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Chamber celebrates 50 years
Donnie Green Award w sm
Jen Sherwood congratulates Donny Green on his Community Leader of the Year award while Suzanne Williams looks on.
The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 50th anniversary Thursday night at the DeKalb County complex.Ralph Vaughn was the keynote speaker at the chamber’s annual banquet, and the program boasted a silent auction, food, entertainment, a video presentation, and a visit from the sole surviving member of the original organizers of the chamber, Glen Nichols, Sr., now more than 90 years old.After a welcome from Chamber President Janna Gillard, presentation of the flags and pledge by members of Boy Scout Troop 347, the National Anthem and Invocation were presented by State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver.Josh Melton provided entertainment.The Community Leader of the Year Award was presented to DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Chief Donny Green, and Liberty Mayor Edward Hale was presented the Legacy Award.Winners of annual Leadership DeKalb Alumni awards were recognized as well.The Community Leader of the Year honor is awarded to a person who has made a significant and positive impact on the county that goes beyond commitment to their profession.Green has been chief of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department since 1994, serves as director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, and is a member of the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree Board of Directors.The Legacy Award is presented to an individual or group who has made a significant and positive impact on DeKalb County over a considerable period of time and in multiple or lasting ways.Hale was honored as the longest-serving elected public official in DeKalb County.He has served as mayor of Liberty for 42 years.Special awards were presented to Suzanne Williams for 10 years service as executive director of the chamber, and to Jen Sherwood for 15 years as director of Leadership DeKalb.Williams presented a recap of the chamber’s activities for the year, and a video showcasing highlights from 2012 was shown.Retiring chamber board members were also recognized.Local attorney Keith Blair, Mike Williams of the DeKalb County Fair Board, George Oliver of Smithville Rotary Club, Jason Ray of the Leadership Alumni Class of 2009 and Rhonda Caplinger of Liberty State Bank were named.New board members include Kathy Hendrixson, director of the DeKalb County Library System; Sherry Harris, owner of D & S Specialtees; Sue Conley, CEO for DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital; Jeff Crips, manager of the Regions Bank branch in Smithville; Raul Ramirez, human resources manager at Federal Mogul; Shea Hays Colwell, assistant director of nursing at NHC Healthcare in Smithville; and Stein Prichard, manager of Prichard Foods in Alexandria.Chamber officers for 2013 officers are President Janna Gillard, Vice President Julia Cantrell, Secretary Valerie House, and Treasurer Jeff Crips.