Birdie, by Phil Richardson, for his recent promotion to assistant town manager in Aberdeen, while also keeping his regular job leading the town’s emergency services.

It’s almost hard to imagine a time when Richardson hasn’t been in some role of public service for the town. Beginning in 1984, when he was an Explorer Scout with the Aberdeen Police Department, he has built a long and distinguished career in the town’s police and fire service.

During his tenure overseeing emergency services, he led the merger with the Crestline Fire and Rescue Department to create Aberdeen Fire and Rescue Station 2. That facility also began serving as a base for UNC Hospitals Air Care Service in 2017.

Following severe flooding from tropical storms in 2016 and 2018, Richardson spearheaded the emergency response and then the town’s effort to secure federal disaster money.

He is a capable leader for the town.

Birdie, by Nick Polidori, who, likewise, has capped his own distinguished career with the Southern Pines Police Department with a promotion to the agency’s top job. He will succeed Bob Temme as police chief Oct. 1.

Polidori began in Southern Pines as a patrol officer in 1996 and worked his way up through the ranks. Along the way, he has held multiple positions, most recently working as deputy chief overseeing operations.

Polidori also holds responsibilities in law enforcement training for new recruits and has his eye on trying to improve the town’s own recruiting efforts. The department currently has no Black sworn officers.

“It is not just recruitment but reaching out to a more diverse population as an agency. We are trying to get outside the box,” said Polidori.

The town could have done an extensive and broad search for Temme’s replacement but, in the end, realized all along it had its newest leader and best person for the job right here.

Eagle, by Lorena Allen who took all of us a bit by surprise recently when she celebrated a birthday that once was unthinkable.

Allen, who lives in the Tara Plantation nursing home in Carthage, celebrated her 110th birthday on Aug. 10. She credited her faith in God for her 110 years.

The Gerontology Research Group estimates there are as few as 300 supercentenarians in the world. Allen is about four years younger than the oldest living American, a Charlotte woman who turned 114 last Saturday.

Sadly, we also just lost one of those supercentenarians, who was recently celebrated by county commissioners. Gurney Lee Williams, of Robbins, marked his 107th birthday late last month at a nursing home in Biscoe, where he lived. He passed away last Thursday.

Birdies, by Veterans Guardian and Burney Hardware, two local businesses recently honored by the Better Business Bureau with its 2020 BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

The awards honor companies and charities which demonstrate a high level of character and ensure the organizations’ practices meet the highest standards of ethics.

Veterans Guardian, a Pinehurst-based VA claim consulting firm, won top honors in the large business category in the 2020 BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

Veterans Guardian, founded by Scott Greenblatt and William Taylor in August 2017, is one of the fastest growing companies in Moore County. Veteran-owned, nearly every member of the staff is also a veteran, spouse of one or an active-duty military spouse.

Burney Hardware of Aberdeen was a finalist in the category that recognizes midsize businesses. Burney Hardware was first established by Gus Burney in 1921, and later purchased by S.R. Ransdell in the early 1980s. The family-owned business operates its flagship store on U.S. 15-501 in Aberdeen and also has a second retail location in Seven Lakes.

This community is fortunate to have a number of standout businesses that still believe in integrity and customer service. They are part of what distinguishes the Sandhills.

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