EMCC head football coach and guest speaker Buddy Stephens speaks to the crowd at the Noxubee Economic and Community Development Alliance Awards Banquet held on Tuesday night at the Noxubee Civic Center. Photo by: Mary Alice Weeks/Dispatch Staff
April 23, 2014 10:12:50 AM
MACON -- The Noxubee Economic and Community Development Alliance honored several of its own Tuesday during its annual awards banquet at the Noxubee Civic Center.
For her work with the county's annual Dancing Rabbit Festival, Lorene Cannon was named the year's Friend of the Festival. Sassy Designs was recognized as Business Member of the Year, while Noxubee Farm Supply received the Entrepreneur Award. The Macon Lions Club was given the Community Service Award. Gloria Jones was named Woman of the Year, and Ernie Jones was named Man of the Year.
Alliance Chairman Janelle Good of Philip Good Realty in Macon said the event is designed to promote economic and community development in Noxubee County.
"We honor business growth and volunteerism that, in turn, strengthens our community," Good said. "We have everything from educators to entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses and businesses that serve the community plus the surrounding area. They've promoted job growth as well as education. We award people who get out in the community and serve."
Macon Mayor Bob Boykin said it's necessary to take time out each year to honor local businessmen and volunteers for fostering growth and unity.
"We look forward to it every year because it does something to bring our community together, our business people and other folks and let them know we're supporting them," Boykin said.
East Mississippi Community College Head Coach Buddy Stephens admitted his lack of insight on business development but said he and his staff spend every day developing young men to be successful in their careers and communities.
"I was asked to speak to this, and I said, 'Economic and community development. What are you getting from me? Nothing,'" Stephens said. "I can't tell you anything about how to do this. All I can tell you is what we do. Our thing is this ... making sure our kids have gone and done the things they wanted to do in life. I tell them, 'Say yes to life. Say yes to your dreams. Say yes to your unfolded future and say yes to your potential.'"
Good said one way a community can work toward reaching its potential is by simply getting together from time to time and sharing ideas.
"It brings people from all walks of life together," Good said. "I as a business person may not sit down with an educator. We generally don't attend the same events, but with this, you're going to get people of all walks of life together across many different aspects of life and be able to communicate, network and enjoy each other's company. We see it as a community building event."
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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