wide organizations outside of her title requirements including but not limited to Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, JCPC Monitoring Committee, Caswell County United Way Board of Directors, 21st Century Community Learning Center Advisory Board, Caswell County Schools Continuous Improvement Performance Plan Steering Committee, Piedmont Community College Early Childhood Advisory Committee, Caswell County Health Department Community Health Assessment Process Committee, and Department of Social Services Work First Planning Committee.

Business: Sheila Clayton, Co-Owner of Carpet One Floor & Home of Roxboro
Exemplifying the role of a professional woman, Sheila Clayton has built her business with the goal of serving the community that she was raised in. As Co-Owner of Carpet One Floor & Home of Roxboro, Clayton has demonstrated leadership in growing her small business, providing advice and encouragement by serving as a mentor to other business owners, and by giving back to financially support community fundraisers, churches, schools, and organizations in Roxboro and Person County.

Clayton has served as an active member and former Board Member of the Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce, where her guidance led Carpet One of Roxboro to be named as Small Business of the Year in 2016. She has been a strong advocate for cancer research, spearheading the effort to bring Relay for Life to Person County, and helping to make the event one of the highest grossing events per capita in the nation. She is an active member of Theresa Baptist Church where she serves as chairman of the Personnel Committee.

Healthcare: Denise Wilkins, Public Health Nursing Supervisor at Caswell County Health Department
In more than twenty years of service to the Caswell County Health Department, Denise Wilkins has taken on numerous roles to ensure the quality and accessibility of public healthcare in her community. In addition to her title of Nursing Supervisor, she serves as the Communicable Disease, Tuberculosis, STD, and Family Planning Coordinator for the department, all while providing direct care in the clinic to her patients. She delivers up-to-date information about communicable disease to other healthcare providers and partners, working to ensure that current public health issues are at the forefront of the county’s service areas.

Wilkins is a longstanding member of the Youth Committee for the Caswell County Partnership for Children, where she advocates for health issues faced by adolescents, often making visits into the community to talk with teens, and partnering with other organizations to develop programs for teens related to reproductive health, STDs, bullying, sexual coercion, and human trafficking.

Community Service: Sallie Smith, Retired
Since her retirement from the Caswell County Finance Office in 2010, Sallie Smith has continued to donate her time and talent to her Caswell County community. She currently serves as President of the Caswell County Historical Association, and is a member of the county’s Heritage and Cultural Preservation Committee, through which she works to expose local history to townspeople and visitors. She volunteers her time at the Richmond-Miles History Museum, and has been heavily involved in the tobacco Barn Restoration Project for the county.

Smith has also been an asset to the local military veteran community, serving on the Caswell County Veterans Memorial Committee and supporting her husband, Fred, in the execution of Memorial Day and Veterans Day services. She serves on the Caswell County United Way Board, volunteers for Meals on Wheels, and has given her time to the Caswell County Relay for Life Committee.

Voluntary Caregiving: Susan Carver, Retired
As a retired nurse and Person County native, Susan Carver embodies the spirit of voluntary care through her commitment to giving of her time, knowledge, and resources. While caring for and teaching her grandchildren about the importance of service during the weekdays, she spends weekends and evenings visiting hospitals, nursing homes, and friends, providing assurance and comfort to those struggling with basic needs or medical uncertainties. She offers her time to take people to local and regional hospitals for cancer treatments, surgeries, and general care appointments, and uses her nursing background to advocate for patients as well as serving as a mentor to a new generation of nurses.

Carver is an active member of Theresa Baptist Church where she volunteers as the leader of GA’s (Girls in Action), teaching first through fifth grade girls about caring and service. She has organized her Sunday School class’ yard sale to raise funds for Stories Creek Elementary School, regularly cooks and delivers for Meals on Wheels, organizes Christmas caroling, teaches at Vacation Bible School, and participates as a volunteer for the food pantry.

Others nominated for this award were: Care Bowes (Education), Libra Boyd (Education), Judy Snipes Bradsher (Education), Melissa Chambers (Community Service), Patti Clayton (Education), Teresa Dabbs (Community Service), Shirley Deal (Healthcare), Tessa Gentry (Healthcare), Ethel Gwynn (Education), Kim Hamlet (Community Service), Kathy Jeffries (Business), Carla Johnson (Education), Sharon Kendrick (Business), Laquita Lipscomb (Education), Jane D. Long (Business), Betty Mangum (Community Service), Marion Oakley (Community Service), Sandra Satterwhite (Healthcare), Amy W. Seate (Education), Mary E. Stanfield (Community Service), and Geraldine Yancey (Business).

“We have been blown away by the amount of support and enthusiasm that surfaced around this event and our first class of outstanding nominees,” said Allison Satterfield, Executive Director of the PCC Foundation. “We look forward to growing the Women of Distinction Awards and are grateful to the many community members who contributed to our efforts to honor such deserving women.”

For more information or to make a donation to the scholarship fund created by this program, contact Allison Satterfield, Executive Director of the Piedmont Community College Foundation, at (336) 322-2102 or allison.satterfield@piedmontcc.edu; or Dr. Joyce Johnson, Vice President of Instruction and Student Development at (336) 322-2106 or joyce.johnson@piedmontcc.edu.

Photo, left to right:
Dr. Joyce Johnson, Vice President of Instruction and Student Development, PCC;
Susan Carver, recipient of Voluntary Caregiving award;
Denise Wilkins, Public Health Nursing Supervisor at Caswell County Health Department and recipient of the Healthcare award;
Margaret Bradsher, Chairman of the Person County Board of Education and recipient of the Education award;
Sandra Hudspeth, Executive Director of Caswell County Partnership for Children, recipient of the Community Development award;
Sallie Smith, recipient of the Community Service award;
Sheila Clayton, Co-Owner of Carpet One Floor & Home of Roxboro and recipient of the Business award;
Keynote Speaker, Mayor Merilyn Newell;
Allison Satterfield, Executive Director, PCC Foundation