Chilton Chamber readies for return of members banquet

Published 3:57 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

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By TRAVIS JAUDON/ Special to the Advertiser

While last year’s Chilton County Chamber of Commerce member’s banquet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 banquet is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2022 at the Clanton Conference & Performing Arts Center, 1850 Lay Dam Road, at 6 p.m.

The Chamber of Commerce itself is highly anticipating the return of the annual event, according to executive director Rachel Martin.

“It’s a great time to network, and to see people you haven’t seen in a long time,” she said. “We certainly hope that everyone can get their tickets and come out to celebrate and have a great time.”

Each January or February, the chamber hosts its banquet to honor the best and brightest members from the year prior. This year’s edition will be the first in-person members banquet for the chamber since January 2020.

“I am looking forward to this year with a lot of anticipation,” 2021Chamber president Billy Singleton said. “The last year we had this (January 2020) we sold out and so that is an indication as to how popular this banquet is.”

Five community members will receive awards at the banquet next month, but all attendees will be treated to a guest speaker as well as beverages and a full dinner service at each table.

The award categories annually include: Distinguished Business (one of 12 distinguished business of the month winners), New Business (less than three years of existence), Distinguished Citizen (individual making big impact in community), Chamber Champion (a member who goes above and beyond for the county and chamber) and the Community Spirit Award given to an individual, business or association who puts the community before themselves.

This year’s event is expected to be sold out beforehand, but tickets are still available by contacting the chamber over the phone at 205-755-2400. More information can also be found online at or by visiting the chamber’s new location at 205 Sixth Street in Clanton.

Awards Overview

Martin said 2022 award winners would be discussed, debated, and ultimately selected by the chamber’s board on Jan. 11. The board will be choosing from member-nominated businesses and individuals throughout 2021.

The Distinguished Citizen Award from last year was Connie Bainbridge, who is now the president of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce. Previous Distinguished Citizen Award winners include former Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver and former judge Bobby Martin, the longest serving probate judge ever to serve in Chilton County.

“We will probably be notifying them sometime this week,” Martin said. “I know that Billy Singleton was planning on writing letters formally notifying each of our award winners in the days following our Tuesday meeting.”

Singleton said the decisions for the board surrounding each award are not taken lightly.

“Usually you’ll have businesses and individuals who have done a lot for the community and you can tell pretty quickly which of them will be in the conversation,” Singleton said. “It is not just how well their business has done or what the bottom-line is, but also what they’ve done for this community… It’s always a tough decision to make because we have so many talented people who do so much.”