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Chamber of Commerce names business, industry, community partners of the year at annual event

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Daryl Clark, owner of Fireside Pizza, was named Entrepreneur of the Year. Submitted photo Daryl Clark, owner of Fireside Pizza, was named Entrepreneur of the Year.
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As has become the norm for in-person gatherings, the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce held the 94th Annual Event & Awards Program virtually on Thursday evening, February 4 to celebrate our community by recognizing deserving individuals and businesses who consistently give of their time and talent, For the Love of Coffee. 


Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Kevin Elrod recognized business partners who generously allow a leadership staff member to commit three years of service on the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce Board and extended appreciation to the following for serving in this capacity from January 2018 - December 2020: Donovan Clements, Clements Purvis & Stewart CPA Firm; Frank Bussey, Empowerment International Ministries; Vette Lott, Atkinson Co Schools; Sonja McCulloch, South Georgia State College; and Linda Sprouse, Property Hunters of South Georgia.


Chairman Elrod introduced the 2021 Chamber Executive Board Officers & Board of Directors:



Chairman                                                        Kevin Elrod, FNB South

1st Vice Chair                                     Tracy McClelland, Ycarte Health Career Center

2nd Vice Chairman                                          Ben Floyd, Coffee Regional Medical Center

Treasurer                                                        Chad Guthrie, AgSouth

EDA President                                                 Stuart Smith, Douglas National Bank




Paulette Brown                                              Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Kassidy Carter                                   Bay Carter Farms

Jeffery Ingram                                   City of Douglas

Shawn Knight                                    Cow Tippers Burger Company

Dr. Morris Leis                                              Coffee County Schools

Shane Shook                                      Ameris Bank

Lee Taylor                                                     FNBCC

Christi Thomas                                              Coffee High School

Chris Watson                                     GracePointe Church

Kevin Koeppler                                              Sunbelt Greenhouses

Bree Mercer                                                    Make it Personal Monograms & Boutique

Sandy Sharpe                                      Southwire

Rueben Speight                                              Great Destiny International Ministries

Dr. Greg Tanner                                             South Georgia State College

Maggie Valladares                             Pilgrim’s

Patrick West                                       City of Douglas Police Department


Annual Awards and Recognitions


In the words of Martin Luther King, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Little did we know, those words spoken in 1963, would be as applicable in 2020, when seemingly overnight, we found ourselves in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.  Within Coffee County’s 600-sq miles over 43,000 residents found guidance from extraordinary leaders who rose to face the challenges of providing safety, security, and healthcare availability. 


Coffee County’s first responders, healthcare providers, educators and business owners faced uncharted territory.  While many were battling to keep our community safe and healthy, others were creating innovative methods to educate, provide services and keep doors open to meet the needs of our community.   Those recognized are only representatives of those they work alongside, and those who often work behind the scenes, but do so no less passionately and tirelessly.  All have provided services that have touched our lives personally and/or our families, friends and neighbors and have done so with great resilience in the midst of a pandemic… all For the Love of Coffee.




The Jackie Wilson Women in Leadership Award celebrates women as valued members and leaders of the community.  It honors an individual who strives toward the highest level of personal and professional accomplishments that ultimately benefit the well-being of Coffee County.  This individual demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in their profession or community service, and provides valuable services by devoting time and energy to improving the quality of life for others. The recipient of the Jackie Wilson Women in Leadership Award, President & CEO of Coffee Regional Medical Center, is Vicki Lewis.




The Gene Chambers Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates entrepreneurs as valued members and leaders of the community.  It honors the individual(s) who strive toward the highest level of personal or professional accomplishments.  An individual that demonstrates excellence, creativity, innovation, and a true entrepreneurial spirit.  The recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award is Daryl Clark, owner of Fireside Pizza.


SMALL BUSINESS PARTNER OF THE YEAR                                        


The Small Business Partner of the Year Award celebrates a small business that demonstrates excellence, innovativeness and creativity to support business growth, made investments in business expansion, improvements or renovations, and demonstrates innovative business practices and approaches to business operations. 


The recipients of the Small Business Partner of the Year Award are John and Debra Glosson, owners of J&D Designs and Cafe.




The Industry Partner of the Year celebrates the contributions of an industry that demonstrates excellence, creativity, or initiatives to support business retention and expansion, creates an atmosphere for job growth, supports initiative(s) to enhance the economic well-being of Coffee County and/or demonstrates unique or innovative approaches to business.  The recipient of the Industry Partner of the Year is Coffee Regional Medical Center; Board Chair, Marleen Baldree and CRMC Executive Leadership Staff




The Community Partner of the Year award celebrates the contributions of a community agency or organization who has an on-going commitment and partnership with the business community to address the needs of the Douglas-Coffee County area.  Community partners play a vital role in engaging stakeholders to meet critical need(s) of the community.   They are a public entity, non-profit or governmental agency based in the Douglas-Coffee County area with demonstrated contributions that reflect the needs of the community, they demonstrate excellence, creativity, or initiatives to support workforce development.


The recipients of the community partner of the year include each of our educational institutions for their unwavering commitment to meet the critical needs of Coffee County.  The pandemic’s impact has been extensive and the adjustments made (and continue to be made) are certainly unprecedented. 


Recipients of the Community Partners of the Year:




Kimberly Lott, Director




Sally Bryant, Head of School, Tammy Sellers, Assistant Head of School,

Billy Waldron, Board Chair




Dr. Morris Leis, Superintendent




Dr. Ingrid Sellers, President




Dr. Tina Anderson, President




Casey Stewart, Nurse Manager




The Community Spirit Award is in recognition of those who provide leadership and devotion to their community.  One who sees a need and rather than saying, somebody needs to do something, they become that somebody.  One that uses their time and talent to work for the betterment and overall quality of life, and consistently shows their love for Coffee County by helping meet the unmet needs of fellow Coffee Countians. The recipients of the Community Spirit Award, Coffee County Food Bank, are Lisa Leverette, Allison Woodward and Kimberly Lott


To learn more about how to give, volunteer, or receive assistance from the Coffee County Food Bank, please visit http://www.coffeecountyfoodbank.org OR stop by 611 West Baker Hwy, Douglas, GA 31533 or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/coffeecountyfoodbank/




The Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce extends a very special thank you to the Annual Event sponsors who made the 94th Annual Event & Awards Program possible:


PLATINUM Sponsors:  Pilgrim’s, FNBCC and Douglas-Coffee County Economic Development Authority


GOLD Sponsors:  Coffee Regional Medical Center and FNB South


SILVER Sponsor:  Douglas National Bank


And special thank you to the emcee for the evening, Mr. Brad Riner, and  Mr.  Jack Moffet, BlackFox Video Productions. 


Miss the premier of the annual event?  You can watch it on Facebook or YouTube at the following links:


To view on FaceBook click here: Douglas-Coffee Co Chamber 94th Annual Event

To view on YouTube click here: Douglas-Coffee Co Chamber 94th Annual Event.

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