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Story Archives: Maxwell awarded chamber's top honor
|Maxwell awarded chamber's top honor|
Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell received an early farewell present when he was named Concordian of the Year at the annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner and Celebration Thursday at the Bryant Hammett Vidalia Conference and Convention Center in Vidalia.
Maxwell is stepping down as sheriff when his present term ends this summer.
Also receiving awards were Rena Pitts for Chamber Volunteer of the Year, Bert and Bo Taunton of Tauntons in Vidalia for Business Person of the Year, The Concordia Sentinel for Business of the Year and Nancy Anders for Educator of the Year. Mike Smith was presented an appreciation award for his past work with the Chamber and Bingham received an award as past president.
"I was really surprised and taken aback," Maxwell said. "It is a wonderful way to end my career. I am extremely appreciative. This award is actually for all the people around me, the good people I work with. And it's also for the people of the parish. I've just been fortunate enough to be sitting in the top chair."
Maxwell served as Concordia Parish Sheriff for 22 years. He announced last summer that he is retiring this June citing a desire to have more family time, coupled with health issues, as the reasons for his decision, one that he said was extremely difficult to make.
Under his leadership, the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office has grown from a small office and staff in Vidalia to the current 250 people, plus the two prisons and the work release facility.
The Sheriff's Office annual budget, which was in the red when Maxwell assumed office in 1990, is now approximately $15 million annually.
"I've often said that if we're ever going to make a difference in this community, and when I say this community I mean Natchez and the surrounding area, because we all reflect on each other, that it will be the people in this room that do it," Maxwell said. "The only way we'll ever move forward is together."
Lesley H. Capdepon of the Concordia Sentinel said the paper was "honored to be chosen" as Business of the Year. "Concordia Parish is a great place to live and work. The support of the community makes our job of putting out an informative, accurate newspaper that much easier. The Sentinel family is the best around and takes pride in their work each and every day. We thank Concordia Parish for their vote of confidence."
The new Chamber of Commerce board was announced at the banquet, with Cathy Hinson replacing Judith Bingham as president for 2012.
"I have some big shoes to fill," Hinson said. "I thank the community for their support. Our motto is 'Teamwork makes dreamwork.'"
Bingham moved to Concordia Parish 12 years ago from Texas.
"I have never seen a community come together and work like this one," she said. "Last year was the first year of a combined effort (Vidalia and Ferriday chambers) and we have a great focus on the future."
The Rev. Simeon Green will serve as vice-president, Scott Christian as treasurer and Gwen Robin as secretary.
Committee members are Billy Rucker, Tance Hughes, Lawrence Chauvin, Bingham, Sarah Smith, Lena Bateman, Ryan Paul and Vernon Stevens. Ex-officio members are Heather Malone and Lanette Tanner.
Former New Orleans Saints and Ole Miss running back Deuce McAllister was the guest of honor and talked about teamwork in football and in the business world.
"Everyone has to be on the same page," McAllister said. "I am a big proponent of education and always learning something. And always have respect for you teammates, trust and honesty, integrity and always have a smile on your face."
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