Chamber hosts awards celebrating local leaders


By WVUA 23 News Reporter Valarie Bracken

One community organization is starting the year with a celebration in recognition of local trailblazers.

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama honored several community members Thursday during the 121st annual awards banquet. But they weren’t just celebrating local achievers. For this event, attendees were dressed in their black-tie best in honor of the Chamber’s designation as the 2021 National Chamber of the Year.

“(The national award) brings pride to our community,” said Chamber Chief Operating Officer Donny Jones. “Our whole community had to come together to win this award, so it’s about our community tonight, it’s about celebrating all of our accomplishments and what the business community is doing for West Alabama and the Tuscaloosa area.”

The Chamber handed out 10 awards honoring top community achievers from the past year.

The full list of awards includes:

  • Michele Coley of Allstate Coley Agency was awarded the Charles H. Land Member of the Year Award, the Chamber’s highest honor presented to an individual member
  • Terry Saban was awarded the Chairman’s Leadership Award
  • DCH Health System was awarded the Robert C. Tanner Corporate Service Award
  • Whitni Molden with Hotel Capstone was awarded Ambassador of the Year
  • Cassius Lanier, owner of Lanier Automotive and District 7 Tuscaloosa City Council member, was awarded the Diverse Business Council Trailblazer Award
  • Whatley Health Services was awarded the Nonprofit of the Year Award
  • Kim Ingram of Hayes Ingram, LLC, and Dr. Billy Kirkpatrick of Five Horizons Health Services were awarded the Distinguished Service Award
  • Rebecca Patterson and Taylor Pearce of Gourmade Kitchen were awarded the H. Pettus Randall Entrepreneurial Rising Star Award
  • Inge Beeker of Beeker Property Group was awarded the H. Pettus Randall Entrepreneur of the Year Award
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