Chamber holds awards banquet

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 10, 2000

Staff Writer

Dec. 9, 2000 10 P

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce celebrated a "Year in Review" Thursday night during the annual banquet.

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More than 100 individuals gathered at the Troy Country Club for the banquet which recognized several individuals for their efforts in making Pike County a better place to live.

Many of the Chamber’s activities were featured in a powerpoint presentation that included photos with a voice over of what the Chamber’s job entails.

Guest speaker Ralph Stacey, president of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama,said the Pike County Chamber of Commerce has the three elements that makes a strong Chamber ­ volunteer leadership, community development and works to address issues affecting the community.

He outlined what the association’s responsibilities are in representing 113 Chambers across the state.

Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Marsha Gaylard was given credit for the organization’s success, but passed on the credit to members who she referred to as "the rock of the Chamber."

Outgoing chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors John Schmidt was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year.

"One doesn’t do this alone," Schmidt said of his efforts in working with the Chamber this past year.

He pointed to three things he is most proud of working on during his tenure as chairman of the board ­ community development, economic development and addressing the issues, such as implementing a strategic plan that he hopes will be a "unifying effort" for the entire county.

"Pike County is really trying to lead the way in the state," Schmidt said of being the first to do a countywide strategic plan.

Schmidt proudly passed the gavel over to Alex Whaley Sr., who will take over as chairman of the board of directors.

"The best thing, we as a community, can do is keep the momentum going," Whaley said.

And, several were recognized for their efforts in doing just that.

Sherry Key accepted the Education Award, which was presented to the School-to-Career program; Laura Tidwell was presented the Entrepreneurial Award; the J.O. Colley Senior Complex was given and award for Senior Citizen Involvement, Garrett’s IGA received the Small Business Award and Troy Elementary School officers accepted the Pike County Role Model Award for their "Please Don’t Litter" campaign that was funded through a Learn and Serve grant.

The work continues.

Whaley said the Chamber is "working on a number of things" and announced the renovation project of the old post office building in downtown Troy is paid for in full, at this time. An architectural firm is currently working on the project which was financed greatly by Claudia Crosby, who died this past year. Crosby, who did not want the publicity asked that her name not be credited with the gift.

Whaley called that effort to create a fine arts center and new Chamber office will be the Chamber’s "main thrust" this year.

"This should be a magnificent facility for all of Pike County," Whaley said.