If You can Dream it, You can Achieve It…Just Ask Oriental’s New Mayor

If You can Dream it, You can Achieve It…Just Ask Oriental’s New Mayor

ORIENTAL – Sally Truitt Belangia understands the importance of dreams.  After all, she has worked her entire life to make her dreams come true.  Belangia, grew up in the charming coastal community of Oriental, NC.  Her parents and grandparents are all from Oriental and made their living in the town as well.  When she was just five years old Belangia recalls being asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and she replied, “Mayor or Oriental.”

A little more than fifty years later, that dream came true on December 1, when Belangia was sworn in as mayor of the sailing capital of North Carolina.  Being mayor is just one of the dreams that Belangia has achieved that she is proud of; she is equally gratified for achieving her college degree from the University of Mount Olive (UMO) at New Bern.  Her bachelor of science degree in business administration was the catalyst that set her career on course for the success that she has achieved over the past 20 years in the banking industry.

In 1979 Belangia graduated from Pamlico Community College (PCC) and got a job at First Citizens Bank in Pamlico County.  For years she applied to be a branch manager at Oriental and was always over looked.  She finally decided to pursue her four year degree in the hopes that if the position every came up again she would be qualified.  So, in December of 1993, she enrolled in the very first Management and Organizational Development cohort at UMO at New Bern. She graduated a year later, and she was promoted to loan officer at the Bayboro Branch of First Citizens Bank.  In 1997, the position she had been waiting for finally opened and Belangia was offered and accepted the position of branch manager of First Citizens in her hometown of Oriental.

“The college degree that I finally received when I was in my late 30’s made me feel confident, proud, and ready to tackle the world!,” Belangia commented.  “It also made me realize that I had accomplished another American Dream and was ready for the next.”

In 2011 Belangia continued her educational pursuits and earned her master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in Organizational Management. She now holds the title of vice president and market executive for Pamlico County, with responsibilities for a branch in Bayboro as well as the one in Oriental.  This year marks Belangia’s 36th employment anniversary with First Citizens Bank.

“I have always been a motivated person, but I must say it became even better after I got my degrees,” Belangia said.  “I enjoy leading my sales team in Pamlico County in becoming the BEST bank!”

Belangia is looking forward to her role as mayor, but community service is not something new to this go-getter.  She has served her community since 1979, having been past president of the Oriental Woman’s Club, the Oriental Rotary Club, and the Pamlico Chamber of Commerce.  She has also served on the Pamlico Community Foundation and on the Board of Trustee at PCC.

Belangia’s next dream is to teach business courses at PCC or UMO at New Bern, but that dream will have to wait a few years until she retires.

“I love Oriental.  I value my family, my friends, my job, my church, and our town.  I also love the fact that we each have the ability to make our own dreams come true, if we just set our sights high and work to make them a reality!”

Belangia has been married for 38 years to Ken Belangia.  They have two children, Amber and Clint, and two grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Mollie Belangia.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit old.umo.edu.

Pictured Sally Truitt Belangia (left), the new Mayor of Oriental NC, is being sworn in by the Sandy Harris (far right), the assistant Clerk of Court, as Diane Miller (center) , town manager, holds the Bible.