Chamber names businesses of the year

Published 9:43 am Friday, February 2, 2018

Outgoing Chamber President Vicki Popwell recognized four businesses for excellence during Thursday night’s Chamber banquet.


Incoming Chamber President Will Bumpers presents the small business of the year award to Lindsey Reaves, Utopia Salon and Spa.

Utopia Salon and Spa

Small Business of the Year

Popwell said owner Lindsey Reaves is an excellent example of a female business leader who is forging new ways to deliver value to her customers.

“Five years ago, she took a leap of faith and built a state-of-the-art spa and salon,” Popwell said. “Today, Utopia employs 11 people, doing its part to keep the local economy strong.

“Lindsey has cultivated an extremely loyal customer base over the years,” Popwell said, adding that those customers encouraged her to expand the salon by adding a boutique.”


Southern Independent Bank

Incoming Chamber President Will Bumpers presents the mid-sized business of the year award to Buddy Wilkes, Southern Independent Bank.

Mid-Sized Business of the Year

“In 11 short years, Southern Independent Bank has proven itself to be a leader not online in financial integrity, but in serving as an active corporate citizen in civic, charitable, educational and economic development endeavors,” Popwell said. “Since opening in 2006, SIB has grown from 16 to 34 employees and from total assets of $4.6 million to more than $200 million.”

Incoming Chamber President Will Bumpers presents the large business of the year award to John Yanes, Andalusia Health.

Andalusia Health

Large Business of the Year

“Andalusia Health is a Joint Commission-accredited, acute care facility that has provided quality care for South Central Alabama for more than 50 years,” Popwell said. “Under the astute leadership of Mr. John Yanes, Andalusia Heath has been redefined and invigorated with new ideas and services.

Popwell cited Andalusia Health’s work in establishing the Summer Student Experience f or high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen interested in health careers, and in partnering with LBWCC to provide leadership development opportunities for employees.

“Andalusia Health has made more than $1.2 million in capital improvements, adding the Walk In Clinic and cardiac cath lab,” Popwell said.

Jeffery Douglas, owner of Mr. Mattress, accepts the community service business of the year award.

Mr. Mattress

Community Service Business of the Year Award

Popwell said the award goes to a business that has dedicated service to the Chamber of Commerce and supported endeavors that enhance the quality of life for the community.

Popwell said owner Jeffery Douglas’s family business history dates to 1918 with the inception of Andalusia Mattress.

“It’s no doubt, the values of hard work and an enthusiastic entrepreneur spirit inspired Jeffery to form Mr. Matress in 2011,” she said. “Jeffery Douglas is a firm believer in supporting others in his community. His generosity is kind and gracious, not requiring a lot of attention nor recognition. He has been behind the mask at Cookies with Characters raising money and awareness for Meredith’s Miracles, a friend to the fire department, recently donating six new beds, and an advocate for the Chamber of Commerce.