Thursday, May 11, 2006
Coleman selected Staff Person of Year
By SUE WATSON
Lyn Jones Coleman joins a growing list of staffers chosen for recognition by the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce. She received the award at a recent luncheon, held each year at the Byhalia United Methodist Church.
Prior awards have gone to Joe Dunning, Teresa O’Hearn, Latish Ambrose and Waureen Going.
Chamber members nominate an outstanding staff member from their organization each year.
Coleman was nominated by Northcentral Mississippi Electric Power Association where she has served as office manager since 2000. Previous to that Coleman was a customer service representative with Northcentral.
The winning nomination praised Coleman as an “asset to Byhalia, Marshall County and the Olive Branch area.”
“Without complaining, Coleman wears many different hats from taking care of flooded bathrooms to working with the largest corporate customers,” Northcentral administrators wrote. “Having to oversee the organization’s computer network and equipment along with several different tasks, Coleman requires no supervision whatsoever, which is an employer’s dream.”
Coleman manages the daily operations and a staff of 11, has overall responsibility for customer service and accounting and helps with after-hours calls. She is a graduate of Byhalia High School and holds a bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s in accounting from the University of Mississippi.
The luncheon is hosted by the Byhalia Garden Club, organized since 1938, with recent projects including maintaining a memorial garden, placing a welcome sign at the entry to the city and flower urns downtown and planting a white oak tree at the new fire department building.
“I want to keep our downtown beautiful and we appreciate that,” said Karen Conway, Chamber board secretary and event planner.
Other part-time Chamber staffers were introduced - Jan Sisk, clerical assistant; Blane Tooley, website manager; Sammi Shackelford, bookkeeper; Doris Lee, sales representative; Mindy Minor, advertising.
“The Chamber could not be anywhere near where it is without this volunteer time,” said Sarah Sawyer, executive director.
Before introducing the guest speaker, journalist Eva Ann Dorris, Sawyer shared ideas she gleaned from a recent speech by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the FedEx Forum.
“At the body/mind/spirit seminar at FedEx, we learned that your words are important and how important what you say becomes what you believe,” she said. “Being positive makes you positive and being negative builds negativity in you.”
She led the audience in speaking the words, “I am alive, I’m awake, and I feel great,” words to be used as a morning exercise in the shower.
“Try that on your boss and see what happens!” Sawyer said.
Dorris, author of two syndicated columns - the magazine column “From My Side of the Fence” and “Sweet Tea and Sour Notes,” a human interest column - recounted some details of a recent cancer scare she had, shared funny anecdotes about her family and the contents of a dream.
She said she prayed for strength to see her daughters graduate and stay connected to their dad, but never asked God for healing.
“God can do better than that,” Dorris was told by friends who launched prayer chains. Afterward she was informed by her oncologist that her tumors were benign - that she fit into his 1 percent margin of error in prognosis for this type of cancer.
“We will keep monitoring it; a miracle happened,” she said. “Not sharing that would not be holding up my end of the deal. As long as there’s faith, there is always hope.”
Dorris autographed copies of her book, “Mama Taught Me Better But I Quit Listening,” a collection of 200 of her columns written in the first two years of her syndication.
Chamber Event Calendar
May 20 - White Oak Classic, Thomas Arena
June 29 - Quarterly luncheon, Northeast EPA Building
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