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Amazing Community Mothers: Meet Theresa & Melissa

To finish this Amazing Community Mothers series, I wanted to bring awareness to our local Chamber of Commerce dynamic duo.

Meet Theresa & Melissa

Theresa and Melissa are both locals to the Franklin area. As we like to say around here, they are home grown. I asked Theresa for her community involvement history. I hope you enjoy her story.

Teresa B. Beale, Executive Director

Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce

She graduated from Franklin High School and then attended Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, NC. Later in 2005, she became a graduate from the Institute for Organization Management – US Chamber Southeast Institute in Athens, GA. She was an Office Manager from 1987-2005. From 2004 to the present day, she is the Executive Director for the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce. She has been honored by her peers as the VA Association of Chamber of Commerce Chamber Executives as Chamber Executive of the year in 2010. She has served on the Board and Executive Board of the VA Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives for two terms and was the President of this organization in 2015-2016. She is currently serving on the following boards:

• Hampton Roads Regional Chamber Alliance

• Secretary/Treasurer, Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber Foundation

• Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Council

• Franklin Municipal Airport Advisory Board

• Franklin Business Center Advisory Board

• International Paper Community Advisory Committee

• Camp Community College Local Board of Directors

• Bon Secours Hampton Roads Board of Directors

WOW!! That’s a lot. I bet you didn’t know all that.

In her leisure, she enjoys relaxing at the beach with family & friends, playing golf and pickle ball, and living her best life with her husband, John, and their 10-year-old chocolate lab.

Theresa is a fun-loving lady who loves to laugh. She has a very easy going personality. She enjoys the work that she does and its ability to connect others to further their businesses. It’s been an honor to serve on this board and to get to know her better.

I asked Melissa what she would like to say and this was her sentiments:

I started working in the Chamber world about 17 years ago. Working with the community has great rewards. It has allowed me to volunteer with Riverdale Elementary School, United Way, and Rawls Museum of Arts, to name a few. Being able to assist businesses to reach their full potential is a win for all involved. We work with chambers across the commonwealth. It is an enriching career and many friendships have been built over the years. We strive to enhance the community in which we live every day. As Pablo Picasso said “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Melissa, I love everything about your sentiments. Melissa has great energy, brings a level of pep, and keeps us stepping in every meeting or event we have. She also loves to laugh and is an amazing host when it comes to parties and events. It’s also been an honor and a privilege to do a little bit of this life right here with you.

Chamber Plug

When you become a member of the Chamber, there are so many benefits—meeting new people, gaining new friends, work collaborations, becoming aware of current community growth and weekly community activities. The chamber is a sharing and elevating your business kind of entity. The more you share with them, the more they can broadcast that out through their weekly emails, Facebook posts, and more. The price to become a member is so small for the benefits you receive when you actively connect with them more regularly. So, this is my plug for our upcoming membership drive.

I have personally benefited from being a member of this board. The events have enriched my life. When you understand what this community has to offer, you are able to enjoy all of its benefits. There is never a dull moment in these parts. Summer time is almost here. So many activities are starting to open again and we might finally be getting back to some level of normalcy. This makes me happy, for our local businesses have survived a pandemic, and actually some of them have won awards for their level of excellence.

Shout out to Belmont Peanuts and Serve for your accomplishments this past week!!

(P.S. I am asking for Serve to add fried pickles to their summer menu. I think if more of you request it, we can make it a summer favorite.)

Let’s keep growing. Let’s keep cheering each other on. Let’s keep reinventing new ways to do some of our favorite home grown things.

Thank you, Theresa and Melissa, for your service to this community. You make things happen, not because you have to, but because you love too.


Until next time,

Stay tender.

Connect to the Mender.

Be a sender.

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Anyone who has been a member of the Chamber Board -- and especially an officer -- knows full well that the seat of knowledge, the heart, and the "get-it-done" of the Chamber resides with these two dedicated women. Our community is blessed by what they do.

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