William Gaston Awards 2014

The 2014 recipients include:

Dr. Ancil Overbey, III

Dr. Ancil Overbey, III was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, and graduated from Lee University with a BA, from Vanderbilt with an M.Div. and Drew University with a D. Min. He is an ordained UMC minister and was a pastor for 19 years. He is a writer, a teacher, and a tireless servant of God whose ministry is evident in his extensive body of work that continues to grow and shape not only his walk with Christ but the path of all those he touches.

For more than 17 years, Ancil has been the CEO of Crisis Pregnancy Center of Gaston County, with satellites in Belmont, Highland/Bessemer City, Dallas, and Lincolnton.

In 2008, Ancil's vision for the Place of Refuge, became a reality. The Place of Refuge of Gaston County, Inc. located in Gastonia is the fulfillment of a vision of holistic care for clients in the piedmont area of North Carolina. It is based on the Old Testament scriptures of Joshua 20:1-9, and cities of refuge where "those who had unintentionally harmed someone might flee to a place of divine mercy and care." With extensive work with those who have had abortions, Dr. Overbey realized there was an overwhelming need to offer a full range of alternatives to abortion, thus the multi-faceted ministries contained in the Place of Refuge, Inc.

This debt-free - to the glory of God - facility, presently houses Crisis Pregnancy Center of Gaston County, Inc., a Medical Clinic with Ultrasound, Amazing Grace Adoptions, an Adolescent Parenting Program, an Abstinence Educator, and soon a professional counseling center, and an STD/HIV testing clinic. Eventually, the additional land will be used to build shepherding homes and / or maternity home.

As the CEO, Dr. Overbey supervises a staff of twelve, serves under an 11-member Board of Directors, speaks extensively in the community and churches on pro-life issues, encourages men to embrace their role in pregnancy issues, writes monthly PARTNER letters, and a bi-annual HEARTBEAT newsletter. He hosts numerous visits from centers across a 7-state region, and is a speaker at other CPCs. He praises God continually, and tithes to support other nonprofits that share the gospel.

Administratively he has written over $2M in grants and has been successful in the award of more than $750k.

Ancil presently serves on the Health Advisory Committee for the public schools, speaks at civic and community functions, and serves on Gaston County's Adolescent Sexual Health Committee. He also served as a Board member with Carolina Pregnancy Fellowship.

Ancil and wife, Sherry Pennington, have been married for 36 years and have three children - all married and all graduates of Liberty University - and one grandson, Theo, who was born this past summer.

Ancil has been a visionary with a team approach, that involves everyone working together for a common goal and letting your faith inform all of your decisions. Accepting this award is a credit to those who have acknowledged that the vision of impacting the community of Gaston and beyond is worth the investment.

Ancil, the County Commission is indebted to you for your many years of service and for your continuing efforts to make Gaston County a better place to live.

Dr. Ann M. Hoscheit

Dr. Ann Hoscheit has spent more than two decades as a practicing optometrist and a prominent businesswoman in Gaston County. She has reached many people through her eye care practice over the years however it could be argued that this community has gotten to know Dr. Hoscheit on a more personal level through her tireless contributions and philanthropic service to the citizens of this County. She is a well-known educator, lecturer, author, and lifelong learner. Her leadership abilities, tireless work ethic, and optimistic approach to life, in general, are inspiring to us all.

A proud Minnesota native, Ann Hoscheit arrived in Gaston County in the early 1990s. She is the founding and managing partner, clinician, and clinical investigator of Summit Eye Associates and the Clinic Director and Integrative Medicine Provider at the Summit Wellness Center. Prior to that, she was a founding partner of Gaston Eye Associates from 1994 to 2002. She received her B.A. in Biology and Theology from St. Olaf College and her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Houston College of Optometry. She completed her residency in ocular disease/hospital-based optometry at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center in New Mexico. Throughout her career, she has obtained numerous specialized degrees, certifications, and fellowships and holds many professional affiliations.

Dr. Hoscheit currently serves as the Chair of the Gaston County Health and Human Services Board and has been a Board member since 2011. She is the Chair-elect for the 2015 Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a leading member of the County's first women's philanthropy initiative, Women Optimizing Wellness (WOW), a CaroMont Regional HealthCare System affiliate. She is also a current member of the Rotary International, Gaston County Education Foundation and the HealthCare Commission/Gaston Together "Healthy Gaston Initiative".

Her sense of community has led her to hold positions on countless other Boards and organizations including Rotary International, Boys and Girls Clubs of Gaston County's "Dancing for Future Stars" fundraising event, City of Gastonia Citizens Public Art Committee, Hospice of Gaston County, and many, many more.

Ann's dedicated service to Gaston County and the field of Optometry has earned her much deserved recognition. She has received many honors and awards including the 2013 Jaycee's Distinguished Service Award, "Business Leader of the Year", 2011 Athena International Leadership Award, Vision Monday 2012 "Top Optometric Innovators", Vision Monday 2010 "Most Influential Women: 40 Women with Vision", 2008, 2009 and 2013, Gaston Gazette Reader's Choice Award for "Best Optometrist / Ophthalmologist", 2006 American's Top Optometrist Recognition, 2005 Gaston County Business Woman of the Year. She is also a 1999 Gaston County Women's Hall of Fame Inductee.

Dr. Hoscheit, the County Commission is indebted to you for your many years of service and for your continuing efforts to make Gaston County a better, healthier place to live and we all hope your steadfast participation will continue for many years to come.

Deborah McQuitter Ally, CPA

Deborah McQuitter Ally and four generations of her family have been a part of Gaston County since the 1960s. She graduated from Hunter Huss High School and grew up on Tony's ice cream, Sundrop, and Christmas Town, and is a long-time member of St. Stephens AME Zion. Deborah is truly passionate about the well-being of Gaston County and its citizens and she attributes her dedication to community service to her desire to pay forward her appreciation for all this County has done for her.

Deborah has been the President and CEO of the United Way of Gaston County since 2009. Her focus on developing and maintaining donor relationships in order to raise awareness and funds for community initiatives has enabled her to better serve Gaston County residents. She has been responsible for raising and distributing $7M in this County through donor companies and individuals over the past six years. And, she redesigned the organization's business model to incorporate measurements and outcomes on community impact, which focus on the individuals served and lives changed by the funded programs.

She has served on a multitude of boards and committees in Gaston County and helped lead the charge to change the way Gaston County funds non-profits, through her leadership on the Family Advisory Board. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Gaston Together, Gaston County Healthcare Commission, Transportation Advisory Board, Healthnet Gaston, Novant Health Metro Advisory, Wells Fargo Advisory Board, and is Chair of Gaston County Emergency Food and Shelter.

Her extensive list of involvement with organizations and civic groups includes current or past service with the Rotary Club of Gastonia, Employment Security Commission of Gaston County- JSEC, Gastonia Faith Network, St. Stephens AME Zion Church Budget, and Finance Committee, and Chair of Piedmont Chapter of the Links, Inc. Deborah is also a Leadership Gaston graduate.

Deborah graduated from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce/Accounting. She has held various positions throughout her diverse and distinguished career and has amassed many outstanding accomplishments in leadership, philanthropy marketing, finance, and social services.

She has actively participated in numerous leadership training programs for United Way, as well as the Leadership Diversity Institute-Community Building Institute and American Leadership Fellow-Lee Institute.

Deborah, we are most grateful for your vision and innovative approach to addressing the needs of our citizens and for helping to make Gaston County a better place to live.