The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 18, 2013

It is what you know and who you know

By B.J. Drye, Editor

Monday, February 18, 2013 — The Stanly County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting was different, to say the least.

There was a guy in a red suit that wasn’t Santa Claus, people were pointing fingers at one another, strangers were hugging and men, including a senator, were doing push-ups. (You had to be there to believe it.)

But aside from all that, the message was clear — connections are everything. The speaker stressed the point of being positive, but also that of getting your message out there and meeting people.

Speaking of making connections, it is so hard to believe that some people do not want free publicity. Sometimes we call a business and it does not want a story written, even if it is one in a positive light. That does not make good business sense.

I guess for some the slogan is true, that no news is good news.

But yet if you’re a celebrity or someone of fame, any action can be turned into a positive reaction.

Marco Rubio, who some people believe may be a presidential candidate next time, took a pause during his State of the Union response to take a sip of water.

That scene went so much over Twitter and the rest of the Internet that Rubio posted a photo of his water bottle soon thereafter. By the end of the week, Rubio water bottles were being sold for a $25 donation.

He made a connection. He took a negative and turned it into a positive.

David Grigg was named Citizen of the Year Wednesday night. I can’t recall if we have ever come face to face, but our paths did cross at one point. He gave the speech at my high school graduation, which was a long 15 years ago. That was a few years after he led the newly-merged Albemarle City Schools and Stanly County Schools.

Like our guest speaker at the annual meeting said, we shouldn’t have to be prodded to clap and acknowledge when someone does something great.

Since I have been battling a cold this week, I didn’t stick around too long to meet people Wednesday night. I didn’t get to personally congratulate him, so I do so now.

I’m not a big fan of shaking hands anyway, so all the touching at the meeting didn’t really do anything for me. Maybe we just need to do a head bob of acknowledging someone or a variation of the military salute.

Anyway, maybe one day I’ll get to meet Mr. Grigg.

Maybe he’ll have another inspirational speech to offer.

B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Send comments or story ideas to bj@stanlynewspress. com or PO Box 488, Albemarle, NC 28002.