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Chamber passes gavel, hands out local awards

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Honored by the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Monday as the 2013 Educators of the year, pictured with Martha Wilbert, Trustmark, (left) and Stan Foster, State Bank, (right) are Lincoln County Schools, Anita Wilson; Brookhaven Academy Elementary, Rachel Smith; Mississippi School of the Arts, Christie Elkins;  BA high school, Denise Sbravati; and Brookhaven schools, Cindy Davis.

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Honored by the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Monday as the 2013 Educators of the year, pictured with Martha Wilbert, Trustmark, (left) and Stan Foster, State Bank, (right) are Lincoln County Schools, Anita Wilson; Brookhaven Academy Elementary, Rachel Smith; Mississippi School of the Arts, Christie Elkins; BA high school, Denise Sbravati; and Brookhaven schools, Cindy Davis.

The presidency of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce officially changed hands Monday night, as outgoing president Pat Lowery passed the gavel to incoming president Dustin Walker.

The transfer of the gavel was just one of the highlights of the annual chamber awards banquet, held at the Thames Center at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper was the featured speaker for the evening.

“It was a great event,” said Garrick Combs, executive director of the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Foundation.

“We were happy to let the community know about some of the changes that are occurring with their chamber of commerce.”

Combs has been serving as executive director of the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Development Foundation since July, and Monday night’s program marked his first awards banquet with the organization.

Walker has been serving on the chamber’s executive committee for the last year. He will officially take on his new duties as president of the chamber starting Jan. 1 of 2014. Stan Foster, will take over the reins of Chamber presidency beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

Bill Jacobs will continue as president of the IDF.

Kay Burton was also recognized at the celebration Monday night, as she has taken on more responsibility as marketing director at the chamber, said Combs.

Chamber officials also recognized local teachers of the year at Monday night’s event.

“It was also a great opportunity to recognize all of our volunteers, and the success they have had,” noted Combs.

Editor’s Note: Additional photographs from the chamber awards banquet will appear in Wednesday’s newspaper.