Congrats to honorees

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 26, 2013

A number of people were honored by the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday night when it held its 90th annual membership and awards banquet.

Civic awards went to James William Hamiter Jr. – Bill to his friends – for his work as head of the committee that raised money for, helped design, researched the history of Alatex. The project culminated with the dedication of the Alatex Memorial Park just after the Chamber moved into its new home, the former Alatex corporate headquarters.

Hamiter spent his career with the company and its successor companies.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Kim Carter, who was recognized for her work with Coterie Club, Relay for Life, and the LBW Community College Foundation. She is the vice president of finance at Covington Electric Cooperative.

The T.J. Fleming Inspirational Award went to Straughn senior quarterback Chase Short. Short has been a leader on and off the athletic field.

A new award

The Chamber has established a new award, the Andalusia Leadership Hall of Fame.

Fittingly, as the Chamber celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, the first award went to John George Scherf Sr., the pioneering immigrant who came to Andalusia to work for the Chamber.

Scherft went on to serve as mayor and to found Andala and Alatex.

During his 16-year tenure, Andalusia became a more progressive city, finances were stabilized, streets were paved and named, the Clean City Award was received on more than one occasion, industry was encouraged, the library grew and the schools were among the best, Sidney Waits wrote in a biography.

Certainly, his leadership during the difficult times of the Great Depression were instrumental in Andalusia’s evolution.

Business awards went to:

• Mom and Pop Business of the Year: Vickie Wacaster and Comfort Care Hospice;

• Small Business of the Year Award: Jimmy Cox and Carolina Millwork and Truss;

• Large Business of the Year Award: Covington Electric Cooperative;

• Business of the Year Service Award: CCB Community Bank.

Education awards went to:

• Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Jenifer Earnest, Andalusia Elementary School;

• Middle School Teacher of the Year: Candy Parker, Andalusia Middle School;

• Secondary Teacher of the Year: Perry Dillard, Andalusia High School;

• Student of the Year: Hannah Johnson, Red Level High School.

We join the community in saying congratulations to these folks for jobs well done, and thank them for making our community a better place.