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Sparks talks business to chamber

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Ron Sparks will headline the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce&8217;s 92nd annual Chamber Banquet and Dinner on Monday.

Sparks, a native of Ft. Payne, began working at a young age in a sock mill. As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Sparks served in the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard, where he received numerous commendations and letters of merit.

After completing his service in the Coast Guard, Sparks graduated from East State Community College and at the age of 24 became one of the youngest county commissioners elected in the State of Alabama. He later was appointed director of the 911 system, and was later elected the state president of Alabama 911.

In 1999, Sparks was appointed assistant commissioner of agriculture and industries. He served in this capacity for four years, and then sought the commissioner&8217;s office. He won re-election for his second term in office as commissioner in 2006.

Sparks is a youth league coach in DeKalb County. He has three children, Misty Dixon, Sparky Sparks and Luke Sparks, and one grandchild, Jake Dixon.

The banquet will be held at the Demopolis Civic Center and is one of the biggest function for the chamber and its members for the year, Smith said. The function normally draws around 350 people in attendance, she said.

Smith said the majority of the chamber members usually come out to the event each year.

The event includes a silent auction and reception beginning at 6 p.m. with the dinner and meeting starting at 7 p.m. Immediately following dinner, 2007 Chairman of the Board, Patricia Quinney, will recognize outstanding chamber contributors for the past year. Smith will provide a brief overview of chamber activities and accomplishments and then present the much anticipated awards for business and individual achievements.

Smith said the business and citizen of the year awards are the two most anticipated awards given out at the ceremony. She said the chamber started handing out its awards at the banquet in 1981 and they have become a mainstay of the event.

Smith said tickets are currently on sale for the event for $25 at the chamber office located at 102 East Washington St. in downtown Demopolis. The deadline for ticket purchase is today.

For additional information, contact the chamber office at 334-289-0270.