The Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce has announced David Diamont will be the keynote speaker at its annual meeting coming up next week at Cross Creek Country Club.
Diamont, of Pilot Mountain, is the head football coach at East Surry who recently retired from classroom teaching after nearly 50 years.
He also notably – while still teaching – held a seat in the N.C. House of Representatives for about 20 years, serving a handful of counties including Stokes and Surry.
“We’re looking for somebody that has an interesting story to tell. David is the poster boy for that,” said Randy Collins, chamber president and CEO.
The meeting, to be held Jan. 26 at 6 p.m., will focus on leadership with a transition of the association’s officials and also feature recognition of citizen leadership with the presentation of the 2016 Citizen of the Year Award.
“The keynote is just bringing someone else in to deliver a message,” Collins explained.
“Business people are tough,” he continued. “They’ve heard a lot of speakers, some really great speakers, some not-so-great speakers. We try to choose very carefully.”
Collins said Diamont’s overlap of experience as an athletic coach, a legislator and a teacher made him a compelling choice.
“He’s also not a man who minces words,” the chamber leader said of Diamont. “He’s not afraid to express his opinion.”
He also expressed to chamber leaders that he rarely participates in public speaking, and so the annual meeting will provide a unique opportunity.
“They asked me, and I was flattered,” Diamont said. “As a legislator I oftentimes addressed crowds,” and as chairman of the appropriation committee, those crowds included groups such as big city chambers and business leaders.
As a teacher, 20 or so students provided a daily captive audience.
Lately, Diamont joked, “my biggest crowd has been my family around the dinner table.”
The coach said he hopes to bring a different perspective to the local business leaders.
“I’ve been where the rubber meets the road, and I’ve been at the top where they sit around and talk about theory and policy and how you fund it,” he said.
For those in attendance at the chamber dinner, “you work hard to give them something to chew on,” he said. “Something they can work on and help improve our community.”
The featured speaker taught at Mount Airy High, Pilot Mountain Middle and East Surry and is well known throughout the community, Collins said.
“People in the county can relate to him and people in the city of Mount Airy can relate to him,” he said.
The content of Diamont’s message will address his thoughts on public education.
“Education of young people is paramount in a successful community,” said Collins, “I think the topic of public education is of interest to business leaders, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Tickets to the annual meeting can be purchased for $50 and are available by contacting the chamber at 336-786-6116.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.