Sam Watkins Visionary Award

United Way of Vance County was very proud to present the 2017 Sam Watkins Visionary Award to Tommy Roberson, owner of Robco Manufacturing. Board Member James Edwards presented the award, and said of Roberson, “When we hear Tommy’s name, we think of persistence, perseverance, passion, and, of course, progress. These were the same characteristics attributed to Sam Watkins.” In 1988, Roberson became the president of the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce. Edwards said, “It was during his volunteer tenure as the leader of the chamber board that he started what we remember from decades ago and still know today as the “Shop Henderson First” program. In addition, Roberson, during his tenure at the chamber, backed putting a motel tax into effect locally. The income generated from these funds led to the development of the Vance County department of Tourism. Edwards went on to say, “Roberson was also the “driving force” in making the Bennett H. Perry Jr. Museum a reality by donating many hours of his time and a ‘good amount’ of his own money.”

“I’m very proud of Henderson and my life is built on dreams for my business and for this community and this county,” Roberson said, “I am honored to be considered the same as Sam Watkins in any capacity ….again, my life has been built on dreams, I’ve tried to make them come true and I’m a very blessed man.’