Chamber banquet next Thursday night

Published 1:41 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

Chilton County Chamber of Commerce members look at next week’s annual awards banquet as a catalyst for good things in 2011.

The banquet will be held Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alabama Power conference center on U.S. 31. Tickets for the steak dinner have been on sale for $25 for several weeks now.

Barry Copeland, president of the Birmingham Business Alliance, will be guest speaker, and Adreane and Maddy Barrington will provide entertainment.

The banquet will have a country/western theme, which will include a costume competition with prizes for the best get up.

“We’re trying to lighten things up; these kind of things can get a bit stiff,” said Mike Robertson, the chamber’s executive director.

Fun aside, Robertson said the event would serve as a time to look back on the accomplishments of 2010 and get ready for another successful year.

Some 50 new businesses and individuals joined the chamber in 2010. The organization also started to again publish a monthly newsletter to keep members in the loop on chamber happenings.

The chamber also sponsored the Peach Jam Jubilee in June and held 34 chamber events, including ribbon cuttings, Business After Hours, luncheons and so on. The Chilton Leadership Class, which the chamber cosponsors, graduated 16 individuals, while alumni from that group organized a political forum this fall for local candidates.

Robertson hopes to grow on those successes in 2011, and the chamber’s No. 1 goal is to help businesses grow and prosper.

“We want to make sure we are engaged with our membership, communicating well and keeping them in the loop,” said Robertson.

During Thursday’s banquet, the 2011 chamber directory will be distributed to members for the first time. The directory includes contact information for every chamber business as well as other useful numbers and information about the county.

The chamber will also present two awards — the Community Spirit Award and the Business of the Year Award.

The Community Spirit Award is not given every year and is usually kept a secret until the night of the banquet. Honorees are businesses, groups or individuals who have shown leadership, integrity, selflessness and willingness to serve the community.

The award will be given in 2011 to Clanton First United Methodist Church. The award was announced early to give church members an opportunity to attend the banquet.

The Business of the Year award will be given out Thursday; its honoree will be kept a secret until the banquet.

For more information about the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce or the annual awards banquet, call Robertson at 755-2400.