As part of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration on November 12, the chamber honored SC Representative Neal A. Collins as its annual recipient of the 2020 Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award.
Sponsored by Duke Energy, the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award pays tribute to an individual who uses their time, talent and compassion to positively affect the lives of others in their community or in the workplace. Recipients foster a culture of citizenship and service that acts as a catalyst for others to become involved in civic and social activities.
A native of Easley, Neal Collins is a local attorney, licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and South Carolina. And he is in his 11th year as an NCAA wrestling official. Elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2014, Representative Collins tirelessly serves the citizens of Pickens County. He currently serves on the Judiciary, Ethics, and Children's Committees, as well as the South Carolina American Revolution 250-Year Commission.
These facts are reason enough to honor Representative Collins, but it’s his role in being a catalyst for change that the Easley Chamber wanted to highlight. Several years ago, the different sectors of Pickens County were not effectively communicating or collaborating. And unfortunately, this ineffective communication was eroding trust, fostering negativity, and hampering our opportunities for positive and progressive growth. But Representative Collins had another vision for Pickens County.
In August 2016, he launched the Pickens United initiative which facilitates quarterly meetings to foster open dialogue between all sectors of Pickens County. At these meetings, updates are shared from County administration and elected officials, economic development partners, fire and police departments, mayors of all municipalities, school district administration and board members, and our state senators and representatives. Pickens United allows leaders to openly share successes and collectively discuss how to overcome challenges. And of course, the meetings are open to the public. In the five years of these meetings, Pickens County has been transformed and has become truly united. The opportunity for open dialogue has created a newfound trust and respect between leaders and the sectors they represent, and most importantly, created a sincere willingness to support each other. Everyone in the group embraces the fact that we are stronger together. And that is the result of Representative Collins’ vision to unite our leaders to create a stronger Pickens County.
Emily DeRoberts, District Manager SC Government and Community Relations Team of Duke Energy Carolinas, shared, “On behalf of Duke Energy, it’s a pleasure to recognize Neal Collins as a true servant leader and catalyst for change.”
In addition, Cindy Hopkins, President of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, stated, “It’s an honor to recognize Representative Collins’ service and leadership which have significantly enhanced the business and economic landscape of Pickens County. And as a chamber of commerce, that speaks directly to our mission.”
Please join Duke Energy and the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce in honoring Representative Neal A. Collins as the recipient of our 2020 Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award.