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Surry County News

Read about new business, events and news that effects life and commerce in the western Piedmont Triad.

Wayne Farms & Sheriff partner on job reentry

Cycles and patterns in life happen, we frequently choose to look at them and dismiss them as a random coincidences. However, other times these cycles occur because it can be human nature to follow the path of least resistance and stay in unhealthy patterns. Such may be the case for those in the criminal justice system for whom it can be even more difficult to break the cycle of incarceration that, left unchecked, may find itself as the worst hand-me-down item between generations. Wayne Farms is entering a partnership with Surry County Sheriff Steve C. Hiatt in a new job reentry program that seeks to break the cycle of recidivism while filling staffing needs at one of the county’s largest employers.

Guinea pigs at a poultry plant

Certified Peer Support Specialist Sonya Cheek said, “This cannot work without assistance from the sheriff and Mr. Wooten at Wayne Farms.”“This is my community,” Matthew Wooten, Dobson Complex manager for Wayne Farms, said while posing for photos with Sheriff Hiatt, Cheek, and a phalanx from the sheriff’s office. When hearing of the program, it sounded like a no brainer to him, “I said ‘I like it, let’s do it!’” Wayne Farms has a history of being an active member of the community. He said he was not scared to be the “guinea pig” for this program, and they know there may be growing pains with Wooten joking, “Experiment on me.” “This is not a guarantee of a job, this is an opportunity,” he said, saying that these candidates will be treated like any others. Cheek has been granted unfettered access to Wayne Farms and will be the point of contact between Wayne Farms and the county’s work reentry program. She will have to ability to make ad hoc visits to their property to conduct onsite check-ins. “We have a responsibility to help Wayne Farms keep the employee,” she said, “not plug them in and forget about them.” That means complying with mandated follow-up and case management on a regular basis. Sheriff Hiatt pointed out that Insteel had approached him in 2019 about participating in a job reentry program, but the county was not ready at that time. Also, Leonard previously expressed some interest in participating as well. “The largest employer in the county took a chance – we want other businesses to participate,” Willis said of Wayne Farms. Interestingly, Forsyth County had reached out to Wayne Farms to do something similar and that sparked the idea for Wooten to reach out to Surry County and inquire about a similar program with Sheriff Hiatt.

Team effort

Willis, the low-key directory of the county’s substance abuse response, admits he is “more of a systems guy” than anything else. The county needs his expertise on the admin side, he needs help from the likes of Cheek, Charlotte Reeves, and a bevy of volunteers. “I do not have the inside the bubble experience. It would be like me trying to empathize with childbirth.” When a 3 a.m. collect call comes in, it is answered by Cheek, one of the lynchpins in the county’s new job reentry partnership between the sheriff’s office and Wayne Farms. That process will be greatly simplified because Pay Tel, a private company that has released a tablet for use inside corrections facilities, will soon load assessments for work reentry onto the devices. They will contain a questionnaire for those inmates nearing the full completion of their sentence and who have a desire for employment. Inmates will be identified, and then pre-screened using the tablet. It is not hard to see the time savings if Cheek were to get an assessment back saying one inmate has heavy equipment experience, while another has the mechanical aptitude. She also said the tablets are slated to have some educational material added onto them as well, including substance abuse education.

Aces in their places

There is a reason subject matter experts get placed in roles like Cheek. She recalls being so scared the first time she was asked to speak to a group but, “Right off the bat I felt like this is what I needed to do.” Having been down and out she knows the view from down there and would really like to keep others from knowing that pain. These people who are entering the work program have completed their sentence and have done what was required of them in form of legal penance. Now, what follows them most frequently from the detention center is a stigma. Cheek said for her, what made a difference was someone taking a chance on her. Now, she is a county employee working day and night to help inmates re-entering society find their footing and attempt to break that cycle for good. “Hope doesn’t exist in a jail. So, when we can say – hang on, there may be a business who is hiring – that can be a game-changer.”

