Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce names 2019 Small Business Leader of the Year
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce named its 2019 Small Business Leader of the Year Wednesday. The recipient is CEO/Designer of Maleku Jewelry, Ileana Maria Rojas-Bennett. Chamber leaders presented the award at the event streamed live from Opendoor Church.
Maleku Jewelry is a locally owned jewelry store in Greenville with handmade items. CEO and Designer, Ileana Maria Rojas-Bennett, has been making jewelry in Greenville since 2006 and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the “Beyond the Runway” award at New York’s Fashion Week in 2010.
Bennett is a former educator who began her business as a hobby in her home and quickly grew into a full-time business.
Maleku, meaning Indian Love, is an indigenous tribe from northern Costa Rica and most of the proceeds from the store go toward assisting the tribe. Bennett’s work has been showcased in the Latin Grammy’s, Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globes.
“Small businesses are vital to our community and make up over 75% of the businesses in our Chamber and community – it is our honor to celebrate their hard work and contributions to the Greenville-Pitt County area,” said Kate Teel, president of the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber hosts the Small Business Awards event each year to honor leaders in the Pitt County business community who have demonstrated successful operations of their business as well as made a significant impact on the community. Finalists are selected based on nominations from their peers.
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