Bainbridge receives chamber award

Published 5:04 pm Monday, August 17, 2020

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Connie Bainbridge was recently awarded the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama’s Chamber Partner award.

She is the inaugural recipient of the award, which recognizes an individual or organization that goes above and beyond to support the CCAA’s mission of building a better Alabama through stronger chambers of commerce.

“I’m overwhelmed by the honor coming from a group of what I consider my peers,” Bainbridge said.

Prior to her current role as manager of Community and Economic Development for Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, Bainbridge served as a development manager for chambers in the past.

“It is certainly a highlight of my career,” Bainbridge said.

According to Bainbridge, the award would not be possible without the endless support of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative.

The award was announced during the 2020 CCAA summer conference held Aug. 10-12.

“Connie is to be commended for receiving the 2020 CCAA Chamber Partner Award,” said Dean Mitchell, executive director of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and the 2020 Chairman of the CCAA Board of Directors. “Connie is committed to improving the lives of others through generously giving her time and talents. She strives to enhance the communities and the organizations she is involved in with a positive approach and unwavering support … including CCAA.”

When Bainbridge heard her name announced over the speakers, she was preparing a cup of coffee for herself.

“I could not believe it,” Bainbridge said. “It was a complete surprise.”

Her first job was with the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce.

“For about 30 years, I have been working with chambers in some form or fashion,” Bainbridge said. “That’s where my heart is.”

Bainbridge has been part of the recent discussions taking place as CAEC and Central Access implements its plan to improve broadband reliability in Chilton County’s rural areas.

“Working for a cooperative, we serve a lot of rural areas,” Bainbridge said. “Rural is in again.”

Growing up in Chilton County, she knows the potential that the area has, but having a reliable broadband is important in reaching that potential.

“It is a wonderful place to live,” Bainbridge said. “That (broadband) is the only thing that would hold back Central Alabama in anyway. We are stepping up to help in that arena.”