Leonard’s Rapid Growth Story Continues with the Acquisition of Cook Portable Warehouses

Mount Airy, NC – Leonard Group, Inc. (“Leonard”), the leading full-service retailer of truck accessories, trailers, and sheds in the Southeast, announced today the acquisition of Cook Portable Warehouses (“Cook” or the “Company”). Headquartered in Cobden, IL, Cook is a leading manufacturer and retailer of premium storage sheds across a 14-state footprint. Cook is Leonard’s fourth add-on acquisition since partnering with Kinderhook Industries, LLC (“Kinderhook”) last year. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1984, Cook delivers a broad assortment of quality portable storage solutions through its 65 company-operated retail locations and a broad network of independent dealers, supported by 5 strategically located manufacturing facilities. Cook has established itself as the leader in its markets by providing unmatched value, exceptional product quality, and superior customer service. The acquisition of Cook will accelerate Leonard’s expansion plans by providing sizable retail and manufacturing presence in new geographies stretching across the Midwest, Texas, and Gulf Coast.

“We are more than excited to welcome the entire Cook team to Leonard.  The Cook manufacturing expertise and long-tenured team, coupled with the additional Cook retail locations, will be a catalyst for our unit growth and expansion strategy,” said Mike Pack, CEO of Leonard.

“The combination of Cook and Leonard is an exceptional match given both companies’ commitment to quality and exceptional customer service. We look forward to working together to better serve our customers,” said Greg Cook, Founder, and President of Cook.

“We are thrilled with the addition of Cook, and we look forward to leveraging the capabilities of the combined businesses to accelerate growth. With this transaction, Leonard has nearly doubled its number of corporate retail locations and attained critical manufacturing capabilities,” said Tom Tuttle, Managing Director of Kinderhook.

“Consistent with our original investment thesis, the acquisition of Cook brings Leonard closer to becoming a national retailer. Following this acquisition, Leonard has a retail presence in 18 states, and with more than 135 corporate-managed retail locations we will be the leading specialty retailer of storage sheds, trailers, and truck accessories in North America,” said Paul Cifelli, Managing Director of Kinderhook.

Monroe Moxness Berg PA served as legal counsel to Leonard.  Financing for the transaction was provided by Twin Brook Capital Partners, LLC.

For additional information about this transaction, please contact: 
Thomas Tuttle
Managing Director
(212) 201-6781

Paul Cifelli
Managing Director
(212) 201-6797
About Leonard

Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Mount Airy, North Carolina, Leonard is a leading full-service specialty retailer of truck accessories, trailers, and sheds in the Southeast. Leonard’s complementary product categories help to serve the needs of customers both for work and recreation. Leonard remains dedicated to service and is proud to offer truck accessories, trailers, and sheds that ensure fit, function, and style so that Leonard customers are ready for work and ready to stand out in a crowd.

For more information, please visit:

About Cook Portable Warehouses

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Cobden, Illinois, Cook is a manufacturer of prefabricated wood buildings including sheds, barns, and garages of various styles and sizing options with a retail presence spanning 14 states. The Cook mission is to build the highest quality portable buildings available and to create value and make a difference in the communities we work and live in.

For more information, please visit:
 About Kinderhook Industries

Kinderhook Industries, LLC is a private investment firm that manages over $5.2 billion of committed capital. We have made in excess of 300 investments and follow-on acquisitions since inception. Kinderhook’s investment philosophy is predicated on matching unique, growth-oriented investment opportunities with exceptional financial expertise and our proprietary network of operating partners. Our focus is on middle-market businesses with defensible niche market positioning in the healthcare services, environmental / business services, and automotive / light manufacturing sectors. We have a track record of successfully and consistently building industry leaders.

For more information, please visit:

Two promoted at Surrey Bank

The Board of Directors of Surrey Bancorp (OTC Pink Sheets: SRYB), the parent company of Surrey Bank & Trust, has promoted Pedro (Peter) A. Pequeno II to president of both the parent company and the bank. The board also promoted William (Bill) A. Johnson to senior vice president and chief lending officer of the bank as part of its management succession plan.

Edward (Ted) C. Ashby III, the long-time president of both entities, will remain CEO of both the bank and of the parent company and will continue to serve as a director of both entities.

Pequeno has been with the bank since it opened in 1996. As senior vice president and chief lending officer, Pequeno managed the bank’s loan and credit divisions. Pequeno’s new responsibilities include oversight of loan operations, deposit operations, branch operations, digital banking, compliance, and lending.

