Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chamber Banquet Highlights

The 58th Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet was held at Lake
Tiak O'Khata on Tuesday evening , April 28.  One of the largest crowds ever attended the event that took place on the one year anniversary of the 2014 tornado and which featured the Governor of the State of Mississippi as a keynote speaker.

Outgoing Chamber president Kyle Curran welcomed the crowd numbering 270 to the event and Economic Development Director Gerald Mills took the opportunity to recognize officials from local and state government as well economic development groups around the area.

Governor Phil Bryant and First Lady Deborah Bryant attended the event that was marked by the anniversary. Governor Bryant's words concerned much about the storm's effect, recovery and economic opportunities across Winston County.

In a special presentation , the First Lady was presented with a special award entitled "Spirit of Winston County" for her service to Winston County immediately after the storm. Upon acceptance of the award from Kay Ward, First Lady Bryant humbly stated, "God put me here that day just so I could help in some small way."

In another special event, Dick Baldwyn of Winston Plywood and Veneer presented a check to Mayor Will Hill in the amount of $20,000 for Winston Community Development ,Inc. At this time most of these funds will go toward the cost of the Memorial Courtyard at Memorial Park.

Each year awards are presented to local businesses and individual for success in their fields or business. Award winners are pictured later in this article but include:

  • Forestry Award - David Humphries
  • Farmer of Year - Dr. Spiva Gene Richardson (for his service to farmers)
  • Retailer of Year - Vowell's Market Place
  • Industry of Year - POLO Industries % Increase in employment
  • Industry of Year - Taylor Machine Works - Increae in Employment #
  • Community Service Award - Woods Grocery
  • Teacher of the Year - Julie McKenzie - Fair Elementary
  • Woman of the Year - Mellie Childs Jordan
  • Man of the Year - Mike Dowd - Johnny Haynes- Gene Ammons
  • Life Time Achievement - Kline Shepherd
At the conclusion of the banquet, Curran turned over the presidency of the Chamber to incoming President Mike Dowd.

Mellie Jordan, Woman of the Year

Julie McKenzie, Teacher of the Year
E.L. Vowell, Retailer of the Year
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Reverend Mike Dowd, Man of the Year
Johnny Haynes, Man of the Year

Gene Ammons, Man of the Year

Kline Shepard, Lifetime Achievement Award

Polo Custom Products, Industry of the Year
Largest Percentage Employment Increase

Taylor Machine Works (Robert Taylor)
Largest Employment Increase
David Humphries, Forestry Award
Wood's Grocery (Spring Wood), Community Service Award
Dr. Spivey Gene Richardson, Farmer of the Year