The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievements of its members and others in the community Wednesday at the Chamber's annual awards luncheon.

Seven businesses and individuals received awards during the luncheon, with categories ranging from small business of the year to citizen of the year. The Chamber also played a video in honor of each award winner during the ceremony.

The winners in each category are listed below.

2021 Chamber Business Person of the Year Jerome Malone

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce presented the 2021 Business Person of the Year award to Jerome Malone during its annual awards meeting Wednesday. Malone is owner of Splash of Ink Screen Printing, lead minister of Oasis Christ's Church in Athens, mentor for the Athens Mayor's Youth Commission, member of the Athens-Limestone Ministerial Alliance and community liaison for the Limestone Ministerial Coalition. Pictured, from left, are Chamber President Jennifer Williamson, Malone and Chamber Chairman Ray Neese.

Jerome Malone

2021 Business Person of the Year

Small business owner and local pastor Jerome Malone was chosen by the Chamber as this year's Business Person of the Year. Malone owns Splash of Ink Screen Printing and serves as lead minister at Oasis Christ's Church in Athens.

He also serves on the Chamber's board of directors and on the business development committee, as well as participating as a mentor for the Athens Mayor's Youth Commission, a member of the Athens-Limestone Ministerial Alliance and as community liaison for the Limestone Ministerial Coalition.

"Jerome can also be heard around the city, uplifting people with his musical talents at various community events around town," the Chamber said of Malone. "Jerome uses his business and leadership in the business community to build others up."

The Chamber praised Malone for encouraging young creators, supporting local entrepreneurs and epitomizing "an individual who desires to see unity and support."

"He fosters community togetherness and inclusiveness. Jerome is a community-minded individual who invests countless hours in our community and our citizens, and he does it because he loves helping others and loves helping this city."

2021 Chamber Citizen of the Year Billie May

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce presented the 2021 Citizen of the Year award to Billie May, center, during its annual awards meeting Wednesday. May works to provide safe, affordable housing in the community and does so without the support of an organization, according to the Chamber. Pictured with May is her family.

 

Billie May

2021 Citizen of the Year

Billie May was recognized as the Chamber's Citizen of the Year. The Chamber said May was chosen for her work to provide affordable housing for those in need, on her own and without the support of an organization.

"This has been a personal interest of hers to help those who are in need of affordable, safe housing," the Chamber said of May. "She has also spent several years making renovations to several older homes around the hospital area with focus to provide safe accommodations with reasonable rent."

2021 Chamber Public Service Award Athens-Limestone Hospital

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce presented the 2021 Public Service Award to the Athens-Limestone Hospital staff during its annual awards meeting Wednesday. Pictured are Chamber President Jennifer Williamson, far left; Hospital CEO Traci Collins, center; and members of the hospital staff.

Athens-Limestone Hospital staff

2021 Public Service Award winners

Athens-Limestone Hospital CEO Traci Collins and the many health care workers who make up the hospital's staff were awarded the Chamber's 2021 Public Service Award.

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff at Athens-Limestone Hospital has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide the best, quality care to the Athens-Limestone County community," the Chamber said.

The Chamber thanked hospital employees for facing pandemic-related challenges head-on as they adapted to meet the community's needs and continued working to care for and protect patients.

"We know that this has been a challenging year, and we are so very thankful for our hometown hospital," the Chamber said.

2021 Chamber Small Business of the Year Hometown Pediatrics

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce presented the 2021 Small Business of the Year award, Emerging Business division, to Hometown Pediatrics during its annual awards meeting Wednesday. Pictured are Chamber President Jennifer Williamson, far left; Chamber Chairman Ray Neese, far right; and Hometown Pediatrics team members, including Dr. Katie Tucker and pediatric nurse practitioner Robin St. Pierre.

Hometown Pediatrics

2021 Small Business of the Year

(Emerging Business)

Hometown Pediatrics may be new in Limestone County, but they are growing quickly, according to the Chamber, which is partly why they were selected as the 2021 Small Business of the Year in the "Emerging Business" division.

Dr. Katie Tucker is the pediatrician at Hometown Pediatrics, while Robin St. Pierre is the office's pediatric nurse practitioner. They work alongside seven support team members to provide "top-notch pediatric health services" to children in Athens and Limestone County, the Chamber said.

