November 19, 2020 - The 98th Annual Awards Celebration for the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce was held at the John D. Windham Civic Center with awards being presented in recognition of volunteerism, hard work, as well as contributions to the community.
Chamber of Commerce President Deborah Chadwick started the evenings event with a welcome and an introduction of the guest speakers and the awards presentations coming.
The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors were acknowledged with special recognition given to Marco Pallares who is serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Wil Blackshear who is serving as Chairman Elect of the Board of Directors. Pallares works at Farmers State Bank and Blackshear works at Ihlo Sales.
Seven Shelby County citizens were honored recipients of awards and were recognized for their contributions to the community. The recipients were:
Stephanie Elswick was presented with the 2020 Chamber of Commerce President's Award by Deborah Chadwick.
Teachers of the Year were honored by Mary Lynn Tinkle and announced to be Elementary Teacher of the Year - Laura Oates from Center ISD and Secondary Teacher of the Year - Virginia Fischer from Center ISD.
Texas AgriLife Extension Agent Lane Dunn then presented the Farm Family of the Year award to Waylon and Margo Griffith of Center.
Young Citizen of the Year was awarded to James Ragan, owner of 3 P's Mobile Pressure Washing. The award was presented by the 2019 recipient Clay Ihlo. Ragan was recognized for his work helping others during a crisis whether it was COVID-19 or a hurricane demonstrating a true servant's heart.
The Distinguished Service Award was then awarded by last years recipient, Fannie Watson, to a surprised Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge. Watson commended Harbison's strong work ethic which included being a business owner and an elected official. Even as she experienced serious health problems in 2019, she fought hard to recover only to be confronted with COVID-19 in 2020 which she didn't hesitate to take on.
Congratulations to all who received recognition and thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Shelby County community.
Additional details from the event as well as more photos will be added soon.