Chamber announces new Civic Hall of Fame inductees
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua
The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama celebrated the 21st induction ceremony of civic leaders in the Tuscaloosa community on Oct. 21.
These local heroes are making a strong impact in the community by improving economic and social issues around the area.
Local organizations, businesses and individuals can submit nominations for the Civic Hall of Fame.
This year’s inductees include:
Jheovanny Gomez is from Colombia and moved to Tuscaloosa in 1997 to study at UA. He owns three Jalapenos restaurant locations and spends his time serving his community in other ways.
Over the years, Gomez has won several awards for his leadership and serves as vice chair of membership and investor relations for the chamber.
“I was made by this community,” he said. “I learned how to give back here in Tuscaloosa, so it’s just a great testament of what people have done for me. I’m just humbled and honored.”
Mark Sullivan has been in the Tuscaloosa community for more than 30 years. Sullivan was a banker and served the community through the chamber for years.
Sullivan now serves as the executive vice president for Bryant Bank, but still finds time to help around the community and spent the past year with the Small Business Relief Fund that helped business owners during the pandemic.
“We’re obligated to give back, and I’ve been blessed over the years to work for companies that have encouraged me to do that,” said Sullivan.
Robert Almon Sr. helped shape the Tuscaloosa we know of today. During his decades-long career, he helped design Lake Tuscaloosa, downtown Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk, and many more public areas. His son, Robert Almon Jr., said his father’s legacy won’t easily be forgotten.
“Everyone in this community wakes up every morning and an achievement of my father is used by everyone,” said Almon.
David Gay Jr. has lived in Tuscaloosa his entire life and became the first African American director of Bryce Hospital. He still works in the medical field, is a senior pastor at Beulah Baptist Church, and serves on boards including the Department of Human Resources, Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority, Elevate Tuscaloosa and Project Unity.
“We are among some of the greatest people in Tuscaloosa past and present,” he said. “A lot of people have made the way and made contributions to make our community a great one, and again I’m just proud to be a part of that group.”