OBX Milestones – Fall 2014
North Carolina Beach Buggy Association – 50 Years
If you’ve received helpful advice about access to surf fishing or four-wheel driving on our beaches, chances are that person’s vehicle has one of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association’s (NCBBA) ubiquitous, blue license plates on the front bumper. The NCBBA has been preserving vehicular access to the natural beach resources of the Outer Banks since 1964. (Fun fact: The lower the number on the plate, the longer they’ve been a member.) The non-profit organization’s code of ethics and beach behavior reflects their belief that the unspoiled beaches of seashore areas afford pleasure to everyone, and it is incumbent upon beachgoers to preserve this natural heritage for future generations.
The NCBBA also sponsors three annual beach cleanup operations, has two college scholarship programs, and participates in the North Carolina Adopt-A-Highway program by keeping the stretch of Route 12 from Coquina Beach to the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center litter-free. In addition to youth fishing tournaments, photo contests, fishing citation programs, and grants to various civic groups, the association also sponsors the annual Red Drum Tournament on Hatteras Island each October. NCBBA’s 50th anniversary celebration will be held at Kelly’s Restaurant in Nags Head on October 4. The sought-after “East Coast Rhythm and Blues Band” will provide live beach music. ncbbaonline.com – ed.
Nags Head Hammocks – 40 Years
The Nags Head Hammocks website boasts, “We take helping you to do nothing very, very seriously.” From the day the business first opened in a converted beach cottage in 1974, it embodied the serene lifestyle of the Outer Banks with a laid-back atmosphere and signature products crafted at a local weaving workshop. Forty years later, their hammocks and furniture are well known by all and still epitomize the relaxed beach lifestyle. General Manager Bill Rosso, a 10-year veteran with the company said, “Our whole emphasis is on relaxing, slowing down, enjoying both your vacation and time at home.” Rosso believes the success of the company is due to the products being made so close to home. “Being handmade in North Carolina is definitely one of the things people expect of us and are excited by,” he said. “With so many products being made overseas these days, it’s great to see something made locally in the state.”
Surprisingly, hammocks are a relatively small part of the business today. The more popular items are swings and outdoor furniture, each with a unique design and focus on durability and comfort. About 12 years ago, the synthetic line was introduced and has become one of the great trends of the business. While the traditional wood products require maintenance, the synthetics are maintenance free. Consistent innovation in both design and materials has been the key to staying relevant over the years. “We have really become a landmark,” Rosso said. “We have people coming by every year just to see what’s new, and we try to introduce new products every year. We’re constantly evolving.” Nags Head Hammocks has three locations: Kill Devil Hills, Duck, and Corolla as well as an online store. nagsheadhammocks.com – L. Holian
R.A. Hoy – 35 Years
If you live on the Outer Banks or even if you’ve just been here a week, you’ve probably seen one of R.A. Hoy’s red service trucks cruising down US 158 or NC 12. R.A. Hoy was the first heating, ventilation and air conditioning company in the area and is now the largest on the North Carolina coast. This year they celebrate 35 years of great business. General Manager Doug Wakeley, who was also the company’s very first employee in 1979, will attribute their success to the people who make the wheels turn on a daily basis. He says, “The employees are the best. We try to provide a work environment that helps keep staff retention.” He will say with a laugh that no employee has been with R.A. Hoy as long as he has, but many can count more than 10 or even 20 years with the company.
The red trucks, which stand out among all of the white service vehicles on the Outer Banks, are just one way that R.A. Hoy has set themselves apart in their industry. Wakeley says, “We don’t mix in with the crowd.” The company’s long standing alliance with Trane Co. as a major equipment manufacturer has set them far ahead of their competitors with advanced training and support for their technicians, installers, estimators, and management. But likely the most important factor has been the company’s adaptability over the years. Wakeley says, “Our ability to change with market conditions has helped our company tremendously, having gone through two major recessions in the past 35 years.” The business is open 365 days a year and maintains 10 trucks and a warehouse stocked with an enormous inventory of parts and equipment. Their services include complete system installation, preventive maintenance, equipment replacement, and duct work. rahoy.com – L. Holian
Interiors by H&W – 30 Years
There is a sense of happy anticipation when homeowners have the opportunity to give their homes a fresh new look. Chances are they have waited and planned for this moment. When they step through the doors of Interiors by H&W in Kitty Hawk, showroom manager Sharon Sargent considers herself lucky to meet them and ready to address their ever-evolving needs. Of course, it may not be Sargent who first sees the client. Any one of three Sharons—the bookkeeper, the showroom assistant, or Sargent—may greet the homeowner. With only one warehouse employee and three showroom staff sharing the same first name, they know how to have a good laugh. “We’re not stuffy,” said Sargent, who began working for the company only months after the Kitty Hawk location opened.
Because the store has been around for 30 years, they have very strong buying strength with suppliers and therefore can be competitive. They also have a great word-of-mouth reputation on the Outer Banks; much of the work comes from referrals and repeat customers. “I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of interesting clients, builders, and commercial workers,” said Sargent. “It is rewarding because as an end result you have people that are very happy with their homes.” All of “the Sharons” have been with the company for a long time and enjoy spending time with clients. Sargent says, “It’s fun helping people, pulling out from people what they want. They don’t always know [what they want]. When someone leaves really happy with their selections, I get excited about it.” Interiors by H&W offers a variety of flooring installations, window treatments, and wallpaper and has three locations: Moyock, Elizabeth City, and Kitty Hawk. The Kitty Hawk location at milepost 4 has completed home improvement projects from Ocracoke to Corolla to Currituck. interiorsbyhw.com – L. Holian
Former Senator Marc Basnight wins Pelican Award
Former Senator Marc Basnight was awarded North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Pelican Award for lifetime achievement at their annual awards ceremony. A diverse group was recognized at the federation’s annual awards ceremony in August. The federation said, “We were especially pleased to recognize former Senator Marc Basnight with [our] highest honor for lifetime achievement. During his 26 years in the senate, Mr. Basnight did some remarkable things for our coast, including helping to establish the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund.” The Pelican Awards were created by the North Carolina Coastal Federation to recognize extraordinary coastal stewardship and to show that everyone can make a difference. nccoast.org – ed.