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The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce awarded Eddie Smith with the Legends Award during its Annual Membership Gala on January 26.

Pitt County’s history would definitely be less rich without Smith, who, among other contributions, generously donated $2 million to the East Carolina Heart Institute, $1 million endowment to the Greater Greenville Foundation, and $3 million donation to Pitt Community College.  In addition, many high school students may not have gone to college were it not for the Visions program, which was established and funded by Smith.

“The Chamber is so pleased to present a fourth Legends award,” said chamber president Susanne Sartelle. “This award is so important because it recognizes persons who have made extensive contributions to our community for a long period of time.”

Perhaps the most significant contribution Smith has made is through the success of Grady-White Boats.  Without Smith’s dedication and hard work, there would be several hundred less jobs in our community.  In 1973, Smith built the industry's most modern boat production plant in Greenville's new industrial park. There have been several additions since that time, most recently a 50,000-square foot fabrication department in 2003. The business now includes 400 employees in its 350,000-square foot facility. The company's annual revenue is around $150 million.

Sartelle added, “It is easy to see that Eddie Smith is quite a deserving recipient, and we are grateful for the significant mark that he and his family have made on Greenville and Pitt County.”

Click here for more information about the Legends Award and a list of past participants.

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