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Hospital leader embraces life lesson on giving back

In 1985 Chris Lumsden and his wife, Linda, moved to South Boston to make a living, but they soon discovered they could make an “outstanding life” here.

Lumsden is the chief executive officer of Halifax Regional Health System where he has worked for the past 27 years. 

At Tuesday night’s Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet, he was recognized as the Chamber Business Person of the Year.

“It was a great honor and very much a surprise. My mom must have had a block vote,” said Lumsden.

“We all serve to help our community and our profession, and these things are just icing on the cake,” he added.

According to Halifax County Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Pool, nominees were evaluated by being able to give unselfishly in time and expertise to further the mission of the chamber, accomplishments are above and beyond their own field of endeavor, demonstrates excellence, creativity, initiative and sound moral character, have made contributions during 2011, have an outstanding public reputation and image, respond effectively to adversity and demonstrate problem solving ability.

A group of seven individuals comprised the committee of all chamber members that decided this year’s business and business person of the year, said Pool.

“I think they are most deserving. They are involved in some form or fashion with the chamber. They both give back to the community, which is so important,” she added.

Humbled by the award, Lumsden said he nor anyone gives back in expectation of receiving an award. This was his first time receiving this award from the chamber.

“It’s important to give back to the community. It’s something we all should do.  My wife loves this community, and when I do something or receive something like this, she takes great pride in it,” said Lumsden.

According to Lumsden, his father raised him and his siblings with the important lesson to give back more than one takes, and he has embraced that lesson through the years. 

Leading 1,200 dedicated employees, Lumsden said his favorite part of the job is working with the people and making a difference. 

The native of Roanoke tries to be a good corporate citizen, a strong leader and maintain a vision of optimism for his employees.

“We see over 100,000 patients a year. It’s very rewarding especially helping those who are hurting or in pain,” said Lumsden.

Lumsden resides in South Boston with his wife, and they have two grown children, Nick and Jessica.

“I give back for the love of my family, good of the community and the love for the organization,” Lumsden said.