Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rockingham County History - Remember This #1

Do you remember these two ladies?  Can you name them?  They were famous in Rockingham County.  After leaving our county, they became even "famouser."

I'll reveal the answer in a couple of days.


I'm really surprised at our readers.  There were hundreds of guesses, but no one recognized Heather Leavitt (L) and Lisa Perry (R).

Heather and Lisa worked for W. L. Pryor and Ernie Sewell who ran the Committee of 100's partnership for economic and tourism development (the BORG).

Economic Development and Tourism were originally controlled by Rockingham County government, but W.L. and Ernie convinced the County Commissioners to turn it over to the very private Committee of 100.  With the additional secrecy, the Committee of 100 would raise a "war chest" of nearly unlimited funds which would be used to lure companies to Rockingham County.

This new arrangement went on for several years.  Eventually the Committee of 100 realized things were not working out and turned it all back over to the county government when it became obvious they had failed.

Don Moss was the original head of the BORG.  He quit and went to Charlottee.

W.L. ran things for a while, but he was eventually charged with some sort of illegal gaming. 

Lisa Perry was hired, but she quit and went to the Isle of Wight.  Isle of Wight is a county on the coast of Virginia.  

Heather quit and went to Forsyth County.

The last I heard Lisa had sued the Isle of Wight and a county commissioner for $2.85 million for violating her rights under the Family Medical Leave Act.  As the story goes, Lisa hurt her shoulder, took a medical leave, and then the county commissioner talked trash about her.

Anyways, things didn't work so well for anyone.

I don't read anything in the Reidsville Review about the great accomplishments of the Committee of 100, EconomicDevelopment, or Tourism.  Chinqua-Penn has closed.  Chinaqua-Penn was the entire reason for Tourism's existence.  The Business and Technology Center in Wentworth, which was also run by the Committee of 100, has gone out of business.  The Reidsville Industrial Park has only two tenants after more than 10 years of operation.  Ernie moved to Greensboro.  I don't know what's become of W.L.

The Rockingham County economy and Tourism are in the dumper.  It's a sad situation.

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