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 20, 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.
Two weeks from today will be the day it will be Election Day. People all across North Carolina and the country will go to the polls if they haven’t voted early to cast their vote. In Lumberton we have a big race for Mayor but on the state level Senator and Representative elections for the North Carolina General Assembly are in held in even numbered years. That means Senator Jane Smith from Lumberton, NC doesn’t have to campaign yet.
Jane Smith has been a friend to our family for nearly twenty years. She is the former owner of the Century 21 Real Estate franchise in Lumberton, NC where my wife Mira works. Jane has been a successful leader, educator, and businesswomen her entire life. Prior to her more than 30-year career in real estate, Smith taught in public schools and at Robeson Community College. She is a graduate of Duke University we a degree in history.
Jane Smith got elected in 2014 to represent NC Senate District 13 which includes Robeson and Columbus counties. Jane is a hard-working senator who is following in the footsteps of former Senators Michael Walters and David Weinstein.
NC Senate District 13
(l-r) Joe Oxendine, Ronnie Sutton, David Weinstein, Freda Porter, Michael Walters, and Charles Jenkins at a 2010 UNCP Event.
She was prepared for the political leadership challenges by serving as chair of the Southeastern North Carolina Regional Economic Development Commission, where she has served on the board from 1993-to present. Jane was also the former chair of the North Carolina Partnership for Economic Development.
Even though Jane is State Senator and an extremely hard worker she is people centered. One example of that was a gathering she used to have at her home every Christmas Eve. It was an event that my wife and I enjoyed attending when Jane owned the Century 21 franchise.
Today she works in partnership with a number of North Carolina House members including Representative Charles Graham.
The Friend-JANE SMITH-at the podium in the General Assembly
The Friend of the Friend-CHARLES GRAHAM
Last week I got a surprise in the mail. A letter from an elected official who represents District 47 who has read my blog. Charles Graham took the time to write so he get the opportunity to get profiled.
I am happy to say that Representative Charles Graham is a UNC Pembroke Graduate. He finds time to get back on our campus especially when we have a special event. A few weeks ago the university had a ground breaking for a new Health Services Building and Representative Graham attended. Charles is in his second term having won his first election in 2012.
Charles speaking at UNCP -October 1, 2015
Charles earned a B.S. from Pembroke State University in 1973, his M.Ed. from Appalachian State University and an Ed. from Lehigh University. Rep. Graham founded Companion Home Care/UniMed/Stars Youth Academy and serves as the company’s president.
He is a retired educator who worked as a special education teacher and program director from 1978 to 2006. Anyone that knows the type of work that special education teacher have to do knows that it does require patience, compassion, and leadership. Charles possesses all three.
Jane Smith and Charles Graham serve our community well.