Chamber honors are well-deserved

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 1999

Each year, the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce recognizes outstanding community and business leaders. This year is no exception. With the presentation of several awards at its annual meeting Thursday, the Chamber and the award-sponsoring organizations have yet again showcased excellent role models, valuable citizens and some of the people who make this community better each and every year.

Scott Kimbrell Jr., owner of Kimbrell Office Supply, has never been one to seek the limelight but he has consistently and conscientiously worked to improve both the business climate and the quality of life here in Natchez.

From his leadership as a downtown Natchez business owner to his work with the Natchez Rotary Club, the United Methodist Church and little league sports, Kimbrell embodies the volunteer spirit of the Natchezian Award.

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Lillie DeShields, who oversees community relations for International Paper’s Natchez mill, is well-deserving of the Athena Award.

Sponsored annually by Great River Oldsmobile, the award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of achievement and, while devoting time and energy to their community, have also opened paths so that others may follow.

From her active work with the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou to being a charter member of the Alcorn State University MBA program, DeShields takes her commitment to the Natchez community seriously. And, through her role at the mill, she consistently contributes and guides efforts to improve the quality of education in the Miss-Lou, whether serving as Santa’s elf for an Adopt-a-School program at Frazier Primary or helping coordinate the distribution of thousands of dollars worth of grants to local projects each year.

Beau Pre Country Club, recognized as the Chamber’s outstanding small business this year, is quickly become a valuable member of the community. The country club started with the vision of a few members and, through faith, hard work and excellent planning, has grown to become a premiere country club development, with both a top-notch course and highly desirable residential development.

And Alma Fletcher and Frances Trosclair, who received the Unification Award for their work with the Chamber’s Unification Committee, are ultimately deserving of the honor.

These two women co-chaired a ground-breaking committee, setting both the course and the example for others to follow. Charged with the responsibility of trying to find a way to bridge racial barriers in the business and economic community, Fletcher and Trosclair have both lived by example and inspired others to follow their lead.

The fruits of their efforts will be realized for years to come.

We congratulate all who received Chamber honors Thursday evening, and we celebrate all they have done to make our community a better place for all of us.