Thursday, March 8, 2007
County hands out awards
By SUE WATSON
Marshall County added four new members to its growing list of those saluted in industry, business and education at last week’s awards luncheon.
The industry of the year honor went to American Pacific wood paneling manufacturer in Holly Springs. Northcentral Mississippi Electric Power Association was tapped for the business of the year award. Potts Camp High School was named the school of the year and Diane Greer, elementary principal at Marshall Academy, took the educator of the year award.
The awards were established in 2001 by the Byhalia Area and Holly Springs chambers of commerce and Marshall County Industrial Development Authority as a way to acknowledge the contributions of individuals and corporate and business leaders toward the betterment of the county. The awards are based on nominations from the membership of both chambers of commerce.
Greer was cited for her 23 years as an educator and service with the Mississippi Private School Association, and has served on the Academic Betterment Committee and as chairman of the State Art Committee. She also was recognized for her devotion to church, community and civic clubs including the Holly Springs Garden Club, the Thursday Club and the Belles and Books Club.
“It was once said that leadership goes beyond the classroom,” said the nominator. “Diane Greer has taught many of Marshall County’s young ones and represents a commitment to making the world a better place.”
Northcentral EPA was cited for its 54-year involvement in community service, utility service, and contributions to the economic growth and quality of life in Marshall County.
The sponsorship of Youth Leadership programs that have helped over 100 young people expand their skills was noted. Northcentral was also recognized for the quality of service the association provides to its service area - Marshall, Tate and DeSoto counties - and for its prominent role in helping other communities recover after disasters, particularly the coastal communities that had their infrastructure devastated during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
“Personally, I don’t know where we would be without Northcentral. From the wonderful community building, to when the lights go out, we count on them to be there for us,” wrote the nominator.
Northcentral EPA is a Platinum Chamber Champion Sponsor of the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce. The award was accepted by general manager Kevin Doddridge and staff.
Potts Camp School principal Ken Basil accepted the school of the year award.
The school was praised for charity drives for families and for sharing school facilities with community and church groups and other worthwhile causes.
The nominator praised the “clean, bright and cheerful” school grounds, “the outstanding staff,” the spirit of cooperation shared by students, staff and the community and the quality of education provided.
American Pacific was selected as industry of the year based on its community involvement. The company chooses to show its love to the community by directing charitable efforts through donations of products, supporting conservation and environmental causes, and donating to schools and colleges. American Pacific is a sponsor of the Kudzu 5K Run (American Cancer Society), the Clydesdale Christmas Store and other causes.
Although there are many wonderful causes and it is difficult to choose, we are inspired by Amnesty International’s motto: It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness, according to Scott Beggs, plant manager.
The company strives to contribute to the betterment of society by providing good jobs, excellent products, and creating opportunity for others.
Past awards have gone to the following:
Author of “The Kindness Revolution” and Memphian Ed Horrell gave an energizing and inspiring presentation of how companies use the power of kindness to re-energize customer service.
He said most businesses still have a lot to learn about customer service and how to treat frontline employees - the first person a customer sees.
“If you treat your frontline employees with indifference or disregard, you can expect them to treat your customers with indifference, and you can expect them to have indifferent customers who will drop you for the next best thing without a murmur of regret,” he said. “Providing exceptional, compassionate customer service can only happen when you build a deep and lasting relationship with your employees. And it’s kindness that most characterizes that relationship.”
Some attributes of standout companies, Horrell said, include a strong conviction that:
“The kindness revolution is a resounding wake-up call to change the way your company thinks about its employees and to practice the basic values of dignity, respect, courtesy and kindness from top to bottom throughout your organization,” Horrell said. “Follow the wise advice and insightful examples in the kindness revolution and experience the enormous payback in loyal customers, a more prosperous company and a better way of life.”
The next event on the Byahlia Area Chamber calendar is the quarterly membership luncheon, set for Thursday, March 15, at 11:30 a.m. at the Byhalia United Methodist Church fellowship hall. Guest speaker is Tom Pittman, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi. His topic will be “How to Live in a Better Place Without Moving.”
For reservations to the luncheon, call 662-838-8127.
To learn more about the chambers of commerce and county, visit www.hollyspringsmschamber.org, www.GoByhalia.com, and www.marshallcoms.com.
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