Chamber honors local residents

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 1999

Scott Kimbrell seemed overwhelmed Thursday night when the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce honored him with its annual Natchezian Award. &uot;I don’t believe this,&uot; Kimbrell said. &uot;This means so much to me. Everyone knows how much I love Natchez.&uot;

The award is given each year to someone who has promoted Natchez for many years on a volunteer basis.

Kimbrell, owner of Kimbrell Office Supply on Main Street, has served as president of the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Belwood Country Club.

Email newsletter signup

In addition to honoring Kimbrell, the chamber awarded its Athena and Small Business awards, and inaugurated a new Unification Award at its annual dinner at the Radisson Natchez Eola Hotel.

Jimmy Heidel, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Economic and Community Development, was the guest speaker for the evening.

Lillie DeShields, communications manager at International Paper, received the Athena Award, which is sponsored by Great River Oldsmobile. The award is given to an individual who strives to help women in business in Adams County. DeShields has been involved in a number of local events and organizations, including United Way, the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority, Special Olympics and the Guardian Shelter for Battered Women.

&uot;I just want to thank everyone for thinking so much of me. I’m not a native of Natchez, but I feel like I’ve lived here forever,&uot; DeShields said. &uot;If you don’t volunteer, please do. It’s the most well-kept secret of mental health. When you help others, you really, truly help yourself.&uot;

Alma Fletcher and Frances Trosclair were honored with the first Unification Award. They served as the first co-chairmen of the chamber’s Unification Committee, which strives to bring together Natchez’s diverse community.

&uot;A lot of you do not realize the rich diversity we have in our community,&uot; Fletcher said. &uot;If you do not know what the Unification Committee is about, I challenge you to become a member of the Unification Committee.&uot;

&uot;This committee shows the willingness of our chamber to move our community forward,&uot; Trosclair said.

Woody Allen of Beau Pr\u00E9 Country Club and Residential Development was honored with the Small Business of the Year Award.

In introducing Allen, Kimbrell named several of the groups and people who have been instrumental in getting the Beau Pr\u00E9 development off the ground, including the EDA, board of supervisors, mayor and board of aldermen and Belwood Country Club.

&uot;Without Woody it just wouldn’t have happened,&uot; Kimbrell said. &uot;He’s the glue that kept it together.&uot;

In remarks before the awards, Heidel called Natchez &uot;one of the greatest treasures Mississippi has ever had.&uot;

Heidel urged chamber members to consider every economic development opportunity. &uot;When you’re on the local level you don’t look at economic development every day,&uot; he said. &uot;You’re looking for that one Mercedes Benz plant to come in. You forget to look at the new 7-11 or the new tourism development.&uot;