ALBEMARLE — Tamara McSwain Singletary, executive vice president of investor relations and corporate secretary at Uwharrie Bank, was announced as the recipient of the Stanly Community College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda’s “2021 Business Person of the Year” award.
“I am very humbled with the award,” Singletary told Stanly County Journal in a March 22 phone interview. “The high school FBLA [Future Business Leaders of America] and the collegiate level of the organization, Phi Beta Lambda, have made a tremendous impact on me and on my career. So I am very honored to receive that award by the local Phi Beta Lambda chapter.”
Singletary is from Stanly County and has a long history of accomplishments leading up to her latest honor. While a senior at South Stanly High School, she entered an FBLA event and ultimately won first place in the state.
“I had to go through testing on general business knowledge, and then I had an interview with the judges and a panel,” Singletary said, describing the process of winning the award in high school. “And then when I went to Appalachian State University, I wanted to continue my involvement at the collegiate level of FBLA, and so I joined as a freshman in Phi Beta Lambda and participated all four years there.”
As a senior at Appalachian, Singletary won first place in the state again before winning fifth place in nationals. She was also president of the university’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter, which also won state and national awards.
Singletary recommends that students consider joining FBLA and PBL, saying it provides a lot of valuable training and resources.
“I would just encourage young people who want to get into business that it is a really worthy organization, and it exposes you to a lot of wonderful opportunities like learning new skills,” Singletary said. “It also gave me a tremendous amount of contacts and helped build my network of business professionals.”
Singletary added, “I still have contact with those people today.”
After receiving all of these awards declaring she would be a great “future business leader,” Singletary got to work making those predictions come true in the decades since. She used her knowledge from FBLA and her business administration degree from ASU to assist in the opening of Albemarle’s Belk clothing store. She also was one of the 13 original employees of the Bank of Stanly in 1983.
“The national FBLA-PBL theme for this year is ‘Aspire,’ and our chapter leaders chose to recognize a former PBL member whose aspirations led not only to personal success but also to contributions to the community,” Dan Hazlett, the faculty adviser for SCC’s PBL chapter, said in the press release. “Certainly, Tamara’s dedication to this local business and the betterment of our county meets that criteria. Although she was president of the competitive ASU State PBL chapter, we don’t hesitate now to consider her one of ours!”
Singletary has been involved in leadership in many other organizations as well. She has been a member of the first Leadership Stanly class, served on the board of the Stanly Regional Medical Center Foundation, took on leadership roles at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church and was president of the Albemarle Business and Professional Women’s Organization.
Lee Pickler, owner of ScanOnline in Locust, won the award last year. Pickler then won state PBL Business Person of the Year and was co-winner at nationals. Singletary will compete at the state-level awards in mid–April and then potentially at the national level in the summer.