Johnson served as a member of the board of directors from 1996 to 2012, when he resigned from the board to lead the bank’s expansion into Elkin and Wilkes County. Most recently, Johnson served as the bank’s western regional executive. Johnson will oversee all lending activity.

Pequeno and Johnson have held leadership roles in the organization for more than 25 years. “These promotions will allow them to use their experience and talents to profitability grow our company,” Ashby said.

Surrey Bank & Trust is a full-service retail and commercial bank serving Northwest North Carolina and Southwest Virginia. The bank, headquartered in Mount Airy, has seven offices in Surry and Wilkes counties and in Patrick County, Virginia.

Local company’s growth ‘a pretty cool story,’ CEO says

Local company’s growth ‘a pretty cool story,’ CEO says

All the bad economic news caused in these parts over the years by NAFTA, COVID and possibly other woes with acronyms can obscure the fact there are success stories to be told.

Such an account unfolded Friday during the 26th-annual meeting of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership revolving around one local company, Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories.

“You drive by Leonard’s almost every day,” Partnership President Todd Tucker told about 120 business, local government and other representatives gathered at the Surry County Service Center, in reference to the Mount Airy-based enterprise.

“Do you really know what they do?” Tucker added.

That question was answered fully by Leonard’s chief executive officer, Mike Pack, Friday’s keynote speaker. The annual meetings typically include such individuals talking about how their companies are thriving among the chaos while positioning themselves for growth — along with insights on how all this is being accomplished.

“We like to say that great things are happening at Leonard, and we like to share our story,” Pack said of its success.

Since being founded in 1963, Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories has become a major manufacturer of storage sheds, trailers and, of course, truck accessories as its name states — including being the largest dealer of truck covers in the U.S.

“Pretty cool, huh?” Pack remarked. “I’m biased, but I think we have a pretty cool story.”

Even those knowing nothing about the company might be familiar with the Leonard label seen often on trailers or truck covers heading down highways near and far, all made in Mount Airy, with 41 percent of its business composed of truck accessories.

Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories employs 560 people in five southeastern states, including at 70 store locations.

“We’ll cross the 600 threshold this year,” Pack advised Friday’s audience in Dobson.

Sold on Surry

The late Tyson Leonard launched the operation in the 1960s and he and wife Sandra sold it in 2015, when the company had 400 employees — including 150 locally — and 56 retail locations.

It is now owned by a private equity firm.

Pack joined Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories in 2017, coming from Denver, Colorado, after logging 22 years with the Advance Auto Parts retail chain, serving as a division president before assuming his new role locally.

At first, he had an idea that the company should be relocated to Charlotte or another large city, but then two things happened.

“I fell in love with living in Surry County,” the transplanted Colorado resident said of one.

The other was a realization of what Pack called an “amazing” amount of talent the Surry company has been able to attract, including many folks with MBAs (master’s degrees in business administration).

Operating in a county with relatively low taxes compared to big-population, high-taxed metropolitan areas also gives Leonard a competitive edge, its CEO believes.

Leonard’s closest competitor in the U.S. has only 17 locations. “So we think we’re kind of on an island,” Pack said.

Such factors have convinced the Leonard leadership that it can and should expand further south and to the west.

“We believe we can build a national organization from right here in Surry County,” Pack said of the operation that already enjoys a lead position in the Southeast.

This includes building more store locations and acquiring existing enterprises toward a goal of 150 locations under its long-term plan while becoming an industry unto itself, Pack indicated.

Leonard opened 10 new retail outlets last year and five acquisitions are now “in the pipeline,” he disclosed.

One factor that has bolstered its storage shed segment has been a result of the unfortunate pandemic with more people stuck at home and wanting to engage in do-it-yourself projects.

“It really plays right into the storage business,” Pack said of the need for more space this has created.

All about the basics

No wizardry is responsible for the growth of Leonard Buildings and Truck Accessories, Pack detailed.

It starts mainly with good people and a business philosophy reflecting a down-home flavor built around customer service and quality products.

“Character counts at Leonard,” Pack said. “We expect results.”

