"It was perfect timing for me to connect with the SBC and REAL program ..."
Dr. Angela Bright Pearson reaches behind her ear and gently removes the curved hearing aid nestled there. She wears two, which enable her to hear sounds to which she would otherwise be deaf.
Growing up, Dr. Bright Pearson suffered progressive hearing loss. At 16, she finally received her first hearing aid and the world of clear, understandable sounds opened again to her. She realized then what she wanted to do with her life: help others to hear as she had been helped. That is how the doctor, one of the first audiologists in the nation who holds a Doctor of Audiology, has spent her life. The Chatham County native has her own business, Bright Audiology, in Sanford.
In 1996, when she decided to open her business, Dr. Bright Pearson turned for help to Central Carolina Community College's Small Business Center and its Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL) program. The education and counseling she received helped her establish her business on a sound footing and enabled it to thrive by applying what she learned.
From the SBC, the doctor also learned of the "Make Mine a Million Dollar Business" competition sponsored by the Count Me In organization and American Express for women-owned businesses. In 2008, she was one of 10 owners who won equipment and assistance to improve and expand their businesses.
"It was perfect timing for me to connect with the SBC and REAL program because I was thinking, 'What will my logo be? What will my business plan be?'" Dr. Bright Pearson said. "For 15 years, until his retirement, I looked to Jin Felton, the SBC director, for mentoring as my business grew. I wouldn't be here today without Jim and the SBC."