They are also active in the community, supporting local projects like the Canebrake Witches Ride, Read Across America Week, North Pole Stroll and the annual Athens-Limestone Christmas Parade.

2021 Chamber Small Business of the Year Trinity's

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce presented the 2021 Small Business of the Year award, "1–10 employees" division, to Trinity's of Athens during its annual awards meeting Wednesday. Pictured, from left, are Chamber President Jennifer Williamson, Trinity's owner Amy Higginbotham and Chamber Chairman Ray Neese.

 

Trinity's of Athens

2021 Small Business of the Year

(1–10 employees)

The Chamber praised Trinity's of Athens for being "creative and proactive" when the novel coronavirus arrived in Limestone County last year, citing owner Amy Higginbotham's decision to add virtual shopping through Facebook and Instagram as one reason the business received this year's Small Business of the Year award in the "1–10 employees" division.

Trinity's of Athens also added local purchase delivery and curbside pickup at its location on The Square. The business opened in July 2013 "and through the years has continued to grow and thrive," the Chamber said.

2021 Chamber Small Business of the Year SERVPRO

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce presented the 2021 Small Business of the Year award, "11–50 employees" division, to SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties during its annual awards meeting Wednesday. Pictured are Chamber President Jennifer Williamson, far left; Chamber Chairman Ray Neese, far right; and members of the SERVPRO team.

SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties

2021 Small Business of the Year

(11–50 employees)

Improved sanitization and proactive cleaning were two of the biggest priorities for a lot of people during the pandemic, and the Chamber chose SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties as a Small Business of the Year award recipient for their work to help other local businesses accomplish that goal. SERVPRO won the award in the "11–50 employees" division.

"From the very beginning of the pandemic, the SERVPRO team was ready and available on a daily basis to help the community and help businesses keep their doors open," the Chamber said.

SERVPRO also provided help to frontline workers in the community by providing disinfecting services for fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles free of charge, according to the Chamber.

2021 Small Business of the Year Yellowhammer Roofing

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce presents the 2021 Small Business of the Year award, "51–100 employees" division, to Yellowhammer Roofing during its annual awards meeting Wednesday. Yellowhammer Roofing has been in business since January 2010 and provides roofing services to portions of Alabama and the Nashville area.

Yellowhammer Roofing

2021 Small Business of the Year

(51–100 employees)

Started in January 2010 by father and son team Roger and Will Jones, Yellowhammer Roofing has grown to become the Chamber's 2021 Small Business of the Year in the "51–100 employees" division. They currently provide roofing services throughout north, central and south central Alabama, as well as in the Nashville area.

"With over 45 years' experience in the business, Yellowhammer knows the importance of keeping a small-business feel in providing personal service to all their clients and vows to bring the best knowledge, service and solutions possible for residential and commercial roofing needs," the Chamber said. "... In addition to their many awards and certifications, Yellowhammer Roofing takes an interest in many community service projects by supporting local needs."

Chamber projects

In addition to awarding local business for their work over the past year, Chamber President Jennifer Williamson took an opportunity to highlight the work being done within the Chamber. She said the pandemic forced the Chamber to "put a pause on everything" and focus on how best to provide services and resources to area businesses despite the uncertainty of the situation.

Some of the steps taken by the Chamber included shifting in-person events to a virtual setting, including virtual coffees, lunch-and-learns, meetings and even the Virtual Career and Workforce Expo. Additionally, the Chamber created the Small Business Assistance Initiative Program, in which local businesses helped each other and six businesses received mini-grants, Williamson said.

Looking to the year ahead, Williamson said there are several more projects in the Chamber's future. The Chamber plans to continue focusing on workforce development and connecting students with potential employers, while also exploring child care options for working families.

A Minority Business Support Program is also in the works, which Williamson said is a partnership between the Chamber and a local nonprofit and church organization. The Chamber is also partnering with radio station WKAC to highlight local businesses and the importance of supporting them, plus serving as partner and participant in the TVA Community Innovation Academy for help identifying "high-priority projects within our community."

"The Chamber will continue to work together to move Limestone County forward," Williamson said. "The Chamber Board of Directors, Chamber staff and numerous volunteers are working hard to better serve the needs of our business community and our entire Limestone County region. We are looking forward to the coming year at the Chamber."

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