By SHERRY DIGMON
Much was different at the 73rd Annual Meeting and Chamber Gala Friday, February 8. But much was the same. The event is always an opportunity to celebrate Atmore and excellence.
Business of the Year award was presented to Fehr Paint Contracting, owners Chris and Brandy Fehr. The Fehrs not only secured a grant to paint the Greater Escambia Center for the Arts, they’re donating their time to work on the project.
Beth Drew was named the 2019 Citizen of the Year. In her nomination letter, Poarch Creek Chairwoman Stephanie Bryan wrote this: It is my distinct honor and privilege to nominate Beth Drew for the designation of Citizen of the Year. Because of her unwavering commitment to the children of Escambia County and her demonstrated dedication to readying our children of today for the workforce of tomorrow, I can think of no individual who is more deserving than Beth for this recognition. … Assistant Superintendent Drew has worked in Escambia County for 36 years. During that time, she has served as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Elementary Supervisor, Federal Programs Director, and worked a year with the State Department of Education with the Alabama Reading Initiative. She has served as the Assistant Superintendent since 2014.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ruth Harrell. In announcing the award Friday night, Patty Helton Davis said this about her friend: [Ruth] has received what seems like every nursing, medical, and community service [award] known to man. This person has mentored countless people over the years especially in the medical and nursing field. emphasizing that it wasn’t a choice but a calling. It’s about helping your neighbor and community – going beyond the walls of an institution or facility. It is educating and giving your time for medical prevention so that your community has power OVER their health … This year’s Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award winner is a true “Florence Nightingale” to our Community.
A new award was presented this year. Atmore Flower Shop, owner Joyce Petty, received the first Lifetime Business Award. The award was presented for her many accomplishments and service to the community over 25 years in business.
Jordan Barnett is the new Chamber president. David Strawbridge is vice president. Emilee Waters is treasurer.
The 2019 directors are AJ Beachy, Chuck Brooks, Erin Hankins, Erin Hollingsworth, Dr. Hank Lee, Hope Lassiter, Jodi James, John Stallworth, Ruthie Stephens, Sandy Helton, Shapard Marks, Tom Tschida.