July 08--Mark Rice, president of Callahan & Rice Insurance Group, will serve as the new chairman of the board for the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce.
His two-year term started last week, following that of Chris Bostock of Merrill Lynch.
Callahan & Rice in downtown has been a part of the local business community since 1966. Rice assumed management for the agency in 1997, according to the company's history.
Before he got into the insurance business in 1987, he taught music at Pine Forest High School for six years and was a music director at churches.
Rice has served in leadership roles with several local and state organizations. He and his wife, Mary, have one daughter and are active members of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church.
In Bostock's new role as outgoing chairman, he will lead a new committee of the chamber board that will focus on economic development. He said the details of the committee are still being put together.
Serving as chairman is a serious time commitment, as anyone can imagine who has seen Bostock at so many events. Bostock, who has lived in the city since 1999, said he's learned a lot about the community during his term.
"What stands out the most," he said, reflecting on his term, "is the people in the community I've worked with. People in the business community, people who are part of the public sector staff and elected officials, who help the business community grow and the economy grow."
Bostock and Rice have worked closely to ensure a smooth transition, Bostock said.
"He's already done most of what he needs to do," Bostock said. "That is to assemble a good volunteer organization around him that has the eyes and ears around the community."
Also, Vinnie Venturella of First Citizens has been appointed incoming chairman, a title that means he will succeed Rice in two years.
N.C. Society of Accountants
A Sandhills/Moore County chapter of the North Carolina Society of Accountants is reorganizing after years of being inactive.
An initial meeting is July 24 at Table on the Green at Midland Country Club in Southern Pines. The chapter represents Moore, Hoke and Richmond counties. Accounting and tax professionals can benefit from networking and continuing education hours, said James Upton, chairman of the membership committee. Contact him at sandhillsncsa@ embarqmail.com or 336-873-7690 for more information.
Ramona Moore, who is director of sales at the Embassy Suites, has been quite busy with event bookings since the hotel opened this spring off Skibo Road.
"From the minute the doors opened," she said. "We were having a time keeping up."
The 165-room hotel on Lake Valley Drive has 11,000-square-feet of meeting space, consisting of a ballroom, two smaller break-out rooms and a board room.
Moore, who has been in this business for 30 years, the last 10 of which were at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux & Conference Center, said there's been strong interest in the new hotel. It has hosted military balls, family reunions and other events, and in August will be the venue for the Fayetteville-Chamber of Commerce's "state of the chamber" banquet.
Weekends in December are "pretty much booked up," Moore said.
- Matt Leclercq
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