Chamber unveils its first Hall of Fame

Sep. 27, 2013 @ 04:41 PM

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce on Friday announced the names of the 12 business leaders it will induct into its inaugural Business Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will take place Nov. 13 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Carolina Inn.
The chamber’s Hall of Fame honors business leaders who have a record of achievement that demonstrates excellence in business management, entrepreneurial and courageous thinking.
The business leaders chosen must also have demonstrated inspiring leadership, had an effect in the community and made a substantial, positive and lasting impact.
The 12 inductees were selected by a committee chaired by Bob Woodruff of The Cedars.
Tickets to the Hall of Fame Gala, a black-tie event including a cocktail hour, live music, and a three-course meal, are $200 per person or $300 for a pair.
Anyone interested may register online at, or contact Laura Morrison at or (919) 357-9989.
The first class to be inducted into the Hall of Fame includes:
-- Stein, Bill and Jesse Basnight Sr., S.H. Basnight & Sons, Inc.: From the inception of S.H. Basnight & Sons, Inc., by Stein Basnight in 1924, Stein, Bill, and Jesse Basnight Sr. were involved in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro business community as owners, administrators and salesmen.
S.H. Basnight & Sons continues to supply the general construction industry with hardware and building specialties.
-- Michael Barefoot, Southern Season: Michael Barefoot launched Southern Season in 1975. Nearly 40 years later, Southern Season offers more than 70,000 items sold in-store and online.
-- Mildred Council, Mama Dip’s: Mildred Council opened Mama Dip’s restaurant in 1976. The Chapel Hill establishment celebrates its 37th anniversary in November 2013.
-- Orville Campbell, The Chapel Hill News: After serving as editor of UNC-Chapel Hill’s “The Daily Tar Heel,” Orville Campbell launched Colonial Press and Colonial Records and ran “The Chapel Hill News” from 1954 to 1987.
-- Ted and Edward Danziger, Restaurateurs: Edward “Poppa D” Danziger and his son, Ted, opened and managed several successful restaurants between 1948-2007 -- Danziger’s Viennese Candy Kitchen, The Rathskellar, Ranch House, Zoom Zoom, and Villa Teo.
-- Mickey Ewell, Chapel Hill Restaurant Group: Mickey Ewell opened Spanky’s Restaurant and Bar in downtown Chapel Hill in 1977. Since then, he and his partners at the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group have opened five additional restaurants -- Squid’s, Four Eleven West, Five Eighteen West, MEZ, and Page Road Grill.
-- R.B. and Jenny Fitch, Fitch Creations: R.B. and his late wife, Jenny Fitch, founded Fitch Creations and launched Fearrington Village just south of Chapel Hill in 1974. Since then, the Fitches have built a village of nearly 2,000 residents. Fearrington Village is also known for the Fearrington House Inn, the Fearrington House Restaurant, and the Spa at Fearrington.
-- Mac Fitch, Fitch Lumber and Hardware: Miles “Mac” Fitch has served as the president of Carrboro’s Fitch Lumber and Hardware for more than 30 years.  Fitch Lumber and Hardware has provided products to contractors, remodelers, and homeowners for 106 years.
-- Jim Heavner, WCHL: Jim Heavner began his career with WCHL in 1961. He now owns Vilcom – the parent company for WCHL, University Directories and The Print Shop – and has promoted Chapel Hill and UNC football and basketball through his conglomeration of media companies including WCHL, The Tar Heel Sports Network, and The Village Advocate.
-- George Watts Hill Sr., Central Carolina Bank: George Watts Hill Sr., served as chairman of Central Carolina Bank for more than 40 years, in addition to helping found the Hospital Care Association, which became the first statewide Blue Cross and Blue Shield association in the United States. Hill also served as the chairman of the Research Triangle Institute 1958-1993.
-- Frank Kenan, Kenan Oil and Kenan Transport: Frank Kenan founded Kenan Oil Company, an independent oil distributor, in 1935, and Kenan Transport, a petroleum hauler, in 1943. After his service in World War II, Kenan founded Tops Petroleum Company (gas stations), Westfield Company (shopping center development), and Servicetown, Inc., (truck stops). 
-- Mel Rashkis, Mel Rashkis & Associates: Melvin “Mel” Rashkis was a real estate broker and owner of Mel Rashkis & Associates. He served as president of the Board of REALTORS, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, and volunteer chairman of the Board of the Village Companies Community Foundation.