Andalusia Chamber names Michele Gerlach for President’s Award

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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The Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce President’s Award for 2023-2024 is Michele Gerlach.

An Elba native, Michele serves as the Communications Director and Grant Writer for the City of Andalusia. She is the Secretary for the Covington Veterans Foundation and was the driving force for getting the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to Andalusia. Along with Robert Evers, she is also responsible for the veterans’ memorial banners that are displayed throughout the city.

She is very active in the civic life of Andalusia. She is an Andalusia Rotary Club member and previously served as past president. Michele has served on the boards of the Andalusia Ballet, Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation, ReAct Theatre and Arts, the Covington County Program of Leadership, and the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce.

She is very involved at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and serves as lay leader for the church. The lay leader is responsible for communications with the laity of the church and serves as a liaison between the clergy and the members of the congregation. She also assists with the church’s monthly Rice and Beans ministry, annual Bayou Feast, and the annual St. Mary’s 5K Run/Walk.

She coordinates special projects and grants for the City of Andalusia, which have included the Splash Pad and Miracle League.

Michele’s ability to get things done is unmatched. She is always willing to help and is the driving force behind every successful endeavor. The city would not have its visibility without Michele.

Michele previously managed and worked in newspapers in Andalusia, Brewton, Atmore, Russellville, and Alexander City. She was also a director of public relations at Jefferson Davis Community College, where she also managed a federal grant.

Michele was also the former publisher and editor of the Andalusia Star-News for 13 years and was a vice president and group manager for the Star-News’ parent company, Boone Newspapers. She has managed and worked in several newspapers across the state and also co-owned a small business with her husband.

In addition, she has also been active across the state. She is the former president and chairman of the board of the Alabama Press Association. Michele is also a graduate of Leadership Alabama.

Michele truly lives the statement, “Love where you live.”

Michele is married to her husband Tom Gerlach, and they have a dog, Max. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Mainstream Media and also earned a degree from Troy University in Business.

“I would define Michele as a ‘Renaissance Woman,’ a woman with many talents or of knowledge,” City of Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson said. “While Michele’s title with the City is Communications Director, she is deeply involved in a leading capacity with all activities of the City and the Utility Board. I do not hesitate to assign any task to Michele, as I am confident that she will handle the task in a highly professional manner. The City and all its citizens are very fortunate to have Michele on our team, and we congratulate her on attaining this high honor from the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce.”