SCC Alumni Success Stories

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Jeania Martin
Executive Director

Lee Pickler has started two companies in Stanly County using the skills he developed as a student at Stanly Community College. He has continued his involvement with SCC hiring graduates, speaking to student organizations, and serving six years on the College’s Foundation Board, including a term as chair. In 2020, he was named the SCC and North Carolina PBL’s Business Person of the Year and was one of three state recipients to be recognized at the national level.

“I remember having really dedicated instructors. I also remember the fun of class trips for pizza and the nervousness of PBL competitions! SCC has been a major influence in my life!”


Rick Gardner was an SCC student from 1982-1985 and then received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Management from Catawba College. He recently retired from a 34-year career with Ahold Delhaize, working his way from a Food Lion bagger to an executive position in the corporate office.

“Stanly Community College had a tremendous influence on my life, and there are fellow students and instructors that are good friends all these years later.”

Rick was the first state PBL president to be elected from the Stanly chapter and was a member of the 1983 team that won the first state First Place Parliamentary Procedure Award for the school. “I joined because the national competition that year was in San Francisco, but I’ve used those parliamentary skills in business, on various Boards, as a member of the Locust City Council before moving to Concord.” Rick continues his PBL involvement by serving as president of the state PBL Foundation Board of Directors.


Fredia Owens was a member of the 1995 graduating class, receiving a degree in Business Administration.

"I went back to school while being married with two children, being a caretaker for a relative, and working out of town. My determination and the support of SCC instructors helped me be successful. Sometimes that support got on my nerves (like being told the world would never give me credit for being educated if I couldn’t remember that there is no such word as 'irregardless!'), but I have them to thank for making me do my best."

Fredia obtained a Bachelor's degree from Montreat College and then an MBA from Strayer University. She has been a manager with Life Connection of the Carolinas, a Charlotte non-profit organization working with at-risk children, but she is now opening her own medical supply business in Albemarle. "I am thankful for the educational start SCC gave me and the value of being positive and excited about opportunities, REGARDLESS of obstacles that might be in the path."


Jackie Jernigan has been part of Uwharrie Bank (formerly Bank of Stanly) for over 38 years and is now Executive Vice President. She received an Associate degree in Accounting in 1982.

“I attended evening classes while working full time, and I recall how accommodating the faculty was. I remember all the faculty as having the students’ best interest at heart!”

During her career, Jackie attended the NC Bankers Association Mid-Management and Advanced Management Programs, the Queen’s College Women in Management curriculum, and the U of Wisconsin Bachelors/Graduate Schools of Banking Community Bank Management Program. “Innovations in technology have allowed me to be involved with exciting new products and services, and the discipline of study I received at SCC during my early years served as my foundation and springboard.”