At the same time, company employees have the leeway to shape its operation by being encouraged to offer what the CEO called “creative solutions.”

Other keys include the modernization of production equipment and a nimble supply chain.

“We have a great model,” summed up Pack.

He thinks the future is bright, not only for Leonard but other companies that are properly aligned.

“We think there’s going to be a post-COVID economic resurgence,” Pack explained, offering challenges with technology, personnel and other ingredients but also opportunities for great success. “We think the companies with the best culture are going to win that battle.”

State board recognizes Surry-Yadkin Works

DOBSON — Surry-Yadkin Works was recently highlighted in the North Carolina Business Committee for Education’s (NCBCE) annual meeting. Surry-Yadkin Works was noted as an example of “high-quality work-based learning.”

The Surry-Yadkin Works program is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College, to create a unique approach to a regional internship program.

Surry-Yadkin Works Program Director Crystal Folger-Hawks emphasized the importance of creating successful matches between local employers and their needs along with the student interns and what they wish to gain experience in. She also noted the importance of monthly training in fields like public speaking, human resources development skills, and OSHA 10.

NCBCE included interviews and success stories from Altec interns Jesus Nava, Daisy Garcia, Tyler Ramey, and Rylan Loggins; Tampco intern Amani Tilley; Scenic Automotive Group intern Evelin Lara; and former intern and current Altec employee Adriana Landaverde.

During the fall 2021 semester, 31 Surry-Yadkin Works interns were working in 21 businesses and organizations throughout Surry and Yadkin counties. All interns received a stipend to cover transportation costs, and many employers also paid them for their work.

The funding for Surry-Yadkin Works is a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County Commissioners and the Yadkin County Commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $100,000 prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit. Surry-Yadkin Works officially began on Jan. 1, 2021.

For more information about the program, contact Folger-Hawks at 336-401-7820 or or visit Follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.

Two Triad restaurants make Yelp’s Top 100 list for 2022

Two Triad restaurants were the only North Carolina eateries to make Yelp’s Top 100 U.S. Restaurants list for 2022.

Machete in Greensboro ranked 18th on the list, and Harvest Grill in Dobson came in at No. 79.

To create the ninth annual list, Yelp reached out to its users for their favorite dining spots. Then, it ranked each restaurant by total number of submissions, ratings, reviews, and geographic representation, among other factors.

Tai Blevens opened Machete on Battleground Avenue in the LoFi area in February, 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the ensuing lockdown and difficulties brought on by the pandemic, it has been drawing rave reviews ever since.

Yelp wrote that “Though Machete has only been around for a couple of years, its impact on Greensboro’s fine-dining scene has been substantial. Each visit is a special occasion because the creative and eclectic menu changes often based on seasonal ingredients and the chef’s keen eye. Past favorites have been pork cheeks with charred romaine, Wagyu fat, and “lettuce soup”; and rabbit with polenta, mushrooms, and seasonal greens.”

Machete has an American (New) cuisine and is known for “creative dishes that feature rare or unusual ingredients, and artful cocktails that are exciting and seasonal,” according to Yelp.

“The depth of flavor from the slow-cooked lamb and their Bolognese sauce—yum! The pasta was also on point. I know their dishes are seasonal but would want to eat this all year long,” wrote one Yelp reviewer.

Harvest Grill in Dobson is the restaurant at Shelton Vineyards in Surry County.

Yelp wrote that “picturesque grapevines set a lovely backdrop for Shelton Vineyards’ farm-to-table restaurant. Not surprisingly, this bistro-style eatery offers a large selection of vineyard-produced wines, alongside a compact menu of “sophisticated comfort food.” Pair a Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon Blanc with Egg Rolls Cordon Bleu, Pretzel Bites, a charcuterie board, or entrees like Seared Duck Breast and Braised Beef Bolognese.”

Harvest Grill is known for crab cakes served with gribiche (a cold egg sauce) and shoestring fries, according to Yelp.

“Spending time at Shelton Vineyards is so relaxing—great wines and a gorgeous property—the icing on the cake is Harvest Grill. They offer an extensive farm-to-table menu and great wine list (most of the wines by the glass, so you can try different wines with each course). Everything we tried on the menu was delicious,” wrote a Yelp reviewer.

