2021 Leadership Awards

June 23, 2021

Small Business Leader of the Year, presented by HomeTrust Bank.

The Small Business Leader of the Year Awards program recognizes two individuals who clearly reflect quality and dedication in the operation of business in the Asheville area and illustrate accomplishments in leadership including innovation, initiative and civic responsiveness.

Less than 15 employees: Michael Murphy of Platinum Group.

When the pandemic hit, Michael demonstrated his commitment to the Asheville community by responding to people’s urgent questions about COVID-relief programs. He began a series of webinars with McGuire, Wood & Bissette’s Sabrina Presnell Rockoff and Murphy Horne Fletcher and others.

15 or more employees: Sean Sullivan of Living Stone Design and Build.

Sean is a leader in his industry. He continually improves operating procedures in his business. He gives back to the community, shares his expertise and inspires many to follow his lead. Let’s hear more about Sean.

Family Business of the Year, presented by the UNC Asheville Family Business Forum, in partnership with SBTDC.

The Family Business of the Year Award recognizes a family-owned business for their contributions to the community and success as a family-owned enterprise.

This year’s award goes to Highland Brewing. Their impact on employment, cultural heritage, music, beer, recreation and community support cannot be denied.

President’s Award, presented by Roberts & Stevens.

The President’s Award is given to individuals or organizations who lend their time and talents beyond the call of duty.

This year’s award goes to David Worley of Worley, Woodberry and Associates. David has been a long-time member of the Asheville Chamber Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee. His volunteerism extends to many organizations in our community including United Way, Verner Center for Early Learning and more.

Excellence in Public Service, presented by First Bank.

The Excellence in Public Service Award recognizes an individual for his or her outstanding contribution to the community through involvement, service or motivation to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Buncombe County.

This year we honor the donors of the One Buncombe fund. From the smallest of individual donations to support from foundations and local government, One Buncombe donors demonstrated their dedication to our community and compassion for their neighbors impacted by the pandemic. True to its name, the One Buncombe Fund embodied the spirit of community. It was one of three Buncombe County initiatives recently honored by the National Association of Counties. These awards demonstrate the County’s innovative work locally, regionally, and nationally and exemplify best practices across the nation. Thank you to everyone who supported this initiative.