November 7, 2019 - (More Photos Coming Soon!) - The 97th Shelby County Chamber of Commerce banquet was held Thursday night, November 7, 2019 at the John D. Windham Civic Center with 100 years of Chamber of Commerce history highlighted along with community members honored.
The Distinguished Citizen of the Year award was presented to Fannie Watson with a standing ovation for her years of service and dedication to the community. Jheri-Lynn McSwain, the 2018 recipient, had the honor of introducing and presenting Ms. Watson with her award.
The Young Citizen of the Year was presented to Clay Ihlo by Clayton Windham who was the the 2018 recipient. Ihlo, since moving back to Shelby County, has become an active member of the community. He is a loan officer at Shelby Savings Bank, a member of the Center Noon Lions Club, President of the Center Country Club, a member of the Shelby County Cookers, and Past-Postmaster of the Sam Sanford Lodge.
The farm family of the year was introduced by Lane Dunn, Shelby County AgriLife Extension Agent, to be John Paul Lawson and wife Dixie. The Lawson family was recognized for not only their dedication to Agriculture but also for their focus on the future of Agriculture.
Brian Dean, Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board, presented the Chairman of the Board award to Rose Specter for volunteering whenever needed and her willingness to always help.
Dean also gave acknowledgement to Brian Wages for the Past Chairman of the Board award. Wages served the chamber as Chairman of the Board in 2018.
Mary Lynn Tinkle introduced the two Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Teachers of the Year to the audience. Both had been honored at a reception earlier in the year. The Elementary Teacher of the Year was Beth Nichols and the Secondary Teacher of the Year was Brooke Harrison. (Related article: Nichols, Harrison Receive Shelby County Teacher of the Year Awards).
Chris Watlington who has preformed the duties of Master of Ceremonies for many years and occasions for the Chamber of Commerce received a special acknowledgement for his service and was presented a golden microphone trophy.