Elizabeth Henry, like many Wendell Mayor’s Award winners before her, earned her recognition not just because she was a white-hot star who shined brightly before fading out. Her commitment to Wendell was a long one, spanning a 100-year lifetime and a 71-year business career. We can learn much from Henry.
She made a commitment early on and she stuck with it. She was, of course, committed to operating a succesful business, but she was also committed to the idea that Wendell was the right place for that business. She accepted the challenges that might come from locating in a small town and she understood that as the winds of business changed and places like Raleigh and Cary grew to be major destinations that her lot was pitched with her hometown.
Her commitment to Wendell paid off for her and her family, but it also paid off for the town, which enjoyed the benefits of her steady presences and the people that her company brought to Wendell.
There are times, we understand, when the dollars and cents don’t work and changes must happen, but a small business owner’s commitment to place is invaluable. And it makes Elizabeth Henry particularly well suited to be the winner of Wendell’s Mayor’s Award.