Two restaurants from Charleston, South Carolina, also made the list — No. 6 Jackrabbit Filly and No. 22 LoLa.

Yelp’s top-rated restaurant was Cocina Madrigal in Phoenix.

Appalachian State to open lab school at Elkin Elementary, will be only UNC System institution to operate two lab school programs

Appalachian State to open lab school at Elkin Elementary, will be only UNC System institution to operate two lab school programs

ELKIN — Appalachian State University is partnering with Elkin City Schools to open the university’s second laboratory school aimed at enhancing student education, improving outcomes and providing high-quality teacher and principal training.

Under the plan — which was developed in collaboration with Elkin City Schools leaders and approved by the Elkin City Schools Board of Education on Dec. 13 — a lab school will open at Elkin Elementary School in August 2022. The “school-within-a-school” model will serve approximately 100 students in second through fourth grades.

The lab school will be one of nine in the state as part of the University of North Carolina System Lab School initiative, which was established by the N.C. General Assembly in 2016 to improve student performance and provide real-world experience for the preparation of future teachers and school administrators.

“App State has a strong legacy of preparing educators to lead and serve in our state and beyond,” said App State Chancellor Sheri Everts. “It is a testament to the quality of our College of Education leadership and faculty, and of our teachers and administrators at the Academy at Middle Fork, that we have been asked by the Board of Governors to open a second lab school. App State remains steadfast in our commitment to recognize the promise each student possesses, and we look forward to applying this same dedication to our partnership with Elkin City Schools.”

“I want to thank the Elkin City Schools school board and Superintendent Myra S. Cox for their leadership and for their dedication to all students and educators,” Everts continued.

The Elkin City Schools system serves grades pre-K through 12 and is located in the town of Elkin, which lies on the border of Wilkes and Surry counties. The district serves approximately 1,200 students in an elementary school, a middle school, a high school and the Global E-Learning Academy. The lab school will build on the existing relationship between the university and Elkin City Schools through the Appalachian State University Public School Partnership, a collaborative program between App State and area public schools to improve education.

Lab school employees, including a principal, teachers and support staff, will be hired by App State and will be university employees. Transportation and child nutrition services will be provided by Elkin City Schools. App State will establish the school’s academic and conduct standards, and the chancellor will establish a school advisory board. The lab school is a five-year initiative with the option to renew for an additional five years.

Lab schools, according to the UNC System, are committed to addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of all students and harnessing the benefits of partnerships to strengthen learning, teaching and school leadership.

App State’s Reich College of Education has developed a lab school model based on innovative, evidence-based teaching and leadership methods, and Elkin City Schools’ partnership with the university provides access to additional resources and special programming for students, teachers and school leaders, including professional development, curriculum sharing opportunities and a pipeline for teacher and principal recruitment.

New firm opens in Pilot Mountain

A new manufacturing firm will be opening its doors in Pilot Mountain later this month, with plans to eventually invest more than $3 million there and create up to 40 jobs.

Young Door Company, which formed in April, will occupy about 45,000 square feet of a building at 523 South Stephens Street in Pilot Mountain; where the firm will share the building with the current tenant, SPX.

The company will produce interior doors that will be sold at home improvement stores and other retailers where millwork is sold.

Young Door was started by Mark Stukenborg and Tom Brown, two long-time veterans of the door manufacturing industry.

“We had been pretty successful in our careers, working for other companies,” Stukenborg said Tuesday, alluding to the more than 60 combined years the two had worked in the industry. “We felt confident we could do the same thing on our own.”

He said the two both left the industry a couple of years ago, but had kept up with contacts in the retail end of the door industry.

“There is a lot of demand,” he said. “We felt confident it was the right time.”

“Tom and I are very excited to be starting our manufacturing business in Pilot Mountain. It is a great location for the customers we are targeting and we are looking forward to being a part of the community,” Stukenborg said.

Stukenborg said both he and Brown grew up in small towns, and they were looking for a smaller community where a strong work ethic is common among its residents, and he said they needed a building large enough and designed in a way that would allow them to turn it into a manufacturing facility.

