By Linda Cooper
The Millington Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2014 annual dinner gala “Blue Jeans, Boas & Bowties” on Thursday evening at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. Some 160 business and community leaders attended the sold-out event, which highlighted the Chamber’s activities for the year and paid tribute to members who have made outstanding contributions to the Chamber and the community.
Chamber Executive Director Charles Gulotta and Chairman of the Board Dianne Baker reported on the financial stability of the Chamber, growth in membership and positive changes and additions to the Chamber’s many events and activities in 2014.
The Chamber honored Baker as its Person of the Year for 2014, for her stewardship of the organization over the past year, noting that her energy, creativity, hands-on involvement and commitment to the mission of the Chamber played a key role in the Chamber’s stability, growth and successes over the past year.
Gulotta stated, “In our leadership classes we have been taught that our actions should leave a positive legacy for those following in our footsteps, Dianne is the living embodiment of this concept.”
Baker said of the award, “This is a true honor and a wonderful legacy,” noting her mother Mildred Fondren was the recipient of the Person of the Year Award in 1981 and was the secretary for the Chamber for 27 years.
Larry Jackson, President of Patriot Bank was recognized with the Hall of Honor Award for his stalwart support of the Chamber for many years, as well as his extensive involvement and leadership roles in the community.
RE/MAX Right Way realtors Tommy and Ginger Whitlock were recognized with the Heart and Hand Award for their ongoing commitment to the Chamber and the community through their various entrepreneurial pursuits and community activities.
Sharon Nix with Memphis International Raceway was awarded with the Ambassador of the Year honor for the ambassador whose volunteer efforts have most substantially contributed to the success of the Chamber’s events and activities.
The 2014 team of Chamber Ambassador volunteers also included: Deborah Wiggins – City of Millington
Lillie Stollings-Patriot Bank
Dee Clark- Trustmark Bank
Linda Evans-Methodist North Hospital
April McCoy- First South Financial Credit Union Rhonda Wilson-First South Financial Credit Union Carrie Cullum- Millington Family YMCA
Beth Hearn-Ritter Communications
Collen Braithwaite-Ritter Communications
Alisha Huddleston-Patriot Bank