EASLEY — Business owners and community leaders came together on Thursday evening to take part in the 69th annual Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner.
“First of all, I want to thank you all for not only participating in our Chamber, but being active members of the community as well,” said Chamber President Cindy Hopkins. “This is a partnership and none of it would work without your support.”
WYFF News Channel 4 Anchor Patrick Hussion served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which recognized individuals and businesses in the Easley area for contributions to their communities.
“”Our Ambassador Committee consists of energized chamber members who serve as the volunteer public relations department for the organization,” said Hussion. “Together, they are invaluable asset to our membership retention efforts and of course, goodwill.”
The 2016 Chamber Volunteer Leadership Awards were presented to Dr. Chris Ferguson for Powdersville Advisory Member of the Year, Gordon Brush for Director of the Year and to Brittany Wyatt for Ambassador of the Year.
The Duke Citizenship and Service Award was presented to Sen. Larry Martin.
“This evening we have the privilege to honor a true public servant,” said Hussion before listing off an incredible resume of service including his leadership in the S.C. General Assembly and 22 years as the “Senator from Pickens.”
“You’re forgetting the most important thing on that list,” interjected Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell. “He was also the Grand Marshal for last year’s Christmas Parade!”
“Can’t forget that,” said Martin.
Julie Capaldi accepted the award for Non-Profit of the Year on behalf of United Way of Pickens County and Alida Gardiner of the YMCA was named the 2017 Young Professional of the Year.
The Small Business of the Year award was presented to Kelly’s Family Pharmacy for their role in the community by bringing a customer-service oriented experience to their customers.
The Sentinel-Progress was presented with the 2017 Pillar of Easley award, an honor that has previously been given to Robinson Funeral Home, Baptist Easley Hospital, R. Carl Byers Agency Inc. and Cely Construction.
“To say I am stunned and speechless is an understatement,” said Patricia Edwards, publisher of The Sentinel-Progress. “Receiving this award is truly an honor for all of us.”
Christine Wyatt, general manager of The Sentinel-Progress, praised the employees of the paper, saying that they are what provides the manpower for the paper to be as involved in the community as it is.
“I am honored to work with an amazing group of people every day,” Wyatt said. “They are passionate about their jobs, supportive of everything we do and come to work every day ready to go out and conquer the world. We can’t express how deeply appreciative we are for this award.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.