“It took us many, many months to find a building,” he said, explaining he and his partner had searched throughout the region — unable to find a suitable facility in communities such as Hickory, Mooresville, Statesville, High Point and elsewhere.

“We looked everywhere,” he said. “Industrial building availability is extremely tight.”

Once they discovered the facility in Pilot Mountain, and researched the local workforce, the pair moved ahead, contacting Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Commission.

“I will tell you, we had good contacts with other communities, but I think Todd and his crew and everybody else we’ve met with have been very supportive,” he said of working with Tucker and the local organization. “We’re very happy to be here in Surry County…it feels like home to us.

“We were looking for a community like Pilot Mountain.” He explained that throughout their careers in the industry, they found that generally the most productive plants came from small towns, where folks had a strong work ethic, yet the towns were close to larger areas where they could get supplies and easily ship their products. Pilot, he said, seems to fit that bill on all fronts.

For local officials, the announcement is welcome news.

“Manufacturers like Young Door recognize that Pilot Mountain offers not only a competitive place to do business, but also a good quality of life for prospective employees. We welcome their investment in our community,” said Pilot Mountain Mayor Evan Cockerham.

“The Surry County Economic Development Partnership is happy to have been able to help Mark and his team get started in Pilot Mountain,” Tucker said. “We believe that this will be a great location for them and look forward to helping them grow their business here in Surry County.”

Stukenborg said the company hopes to have operations up and running later this month or in early February, with eight to ten employees initially, then growing from there. Anyone interested in pursuing work with the firm can email Stukenborg at



Renfro Brands, the leading manufacturer, and marketer of the world’s preeminent sock brands celebrates its 100th anniversary and shares vision for continued growth. Founded in 1921 as Renfro Hosiery Mills, the company started as a small domestic manufacturer. A century later, Renfro has grown into a global leader in the legwear industry with over 1,500 employees globally. This year has been an important one for the company as it announced new ownership by the private holding company, The Renco Group, Inc., which followed the launch of Renfro’s direct-to-consumer marketplace Loops & Wales and corporate rebranding.

As Renfro charts its next phase of growth, the company is focused on making a positive impact on the world. Renfro has long rallied behind its belief that “a life well-lived, is lived in socks” and understands that while it starts with great socks, its impact goes further than that. Through its new corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, Project Footprint, Renfro has set out to foster better employment opportunities for more people, to continue to give back to the communities where it works, and to take every effort to preserve a healthy planet for a healthy future.

“We are extremely proud of where we are today as a company, and that is thanks to our employees, partners, and communities who have supported and trusted us over the past 100-years,” said Stan Jewell, CEO of Renfro Brands. “Project Footprint is not only our way of growing what our founders started but continuing our commitment to living our vision of helping people get back on their feet to achieve a life well-lived.”

As part of Project Footprint, Renfro has committed to achieving specific goals for each pillar of its program – Our Communities, Our Planet, and Our People – and will expand these with new actions and efforts annually. Among the objectives set to date, Renfro has committed to achieving the following by 2025:

  • Renfro will increase the number of BIPOC employees at the manager level by over 20% to ensure leaders reflect the consumers it serves.
  • Renfro will launch an annual sock capsule on its direct-to-consumer platform Loops & Wales, where 100% of proceeds are donated to an organization helping people get back on their feet.
  • Renfro will use sustainable yarns and materials in at least half of the products it produces, increasing this to 100% by 2030.

Additionally, starting in 2022, Renfro aims to donate over $1 million in employee hours to nonprofits by providing time for eligible employees to live its values and volunteer with organizations with roots in local communities. Renfro will continue to progress and evolve Project Footprint to both grow its impact and address new needs as they emerge.

To learn more about Renfro Brands’ Project Footprint visit Additionally, more information on the history of Renfro Brands can be found here.

