PRESTONSBURG — Members of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary in grand fashion at their annual awards banquet and officer installation ceremony at the Wilkinson-Stumbo Convention Center on Thursday.
Dinner was served along with entertainment from promising Kentucky talents Haley Sullivan and Clarke Sexton. The two tied for first place at Big Sandy Idol and are active members of the Kentucky Opry Jr. Pros. Both plan to attend Belmont University in Nashville when they graduate high school.
The chamber then recognized past chairs from across their half-century history for their service, before moving on to the first awards.
Skip Holmes of Fairway Outdoor Advertising was awarded a special “Thank You” award for his efforts in promoting the chamber’s work. The Carl D. Perkins Job Corps was awarded the Partner in Education award for their service training area youth. The Community Service award went to St. Vincent Mission for its tireless efforts in promoting the health and welfare of Floyd Countians.
It was then time to pay tribute and honor those that were recently lost. William “Kelly” Moore, Wesley “Wes” Blackburn, Dr. Mahendra Varia, and Danny Vanhoose — each one a fixture of the community — were all fondly remembered for their contributions to the Chamber of Commerce, their generosity to the people of Floyd County, and their enduring friendship.
Next came the main awards of the evening, which included:
• Chamber Excellence Award: Michelle Staniford, BB&T
• Floyd County Hall of Fame: Judge John David Caudill
• Floyd Countian of the Year: Sandy Runyon, Big Sandy Area Development District
• Horizon Award: Lizzie B’s Cafe and Bakery
• Business Person of the Year: Kindra Horne Baker, Daffodils
• Business of the Year: Pop’s Chevrolet
The Chamber also recognized the graduates of its Leadership Floyd County program. The program, coordinated by Leslie Fossitt from BSCTC, Sabrina Hicks from McDowell ARH, and Dakota Maynard from First Commonwealth Bank, aims to grow the county by opening the lines of communication and developing awareness about the issues affecting Floyd County. Graduates this year included Angela Baldridge, from First Commonwealth Bank; John Caldwell, from Community Trust Bank; Maxanna Cook, from Highlands Health Systems, Thelma Jones, from Community Trust Bank; Tracy Coots, from Carl D. Perkins Job Corps; Lisa Music, from BSCTC; and Michelle Springer, from McDowell ARH.
Chamber of Commerce Chair Thomas Rainey then recognized the outgoing members of the board, before Floyd County Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall began the ceremony to install the new board of directors, officers, and chair. Michelle Meek of BSCTC and Dr. Henry Webb of the Floyd County Board of Education are joining the board of directors, while Kindra Horne Baker is now an executive board member.
Misty Turner, of Citizens National Bank, is the chamber’s new chairperson, a position she graciously accepted before taking the podium to thank previous chair Thomas Rainey for his hard work. She also took time to thank all the contributing organizations and sponsors that make the Chamber of Commerce work and made the annual banquet a success.