Washington County Chamber of Commerce celebrates 55th annual awards banquet

Tiffany Hitchcock, at left, was named the Chamber Ambassador of the Year. She is pictured with Tracy Andrews. Andrews accepted the Large Business of the Year award on behalf of Florida Power and Light. [DONNA GREEN | WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER]


The Washington County Chamber of Commerce celebrated a night under the stars at Majestic Oaks in Vernon for its 55th annual awards banquet March 16.

Everyone was dressed to impress at the semi-formal event featuring a silent auction mixer, dinner, keynote speaker and awards ceremony in which the Chamber’s biggest honors were given to those who have made a special impact on the local business community.

Executive Director Mike Maxwell introduced the night’s keynote speaker, Dr. Jerry D. Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of State and Local Policy Analysis at the Institute of Government Florida State University. Parrish delivered an overview of Florida’s changing economy and how Washington County is poised to grow along with it.

Dr. Jerry D. Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of State and Local Policy Analysis at the Institute of Government Florida State University, delivered the keynote address. Parrish received the unique gift of a stack of books and a stuffed possum to remember his night in Washington County. [DONNA GREEN | WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER]
Chamber President Cindy Birge presented the night’s highly anticipated awards. The Chamber’s Large Business of the Year award accepted by External Affairs Manager Tracy Andrews went to Florida Power and Light (FPL).

Tiffany Hitchcock, at left, was named the Chamber Ambassador of the Year. She is pictured with Tracy Andrews. Andrews accepted the Large Business of the Year award on behalf of Florida Power and Light. [DONNA GREEN | WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER]
The Small Business of the Year award accepted by Pastor David Woods went to Yes Lord Deliverance Church Food Ministry. 

The Small Business of the Year award went to Yes Lord Deliverance Church Food Ministry. The award was accepted by Pastor David Woods, at center. Woods is pictured with Executive Director Mike Maxwell and Chamber President Cindy Birge. [DONNA GREEN | WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER]
Sandhills Santa Rex Ray was named as the Chamber Member of the Year, and Tiffany Hitchcock was named the Chamber Ambassador of the Year. 

Sandhills Santa, Rex Ray, at center, was awarded as the Washington County Chamber of Commerce’s Member of the Year. Ray is pictured with Executive Director Mike Maxwell and Chamber President Cindy Birge. [DONNA GREEN | WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER]
Washington County youth also contributed to the special night. Chipley High School Culinary served up a delicious prime rib dinner and dessert to guests, and the Vernon High School JROTC posted the colors.

The Washington County Chamber of Commerce enjoyed an elegant dinner before the Chamber’s annual awards ceremony. [JENNIFER RICH | THE NEWS AND ADVERTISER]
The Washington County Chamber of Commerce would like to express a special thanks to all of the event attendees and sponsors.

Washington County Chamber of Commerce Banquet Sponsors

Title Sponsor – Florida Power & Light

Dinner Sponsor – Northwest Florida Community Hospital

Supporting Sponsors – Elite Realty and Innovations Financial Credit Union

Design Sponsor – Blossoms

Bar Sponsor – Ebro Card Casino & Racebook

Auction Reception Sponsor – Therapy World of Northwest Florida

Venue Sponsor – The Majestic Oaks

Table Sponsors – Community South Credit Union, Kings Discount Drug, West Florida Electric, First Federal Bank, DHM Melvin Engineering, Chipley Gun and Pawn, RCC Rivertown Community Church, Allen & Company, Moffatt & Nichol, Washington County Tobacco Free Partnership, Washington County, Beachy Beach Real Estate & Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity and Metric Engineering

The Chamber also thanks the many silent auction sponsors.