Celebrating, making history

Blount County Chamber of Commerce annual meet takes look back, steps forward

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By Lance Coleman
Senior reporter
Blount Today

It was a night made for looking back and looking forward as the Blount County Chamber of Commerce held their 87th annual meeting at the Airport Hilton on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Boyce Smith, manager of Wal-Mart Alcoa, served as master of ceremonies and got the evening started with a look back. The chamber recognized Platinum award winners, honoring companies and individuals who have been with the chamber for 50 years or more.

Receiving honors were:

  • Alcoa, Inc.
  • Anderson Lumber Co.
  • APAC Harrison (Harrison Construction)
  • First Tennessee Bank (formerly The Bank of Maryville)
  • Blount County Government
  • Blount Memorial Hospital
  • Coulter’s Florist
  • Don Sherwood
  • Goddard and Gamble
  • Grandview Cemetery
  • The Daily Times
  • Maryville City Schools
  • Maryville Kiwanis Club
  • McCammon Ammons Click Funeral Home
  • West Chevrolet
  • J.C. Penney
  • Ross Furniture
  • BellSouth.

Smith said the Chamber was founded by members of the Kiwanis Club in 1920. By 1955 there were 177 members. "Today we have 1,310. The staff organized and attended 21 meetings in 1956. Today we organize 410 meetings. We had a meeting today to discuss the meeting tonight," he said, receiving laughs from the crowd of more than 500 attendees.

In 1955, Smith reported, the Chamber had a membership drive that brought in 25 new members, which represented an additional $70 in dues. Chamber members, Smith said, remain active participants in activities today. "If they weren’t active, you would be able to tell a difference," he said. "We have over 500 people here," he said.

The Chamber recognized the late Tom Talley, Sr., as the second recipient of the Dean Stone Excellence in Tourism Award. Talley founded the Talley Ho Motel in Townsend in 1952 and was instrumental in developing the tourism industry in Blount County. (See related story on Talley on page 12).

Joe Zappa was honored for chairing the board of directors for 2006. "I want to thank you for allowing me to be chair in 2006," he said. "I had a great time."

Other honors for the evening included the Business Excellence Award. Winners were: Overall and Small Manufacturing winner: Anderson Lumber Co. and ALC. Millworks

Large Service Award winner: Alcoa Tenn Federal Credit Union

Small Service winner: Impact Associates, Inc.

Non-Profit/Government winner: Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks and Recreation Commission

Large Retail winner: Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson/Beull

Small Retail winner: Brittany’s Bridal Boutique.

Brenda Pilson took home honors as the winner of the Chamber Board’s "Above and Beyond" Board Member of the Year award.

Carl Van Hoozier with Vulcan Materials was introduced as the chairman of the Blount Chamber Board of Directors for 2007-08.

Event sponsors for the evening were Joseph Construction, Alcoa, Inc., and Blount Today.

© 2007 blounttoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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