• 84°

DACC names Business, Citizen of the Year

The Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates the highlights of 2016 during the annual Chamber Celebration Thursday evening and presented its annual awards to individuals and businesses for their efforts and community involvement.

DACC Executive Director Candace Dorriety presented the 2016 Business of the Year Award went to Jason Windham for Batter Up.

“Whether it be elementary, middle, or high school … sports, academic affiliations or just camaraderie, Batter Up always steps up to the plate. Their generosity to our community and unparalleled support truly set them apart. Jason has a genuinely kind heart and a desire to see our community thrive,” Dorriety said.

“Having attended the chamber of commerce awards banquet for over 10 years, I have always held the Business of the Year Award in high regard and I’m truly honored to have been recognized. I have to give the credit to my staff who works so hard to make this possible and to the people of Demopolis who have supported my family over the years,” Windham said.

As well as taking home an award, Windham also presented this year’s Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award to Daphne Glaser. Recently celebrating her 90th birthday, Glaser remains an active volunteer in the community through her church and at the Demopolis Food Pantry where she works each week.

“Daphne works diligently every Wednesday at the Demopolis Food Pantry, sacking groceries to help others,” Windham said. “

Glaser volunteers in many other ways, including through the hospital auxiliary and the prison ministry Kairos, as well working through her memberships with the Canebrake Players, the Two Rivers Arts Council, and the Marengo County History and Archives Museum. Glaser is also very active through her home church, First United Methodist Church in Demopolis.

DACC Board Member Michael Mullins, who was presented the gavel as the 2017 Chairman, presented this year’s award for Citizen of the Year to Jennifer Roemen.

“Jennifer has made a significant impact on our community with her tireless efforts at Canebrake, with the Demopolis City Schools, Christmas on the River, and much more,” Mullins said. “Because of citizens like Jennifer, the quality of life in our community continues to bloom.”

“I love this city and its people. I want to thank you for letting me be part of it,” Roemen said in accepting the award.

Dorriety presented this year’s Community Spirit Award to Claire Bell for her service to the community.

“Claire personifies the true spirit of Demopolis. She is a selfless citizen who strives to help others. She volunteers countless hours both at our schools and through her church affiliations at First United Methodist of Demopolis. She is a ‘mama’ to so many kids, always greeting them with open arms,” Dorriety said.

Dan Wilson presented this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Arthur and Estelle Taylor. The couple operated Taylor Veneer for many years, employing many local residents and was involved in the building of the Demopolis marina. Arthur also served for many years on the Robertson Bank Board of Directors and Estelle served the community through many memberships in local clubs and service organizations.

“Tonight we celebrate the lives of two of our city’s greatest assets. They have often worked behind the scenes and don’t seek attention, but tonight we are pulling the curtain and letting the spotlight shine on them in recognition of all they have done for our community,” Wilson said.

Following the presentation of awards, 2016 Chamber Board Chair Jennifer Cassity passed the gavel to this year’s chair, Michael Mullins.

The event included a silent auction with items donated by local businesses and dinner catered by Slab N More.

(This article originally published in the Saturday, March 25, 2017 print edition of the Demopolis Times.)