Businesses, residents honored at Diamond Awards luncheon
Published 3:18 pm Thursday, December 3, 2015
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – Shelby County residents and businesses received recognition for their positive impact on local communities at the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce’s 10th Annual Diamond Awards luncheon at Columbiana First United Methodist Church.
Nominees and winners of the 2015 Business of the Year, New Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Ambassador of the Year awards were presented with plaques from the chamber.
“We were so overwhelmed with the amount of nominations we got this year,” South Shelby Chamber Executive Director April Stone said. “Thank y’all.”
Gene Rowley with APH Radio announced the nominees and winners for each category.
The 2015 Business of the Year winner is Davis Drug.
Other nominees for Business of the Year were: Columbiana Clinic, Mundy Motors, Shelby Baptist Association, Stone Hollow Farms, St. Vincent’s One Nineteen and Wellness, and American Tree Maintenance.
The 2015 New Business of the Year winner is Simply Infused.
Other nominees for New Business of the Year were: Southern Roots and Blooms.
The 2015 Citizen of the Year is Shari Hyde, a therapist at St. Vincent’s Hospital and clinic director at OnMark.
Other nominees for Citizen of the Year were: Harpersville Town Councilman William Rayfield; Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chris George; Della Pender, founder of God’s Ministry Outreach; Peg Hill, Shelby County Board of Education vice president; Vincent City Councilwoman Bridgette Jordan Smith; Chelsea COP member Donald Shirley; and Alicia Johnson, Chelsea COP member and employee at Davis Drug.
Stone presented the chamber’s 2015 Ambassador of the Year award to Vicki Everett with Juice Plus+.
Ambassadors are volunteers who attend the chamber’s monthly luncheons, ribbon cuttings and new member visits during the year.
“They are the extra hands and feet that I do not have,” Stone said, adding that the Ambassador of the Year recipient is chosen through a “friendly points competition” among ambassadors.
Also recognized were outgoing South Shelby Chamber board members Donna Smelcer with Shelby Baptist Medical Center and Mary DeLoach with Comfort Keepers; incoming chair Daniel Holmes with the Shelby County Reporter; and outgoing chair Dr. Ben Smith with Smith Chiropractic.
Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins thanked Stone for her work for the chamber.
Before the awards presentation, Lew Burdette, president of King’s Home, shared a personal story of faith and survival.
When he was 15 years old, Burdette was kidnapped at gunpoint outside of his father’s grocery store. He was beaten, shot, stabbed and left to die in a 30-foot well in a remote area. Burdette credited God with giving him the strength to climb out of the well and crawl to a nearby residence for help.
Burdette said lessons he learned during the ordeal were to have respect for others, respect for life, to value his life, to never give up and to live with urgency each day.
“Things don’t always go our way,” Burdette said. “Every single one of us faces struggles, but the true test is how we handle adversity. Live life with passion, without regret, with all your heart and soul and strength.”