Excitement flourished at the Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Luncheon recently.
The Civic Award was a new category this year designed to recognize an exemplary city, police or fire employee. Chamber President Dona Bonnett, presented this award to Public Works Director Johnny Warren.
“His performance speaks for itself with his hard work, leadership and decision-making. Johnny is respected by all and works well with others. He definitely goes over and beyond and we appreciate the job he has done in coordination with our events team this year on all of our chamber and community events,” Bonnett shared.
Bonnett also presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to Pat Shipp representing Moody Miracle League, “Pat has volunteered many hours of service to the chamber. Pat has been very a very active Corporate Ambassador this year and has taken on an incredible responsibility with the Ambassador Program. He has spent countless hours and worked diligently to see that needs have been met with every event we have hosted this year. Pat shows up early, stays late, builds relationships, troubleshoots, works tireless and helps everyone along the way. He is an incredible representative for our chamber and community.” Moody Miracle League provides services for special needs individuals from St. Clair County, Leeds and beyond to play baseball as well as social events for them to participate with at no cost to these families.
Chamber Vice-President Bill Morris, presented the Non-Profit of the Year Award to the Leeds Arts Council. “Over the past year, Leeds Arts Council has hosted 37 events that promoted the artistic culture of the Leeds area. One of these events was designated by the Alabama Humanities Foundation as an Alabama Bicentennial event. They have also promoted many educational events that provided the opportunity for the area youth to develop their talents. Among these was an open mic night for young performers, a two-week student workshop for young actors which concluded with several sold out performances of the play, Frozen Jr. Another was a Tuesday evening acting class. They also had artwork hung in their gallery by the Leeds High School and Moody High School art classes. LAC worked in conjunction with Leeds Jane Culbreth Library and Leeds Redevelopment Authority to present two performances of the John Henry play during the John Henry Celebration in September. The council also participated in First Thursday events providing sound at the gazebo and also for the city Christmas Tree Lighting and was open that night to welcome area residents with hot chocolate, popcorn and a place to keep warm. A Christmas variety show ended the year with singers and musicians from the Leeds area celebrating the season.”
Chamber Immediate Past President Brad Pool presented the Business of the Year Award, “It is with much enthusiasm that I present this award to Mills Pharmacy. Not only does this newer Leeds business provide excellent services to their customers, they are also a great community partner. The owner and his staff have poured themselves into the community and you will see them at almost every chamber or community event. They participated in the Creek Bank Festival, First Thursdays, John Henry Celebration, Leeds Fall Festival, Christmas Tree Lighting and Leeds Christmas Parade. They organized and hosted a charity 5k and fun run this year and have become famous with the balloon artist and have sponsored them at multiple area events. Mills Pharmacy continues to bring services to help local residents including the Drug Take Back Program where people can drop off their old drugs and narcotics to get them out of circulation and off the streets. Their most recent program launched is the Amazon package center so that people can have their packages delivered at Mills Pharmacy so that the shipments will be safe rather than being left at the resident’s door susceptible to thievery. This business has now expanded to ten locations over the Birmingham metro area. Their services include traditional prescription services, compounding, immunizations, over the counter medications and other health supplies. The pharmacies also have a wonderful array of retail products and gift items.”
City Councilwoman Linda Miller recognized Dona Bonnett for serving as the 2019 Chamber President and presented the gavel plaque. In addition, Miller installed the incoming 2020 chamber board as follows: President Dona Bonnett - Business & Marketing Strategies; Vice-President Bill Morris - Leeds Water Works Board; Treasurer Jen Platt – Lehigh Cement; Immediate Past President Brad Pool -Cahawba Financial; and board members, Robert Mills – Mills Pharmacy; Rev. Jacky Connell – Eden Westside Baptist Church; Chris Savage – Windstream; Brad Watson – City of Leeds; Fred Britt – Power LaserCut; Neva Reardon – Mum & Me Mercantile & Mum’s Unique Consignment Shop; George Garcia –Lehigh Cement; Sandra McGuire – Executive Director; and Representative Dickie Drake. Board members not present included Dr. Michelle Davis – Michelle Davis Dental; Jen Platt – Lehigh Cement; John Moore; Tiffiany Ward – Millennial Bank; and Christy Smith – BancorpSouth.
Bonnett shared the chamber’s 2020 vision as 2020 Chamber President and thanked outgoing board members, Antoinette Madison – Alabama Power; Scott Pellowski – State Farm; and Jeff Hudson – Standard Furniture for their service.
Leeds First United Methodist Church kitchen ladies were also recognized for their years of service in volunteering at chamber luncheons: Lena Blair, Mae Hinton, Teresa Childs, Jeannie Doss and Ann Yeckley.
Beginning with the January 2020 luncheon, the chamber will meet at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Family Life Center. Corporate Ambassadors will still meet at the Methodist Church each month.