Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce holds annual banquet
Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2022
The Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce held its 106th annual banquet last Tuesday, May 17.
The banquet opened with an invocation by Rev. Bill Elwell of First United Methodist Church. Mayor Woody Collins spoke afterward and gave a statement on the city and expressed his pride in how Demopolis has fared during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it continues to draw new businesses.
“When I think of this city, I think of one word: proud. In a three-year shutdown of the world, we’ve landed a new saw mill, a new pellet mill in Drax, and an expansion project at H&M is beginning. We’ve got so many things going on that I’m excited about,” said Collins. “None of this would be possible without the Chamber of Commerce, Demopolis Industrial Development Board, and the Marengo County Economic Development Board. They are the ones who do all the hard work.”
Six awards were presented during the banquet. The first award of the night was the Community Spirit Award presented to the Demopolis Kiwanis Club. The Kiwanis Club of Demopolis, Alabama is a Domestic Non-Profit Corporation in Alabama and its company number is 762 – 536. The Kiwanis Club of Demopolis, Alabama was registered on 11-14-1960. Valley Harrison accepted the award from Mayor Collins.
“This is a tremendous honor for the Kiwanis Club. We are a global organization dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time,” said Harrison. “What that means for us is we are able to make a difference here locally. We certainly couldn’t do this without the support of our community and for that we are grateful. This is a great honor and we appreciate it.”
The second award of the night was the Chamber Volunteer Award presented to Catherine Meador.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with David and the Chamber, as well as the members of Leadership Marengo. They are truly great people and our organization would not be as strong without them,” said Meador. “I love Demopolis and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with so many people through these organizations. I am truly honored to have this award.”
The next award was the Citizen of the Year award presented to Sgt. Richard “Tank” Bryant of the Demopolis Police Department.
“Demopolis is not where I was born, but it has since become my home. I came here in 2003 and started as a security guard for Foster Farms. When I finished school, I decided I wanted to stay here in Demopolis and got on with the police department,” said Bryant. “So many people have come together to make this community what it is and helped me get to where I am today. I thank you all for your support.”
The Business of the Year Award was presented to H&M Construction Co and was accepted by Shawn Hall.
“I want to thank our people for their hard work. I’m getting the award, but what people don’t realize is we have people in Texas, Florida, Tennessee. We’ve got people away from the families and they do a lot for our company,” said Hall.
DHS student Ben Tuberville received the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award from Ashley Coplin. Tuberville is the State President of DECA, a member of the DHS tennis team, a member of the First United Methodist Church Youth, and is active in the Canebrake Players and the Tigers Arts Guild.
“I want to thank my friends, family, and teachers because I definitely wouldn’t be here if they didn’t push me to my hardest. I also want to thank the Chamber of Commerce for this award. It’s truly a great honor,” said Tuberville.
The last award of the night was the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Municipal Judge Woody Dinning, Jr. of Lloyd and Dinning, L.L.C. in Demopolis. District Attorney Greg Griggers presented the award.
“I appreciate receiving this award because it has made me reflect over the past four decades. It’s made me think about certain people and the relationships that I have had. I’ve had a lot of giants in my life like my dad and Hugh Lloyd, and they taught me a lot about practicing law,” said Dinning. “But most importantly, they taught me how to work with people and how treat and respect them. They were always there for me and supported me in everything I did. This is not my award, it’s their award and on their behalf, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The banquet concluded with Chamber President Jeff Davidson stepping down from his position and swearing in his successor, Amy Duke.