A friend of a friend-Dawn Whitley-Alex Whitley-October 18

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for October 18, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

In our community there are lots of noble causes to support. On Friday Night there was an event my wife and I attended. The 5th Annual Southeastern Health Foundation Advocates Boots & BBQ event took place at the Southeastern Ag Center Horse Arena. We got to eat some good eastern NC style barbeque and talk over live music provided by the Mikele Buck Band.

Mikele Buck Band

This event goal is to raise money to support pediatric care at Southeastern Health in Lumberton, NC. It was a good time, with good food, and great friends. The Boots and Barbeque even served Pumking Beer for about 30 minutes. The short shelf life was caused by the beer snobs in attendance-yes I am talking about you Joanna, Ron, Don, and Giuseppe consuming the entire inventory in short fashion. Thankfully I got one.


On Friday night we had agreed to let some great friends use our home to host their daughter’s 16th birthday party so we left early and stopped off at Candy Sue’s in downtown Lumberton, NC for a beer. We ran into two other couples headed to the event Carey and Joanna Read and Alex and Dawn Whitley.

Alex works with Carey Read and is also a member of the Fantasy Football League I play in called the Linthead Football League. The name is derived from the shared business that most of the original members work in which is textiles. I am very grateful to the Linthead Football League as they have given me something interesting to do during the NFL season. I had never played fantasy until 2014.


Alex has been in Lumberton since 1988 working in the textile business. Alex is a graduate of NC State and received his degree in textile science. For a number of years getting a degree in Textile Science meant you would soon be employed and that was the case for Alex.

In 1988 he began working at Alamac Knit Fabrics as Technical Service Manager.

In 2001 the national economy went into a recession. Textile jobs in the Cape Region of North Carolina started to disappear at a rapid rate. In 2001 Alamac Knit Fabrics closed only to reopen with a much smaller work force. In 2001 Alex went to work at Contempora Fabrics in product development and sales. He did that for 10 years but today he serves as the Vice-President of Sales for the company.  I know he is on a team of high character people at Contempora Fabrics because a number of them are close friends. Carey Read is the VP of Finance and Ron Roach is the President.

Alex is married to Dawn Whitley who also is part of the manufacturing world.


Alex whitley

The Friend of the Friend-DAWN WHITLEY

Dawn Whitley

The Soup Lady

Dawn Whitley like her husband is a NC State Graduate. She like Alex began working in Robeson County in 1988 at the Campbell Soup factory located in Maxton, NC which is located on the western edge of the county.


Dawn earned her degree in Industrial Engineering and has performed a number of important responsibilities for Campbell Soup. She has been a Quality System Engineer, Manager for Continuous Improvement, Manager for Operation Reliability, and Manager for Industrial Engineering. She is smart and is recognized by her peers of having Six Sigma expertise. Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It was introduced by engineer Bill Smith while working at Motorola in 1986.

In essence Six Sigma utilizes statistical analysis rather than guesswork. There is no guesswork for people that meet Dawn and Alex. They are good people to have as friends and excellent leaders in the manufacturing workforce.

Glad to have them as friends.


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