Lexington's Best Honored At Chamber Awards Night
Thursday evening, nearly 200 people arrived at The River Center at Saluda Shoals Park for The Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center’s annual Chamber Awards Night, presented by Wells Fargo. This event honors businesses and business professionals in the Lexington community who have shown exemplary community involvement, customer service and a commitment to excellence throughout the past year. The Chamber gives out five awards each year: Young Professional of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Ambassador of the Year and the Mike Till Award.
The River Center was a beautiful venue and it was made even more beautiful by Palmetto Décor. The cocktail hour, with drinks by Ed’s Bartending, was enjoyed by all. Everyone especially enjoyed displaying their silly side at the Walgreen’s Photo Booth and there are some hilarious pictures to prove it! The crowd enjoyed a delicious dinner by Blue Marlin. It all added up to a remarkable experience.
Troy Simpson led an invocation to commence the ceremony and Shelley Metropol, chair-elect, welcomed everyone and introduced our Mistress of Ceremonies, Dana Fulton of WACH Fox. Past Chair Marvin Robinson of Wells Fargo, presenting sponsor for the evening, spoke and thanked the Chamber and the Lexington business community for another great year.
The first award of the night was the Young Professional of the Year award. This award is designed to recognize and honor a young professional who has had a significant impact on our Chamber and the Lexington community. In order to be considered, the nominees must be between 22-39 years old and must demonstrate involvement in our community, a commitment to a high level of ethics in business practices and must demonstrate the ability to lead professionally and personally. This year’s nominees were: Larry Gates (Floor Pro), Allison Hedrick (Morgan & Associates, Nationwide), Angela Klosterman (First Community Bank) and Lauren Scurry (State Farm).
The winner of the Young Professional of the Year Award was Allison Hedrick. Allison works with Morgan & Associates, Nationwide Insurance, and has proven herself to be one of the best agents in her field. She was recognized by Nationwide as being one of the top 12 agents in the state of South Carolina and was ranked 3rd in the state for her outstanding performance in Commercial Insurance. She is also involved with many local charities and is very active in the Chamber as both an ambassador and one of board members of Empowered Young Professionals.
Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative President and CEO Bob Paulling then presented the Large Business of the Year Award, which was designed to recognize and honor a large business that has demonstrated solid business practices while positively affecting the economic development to our community. To be considered, the company must have been in business for at least two years and employ over 50 full-time employees. The nominees were: Elliott Davis Decosimo, First Community Bank, Palmetto Health and Mid Carolina Electric Co-op.
First Community Bank took home the award for Large Business of the Year. The award was accepted by Mike Crapps, President and CEO. If you ask Mike the secret to their success, he will tell you that it comes down to their employees. “We look for people who are gifted with a servant’s heart and whose Mamas and Daddies taught them to be nice.” Mike also commented that he didn’t feel like First Community Bank was a large business because to himself, and the rest of the community, it just feels like family.
President and CEO, Otis Rawl, gave his State of the Chamber Address. He specifically commented on the future growth of Lexington County whose population is predicted to double in the next twenty years. Mr. Rawl stated that the business community needs to get involved and stay involved as our community grows so that we can make the changes that need to be made and keep the things that we love, the things that make Lexington a great place to live and work. Connor Watkins debuted his video which was a great representation of everything that we love about Lexington.
The next award, presented by Mike Anderson, was for the Ambassador of the Year. Chamber Ambassadors are a special group of people who volunteer their time to help promote the Greater Lexington business community and support Chamber functions. Ambassadors perform a wide variety of duties in the Chamber, but their main function is to help promote the Chamber, welcome new members to the Chamber and make Chamber events successful and enjoyable for all. We adore all of our Ambassadors and it takes a truly special person to rise to the top. This year that special person was Heather Corley of BB&T. Heather was speechless as she accepted her award. It was a very touching moment as she walked up on stage to accept her award and her entire family came through the back doors to surprise her. I am sure they couldn’t be prouder of this awesome lady.
The final award presented was the Mike Till Award, which honors the memory of a great man, one who exemplified what it means to be a true servant of Christ. This award was presented by Lauren Scurry and Angela Klosterman, Mike’s daughters. Lauren stated, “Dad always put God first, family second, and work third. And he taught us to do the same.” The award is meant to recognize those who share the same qualities as Mike: kindness, humility, dependability, friendliness and perseverance. And the winner of this award was Troy Simpson of Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative.
It was an emotional moment as Troy accepted the award and spoke about one of his last memories of Mike. Troy said, “I went to the hospital to minister to him. And he ended up ministering to me because that’s just the kind of man he was.” Troy spoke of Mike’s lasting legacy, one that continues to live on in the lives of his wife and children. It was truly a beautiful moment and a very sweet way to wrap up the evening.
All in all, the Chamber Awards Night was a great success. It was a wonderful venue, great food but most of all it was the people who made the night what it was. The sense of community was tangible as everyone congratulated the winners and headed home inspired to continue the tradition of excellence that makes us proud to call Lexington home.