Black Mountain Business Owner Receives Small Business of the Year Award from Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

ASHEVILLE — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services has honored Black Mountain business owner Charles Nembhard with a 2018 Small Business of the Year award.

The DVRS Small Business Award recognizes the success of clients who overcame disability to become self-employed and highlights community and state partners who provide critical support to entrepreneurs with disabilities. 

“All entrepreneurs face challenges to be successful,” said Tara Myers, DVRS division director. “But these inspiring entrepreneurs have shown the incredible grit and determination to create growing businesses while facing serious disabilities that might have stopped the rest of us.”
Nembhard, founder of Charley King’s Jamaican Jerk Sauces, first went to the Asheville Vocational Rehabilitation office for help in 2014. Suffering from chronic hip and leg pain, the office helped Nembhard get diagnosed at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The hospital ordered femur and hip replacement surgeries, as well as physical therapy. 

Two years later, thanks to the help of DVRS, he is back on his feet and Charley King’s is going strong with products available in Whole Foods, GreenLife, Earth Fare and Ingles.

Candidates are nominated by the division’s counselors, small business specialists and policy team. To be selected, the client must have successfully achieved their vocational rehabilitation goals, be willing to be publicly recognized and have overcome significant challenges in building a sustainable business. 

The division’s Small Business Advisory Committee, which includes entrepreneurs and other members of the state’s small business community, review the nominees and select a winner, who receives a plaque.

Other winners of the DVRS Small Business of the Year award were attorney Patrick Newman in Morehead City, Darlene Lane of Dee’s Power Up Cleaning Services in Whiteville and David Tedrow of Senior Health Insurance Brokers, LLC, in Durham.

DVRS is dedicated to providing an array of comprehensive employment preparation and support services to people with disabilities seeking to gain, maintain or advance in employment. Additional services are provided to individuals seeking assistance to maximize their independence in their home and community.