By Morgan Bryce
Longtime East Alabama Medical Center CEO Terry Andrus was named the 2018 recipient of the “Spirit of Opelika” award during the 77th Annual Meeting of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce last Wednesday.
Andrus, EAMC CEO since 1984, has helped oversee some of the hospital’s largest developments, including the construction of a new $40 million cancer center slated for completion in 2019.
“It is said that at EAMC, he knows everybody’s name. He knows how to have a good time and put you at ease, but at the same time, he is a brilliant mind,” said award presenter Jimmy Wright.
EAMC Director of Marketing and Public Relations John Atkinson accepted the award for Andrus, who was absent from the meeting.
Other award recipients included Ginger and J. Stern of the Henry J. Stern Family Foundation, who received the Community Partner Award for their assistance with projects like the restoration of the Rocky Brook Rocket and construction of a new dog park in Opelika.
“Many of the good things they do (for Opelika) they keep private because that’s just who they are,” said Opelika Chamber of Commerce President Pam Powers-Smith.
At the end of the meeting, Board Chair Shey Knight passed the gavel to his successor Brooke Kastner, director of sales and marketing at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National.
Following is a list of other award recipients:
Keep Opelika Beautiful – Shirley Flora Award: Coach Chris Rhodes of Morris Avenue Intermediate School
Auburn Opelika Tourism Partner of the Year: Auburn Opelika Marriott at Grand National
Opelika Main Street Award: Zazu Gastropub
Ambassador of the Year: Billy Plummer, S & S Termite & Pest Control, LLC
Small Business of the Year: James Bros. Bikes
Distinguished Service Award: Rusty Melnick
Chairman’s Award: Jennifer Wheeler.