NeSmith, Strickland, Dykes, Ferenchick, and the Godwin family are the recipients of the 2020 chamber awards
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The Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce’s 95th Annual Meeting was a quiet affair compared to years past thanks to the requirements of life during a pandemic. There were no crowds, shared meals or entertainment this year, instead, the dignified ceremony was held online, and broadcast from the halls of Family Worship Center where the people who were in attendance could socially distance.
Seth Stanaland, the outgoing chamber chairman, opened the ceremony as Courtney King, interim executive director, sat in attendance. Pastor Annette Higdon, who was elected to the chamber’s board of directors this year, provided the invocation, and incoming chamber chairwoman Barbara Darus introduced the new board members and later closed out the ceremony.
In addition to Higdon, Austin Hobson and Dr. Gigi Kendrick are joining the chamber’s board.
King recognized those board members whose terms expire this year, Stanaland, Dr. Zita Magloire and Russell Pollock.
King also announced the winners of this year’s Chamber Awards: Robert Dykes is Community Service Award winner; Brande Cox Strickland is Woman of the Year; Dr. Jason NeSmith is Man of the Year; Dr. Raina C. Ferenchick is Young Professional of the Year; Rebecca and Walter Godwin are the Farm Family of the Year; Popes Museum is Small Business of the Year; and Grady General Hospital is Large Business of the Year.
Taking a personal point of privilege, the interim director named an “Above and Beyond” award winner for the person who helped her the most over the year as Barbara Darus.
King also acknowledged the Ambassadors, chaired by Katie Williams. They are: Barbara Darus; Brandie Cecil; Holli Allen; Allie Gainous; Candice Williams; Ansley Lacy; Donica Williams; Jane Trulock; Linda Drew Johnson; Melissa Wilder; Samella Thornton; Teresa Norton; Trey Gainous; Kris Weaver; and Baylei Ladner.
Further information about each award winner will be presented in next week’s Messenger as photos are obtained since winners were not present at Saturday’s ceremony.