Renfro Brands is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of quality socks and legwear products. Founded in 1921, the company pioneered some of the earliest innovations in sock manufacturing, from standardizing sock sizes to eliminating toe seams. Over the course of a century, Renfro’s operation of 25 employees has grown to become an industry leader with over 2,000 employees worldwide. Today, Renfro Brands is a recognized expert and brand steward of over 20 globally loved sock brands, including Polo, Fruit of the Loom, Merrell, Dr. Scholl’s, and HOTSOX. The company continues to breathe new life into the industry with the launch of Loops & Wales, an online destination for discovering, styling, and buying socks. Discover how Renfro Brands is leading the sock industry at

Surry-Yadkin Works places 31 interns for fall semester

Surry-Yadkin Works places 31 interns for fall semester

Surry-Yadkin Works has placed 31 students in internships for the fall 2021 semester.

The program is the collaborative effort of four public school systems in Surry and Yadkin counties including Elkin City Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry County Schools, and Yadkin County Schools, as well as Surry Community College, to create a unique approach to a regional internship program.

The funding is a joint effort with commitments from the Surry County and Yadkin County commissioners. An anonymous contributor donated $100,000 prompted by a presentation about the program at an educational summit. Surry-Yadkin Works officially began on Jan 1.

The Surry-Yadkin Works interns are working in 21 businesses and organizations throughout Surry and Yadkin counties. These students along with their high schools, workplaces, and job titles are as follows:

Mount Airy High School: Jillian Sheets, Interlam Design, Social Media Marketing Intern and Luke Slate, Cooke Rentals, Service & Maintenance.

North Surry High School: Luis Cabrera-Juarez, Surry Communications, Mapping/GIS Intern; Rylan Loggins, Altec, Parts & Supply Department; Tyler Ramey, Altec, Transportation Intern; Valerie “Layne” McCreary, Surry County EMS, EMS Observational Intern; Weatherly Reeves, Surry County Economic Development Partnership, Social Media Marketing Intern; Alec Singleton, Scenic Automotive, Automotive Technician; Victoria Brooke Spencer, Heart & Soul B&B, Hospitality & Tourism; Carson Stanley, Smith Rowe, Project Management; and Bryson Wilson, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, OR Attendant.

East Surry High School: Jose Campos-Rosas, Pilot Mechanical, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning Technician; Maria Chilton, Mount Pilot Child Enrichment Center, Childcare Intern; Alyson Huybert, Children’s Center of Surry, Teen Court; Jamariah Lowery, G&B Energy, Customer Service Representative; Nick Lowery, Shelton’s Vineyard, Kitchen Assistant; and Joshua Montalvo, Shenandoah Furniture, Packing/Truck Loading.

Surry Central High School: Madison Freeman, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, OR Attendant; Daisy Garcia, Altec, Facilities & Safety & Training Intern; and Enoc Lopez, Smith Rowe, Construction Yard Crew.

Surry Early College High School: Maylin Castillo, Altec, Office & Training Intern; Karla Chavez, Scenic Automotive, Marketing Intern; Matthew Gillespie, Shenandoah Furniture, CNC Programmer; Evelin Lara, Scenic Automotive, Automotive Technician; and Jesus Nava, Altec, Maintenance Intern.

Elkin High School: Addison Blackwelder, Prism Medical, Business Development Intern; Luis Hernandez, Frontier Natural Gas, Customer Service/Marketing Representative; and Amani Tilley, Tampco, Machine Intern.

Forbush High School: Samantha Lunsford, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Physicians Services Intern.

Starmount High School: Katlyn Hudspeth, Yadkin County Government, Accounting Intern.

Yadkin Early College High School: Olivia Pizzuti, Surry-Yadkin Works, Social Media Marketing Intern.

The students began their internships on August 30, and they will work through December 15. They will receive high school or college credit for their employment along with a stipend each month for travel expenses.

For more information about the program or the virtual kickoff event, contact Crystal Folger-Hawks, Surry-Yadkin Works program director, at 336-401-7820 or or visit Follow Surry-Yadkin Works on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram @surryyadkinworks and on Twitter @SurYadWorks.

“The resources and assistance provided by the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, the City of Mount Airy, the Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce and Surry Community College were essential to the success of our start up venture.”
Andrew Clabough

President, Willow Tex

Contact Us

Surry County Economic Development Partnership, Inc.
1218 State St.,
Mt. Airy NC 27030
PO BOX 7128

Contact Us

Surry County Economic Development Partnership Inc. 1218 State St., Mt. Airy NC 27030
PO BOX 7128

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