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Concordians honored at annual chamber dinner

Judith Bingham, far left, and Lynette Tanner, right, Co-Female Concordians of the Year receive their awards from Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce Director Jamie Wiley, center, during the annual awards dinner and celebration at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Judith Bingham, far left, and Lynette Tanner, right, Co-Female Concordians of the Year receive their awards from Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce Director Jamie Wiley, center, during the annual awards dinner and celebration at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Guy Murray, Judith Bingham and Lynette Tanner were honored Thursday in front of  the Concordia Parish community and business leaders at the Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner.

Murray was named 2014 Male Concordian of the Year at the event, while Bingham and Tanner basked in the glory of being named co-recipients of the 2014 Female Concordians of the Year.

“It’s a great honor accepting this award as Concordian of the Year,” Bingham said. “I take this plaque with great honor.”

Former 2014 Concordia Chamber of Commerce President Ouida Pecanty said Bingham is involved in numerous activities.

Having just retired from the Delta Music Museum, she is currently working at Young’s Funeral Home on a part-time basis, Pecanty said.

Tanner has been a resident of Concordia Parish since she was 8 years old — having served on various boards within the parish.

Tanner and her husband Buddy own and operate Frogmore Cotton Plantation and Gins.

“Judith and Lynette have teamed up in the past,” Pecanty said. “Judith solicited and displayed the Smithsonian Traveling exhibition on Roots Music, and Lynette wrote the musical presentation and narrated the performance of  ‘The Delta: A Musical History.”’

The Concordian of the Year is an award given for being a vital part of Concordia Parish and making the parish a better place to live.

And that is no exception of Murray.

“He works with federal, state and the city to solve problems within our communities,” Pecanty said. “He dedicates many hours of his time to assure tasks are completed accurately and timely.”

More glasses were raised for a handful of other Concordia Parish residents who were also honored at the event.

Susan Mingee, who is currently serving as the librarian and media specialist at Vidalia Lower Elementary, was named the 2014 educator of the year.

“I’ve been a teacher since I was 6 years old,” Mingee said. “For the past 30 years, I’ve been an educator, and it has been a joy.”

Jennifer Freeman was named 2014 volunteer of the year.

“This person is a selfless human being,” Pecanty said. “If she has any flaw, it’s her inability to say no.

Budget Build in Ferriday was named 2014 business of the year.

The event also featured guest speaker Don Watts, who is vice president of distribution for Fruit of the Loom.

Watts oversees distribution for Fruit of the Loom throughout Canada and Mexico, as well as U.S. locations including the Vidalia operation, Bowling Green, Ky., and Monroeville, Ala.

“I’ve been a member of various chamber myself,” Watts said. “I do have a great appreciation of what you do and what you represent.”