Tangela Frazier

AUBURN — Tangela Frazier, finance director for the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, has been a dedicated employee for 28 years.
Auburn Mayor Ron Anders recently recognized her hard work for the city during his annual State of the City address and Lamplighter Awards Ceremony.
Frazier was one of six awardees.
July 28,1995, was Frazier’s first day with the chamber.
“When I applied for this position, I actually had just graduated from Southern Union,” Frazier said. “I had got my accounting degree from Southern Union and I had previously worked at Auburn daycare in the office. And I just was ready for a change. So, I ended up going through the newspaper and I sent out 13 resumes that day.
“And I actually got offered a position here, at Russell and Alex City. And so I, you know, just weighed my options because at the time I had three small children that were two, four and six. And so I was like, well, if I have to drive all the way to Alex City, which it paid me a little bit more, but it was just having to manage, driving to Alex City and then coming back home and getting my kids. And so I ended accepting the position at the chamber.”
At the time, Frazier said she wasn’t even that familiar with what the chamber was.
“I’ve just been learning as time has gone on, of course,” she said. “… You know, the main purpose of the chamber is to promote businesses in the area … We help with ribbon cuttings, groundbreaking, networking events and things like that.”
Frazier said it is the staff that has made her time at the chamber special.
“You can’t find a better staff here,” she said. “I enjoy working with people and we just all get along as a family. If somebody needs something, we’re always there, we just back each other up.”
Frazier said she couldn’t think of any downsides to the job, but loves being able to help members.
“Just getting that phone call where somebody may need something or need to know information, just being able to answer questions and to help people find things that they need,” she said.
Anders presented Frazier’s award second during the lamplighter ceremony on Nov. 8.
Every year Anders presents six awards to people who make a difference in the community.
“Loyal, dependable, humble and reserved,” Anders said. “Every organization needs people who carry these attributes into their work every day.”
Anders listed all the many ways in which the chamber supports Auburn.
“Behind all this energy, is our next lamplighter,” he said. “Overseeing the financial activities … guided by her faith … she does her job with professionalism.”
Frazier said the award came as a surprise.
“It was a total shock,” she said. “And right before the program … we go and I help with registration and then I leave, I don’t stay. And so a couple of days before, my staff here was saying, ‘well, after the event, maybe we’ll just go to dinner.’ And so we had made plans to go to Hamilton’s for dinner. While we were there doing registration, I was like, ‘Does anybody happen to know who’s gonna be receiving the award tonight?’ One of the staff people here said, ‘No, I don’t know.’ And so I didn’t think anything else about it. I had no idea. I was clueless.”
She said she still gets emotional thinking about it.
“When it first popped up, talking about the … chamber, I thought it was gonna be my boss, Anna Hovey, who was gonna get the award and then as we kept talking and I think it was the minute when [Anders] said 28 years and I was like, ‘Oh no.’ And one of my coworkers grabbed my hand and I really just lost [it] and I just started shedding tears.”