Every year at the BRCA Annual Meeting, the organization honors the people and organizations who have helped move the Corridor forward with their commitment to excellence. These businesses and individuals exhibit the best in customer service, performance, and a lifetime commitment to the success of the Raleigh Community. Listed below are our winners for the 2018 calendar year.

Small Business of the Year


Burke Brothers Hardware

Our Small Business of the Year award is one given to a business in our community in honor of its years of outstanding service and contributions to the greater Blue Ridge Corridor. This year, we are pleased to bestow this honor on Burke Brothers Hardware.

Originally named Burke’s Market, Burke Brothers Hardware was founded in 1936 by Paul Burke. After World War II began, Paul stepped away from the business to serve his country alongside his younger brother John, but both returned to the business when they got back to Raleigh. A local favorite for not only their hardware, but also their people, the family owned and operated Burke Brothers Hardware store maintains its status as the best hardware store in town thanks to their dedication to excellent customer service and quality merchandise.

Development Project of the Year


NC Heart & Vascular Hospital, UNC Rex Healthcare

Each year, we honor a visionary development project that supports the Blue Ridge Corridor Plan and makes a significant impact on the local economy and community. We are privileged to honor the region’s premier cardiovascular facility, UNC REX’s NC Heart & Vascular Hospital this year.

The Heart & Vascular Hospital, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary of opening its doors, is a state-of-the-art facility that combines leading physicians, cutting-edge technology and hospitality. An eight-story, 306-thousand square-foot facility, it houses 114 large patient rooms, a simulation lab, a hybrid suite, conference center and rehabilitation rooms.

Our Government Employee of the Year award is given to a local leader in appreciation for leadership displayed and continued efforts to make the Greater Blue Ridge Corridor community a distinct destination in Raleigh. This year, we had so many amazing local leaders step up, we had to have two awards.


Joey Hopkins, NC Department of Transportation

Our first recipient is Joey Hopkins of the North Carolina Department of Transportation! Joey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and construction from NC State and has nearly 30 years of diverse engineer experience. Across various NCDOT positions, he has provided traffic control, county maintenance and operations for multiple areas in North Carolina. During his time with the NCDOT, he has helped develop the Complete Streets Policy as well as the Complete Streets Advisory group and participated in the created of the Strategic Prioritization Process. Currently, he is the Division Engineer for Highway Division 5 and is in charge of the Beltline widening project. He works with multiple constituents to develop plans and make edits in the best interest of the Blue Ridge Corridor, the region and the state.


Wesley Wyatt, NC State Fair

Our second recipient of our Government Employee of the Year award is Wesley Wyatt of the North Carolina State Fair! Wesley has called Raleigh home since he was 13 years old, and the North Carolina State Fair his professional home since his high school days, beginning in the summer of 1973. He started out part-time, cleaning stables, maintaining landscaping and performing other manual labor. He worked his way through being an event coordinator to commercial space manager, assistant manager to manager just before the 1997 State Fair. During his tenure, Wesley oversaw an expansion of facilities at the fairgrounds, including the Exposition Center and a new midway, as well as behind-the-scenes improvements in water, sewer and electrical lines, installing Wi-Fi and introducing online ticketing. Wesley recently retired from the Fair and is able to spend more time traveling as well as work with several genealogical groups in the state.