Opelika Chamber Honors Members at 80th Annual Meeting

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MICHELLE KEY
PUBLISHER

The Opelika Chamber of Commerce held its 80th Annual Meeting Luncheon last Friday.

The event was held at the Opelika High School indoor practice facility at 11:30 a.m. The presenting sponsor of the event was H & S Commercial & Industrial Supplies & Services.

The Opelika Chamber is proud to have hosted such a successful meeting with more than 400 people in attendance.

The Auburn University Hotel & Dixon Conference Center provided the meal while attendees observed a presentation on the highlights of the chamber’s 80th year in service.

The Opelika Chamber achieved a five-start accreditation  this year for the first time in its history.

This level of accreditation puts the Opelika Chamber in the top 3% of all chambers of commerce across the country. Only 128 other chambers have achieved the five-star accreditation status.

Many awards were  presented to deserving businesses and members of the Opelika community. The award winners are as follows:

• Spirit of Opelika, sponsored by the Opelika Observer –  Kate Larkin

Larken stated in a Facebook post that she was completely surprised to win this award.

“I have never been so surprised in my whole life! Seriously … never. Ever. I am still in shock,” Larkin wrote.

Chamber President Ai Rauch said “This was my favorite moment from Friday. The only question I asked was ‘Why did it take so long for her to win this?’ Kate, you are a joy and Opelika is lucky to have you.”

“I know [and or] knew all the previous year’s recipients and I am so very humbled and honored for my name to even be mentioned among them,” Larkin said.

• Distinguished Service  – City Council President Eddie Smith

• Visionary Award – State Representative Jeremy Gray

• Legendary Award – Samford & Denson

• Ambassador of the Year – Billy Plummer S & S Termite Control

• Community Partner – Opelika City Schools

• Service Champion – Tori Mejia, Spa Eleve

• Young Professional of the Year – Melissa Munford

• Small Business of the Year – Angel’s Antiques & Flea Mall

• Large Business of the Year – Baxter International

• Diamond Award – East Alabama Health

• Chairman’s Award – Chuck Beams

In addition a few community partners presented awards:

• Keep Opelika Beautiful – Mary Barnes Newman

• Opelika Main Street – Whistle Stop Bottle & Brew

• Auburn Opelika Tourism – Opelika Auburn Pickleball Club.

About the Opelika Chamber of Commerce:

Founded in 1941, the Opelika Chamber has been serving the Opelika business community for almost 80 years. Under the leadership of Ali Rauch, the president and CEO, a staff of four work diligently to be the recognized leader and advocate of the business community, acting as a catalyst for a thriving economic and entrepreneurial environment, collaborative community initiatives and a better quality of life for its business owners and citizens alike. We’re building economic and member vitality through partnerships, programming, education and community involvement.

PUBLISHERS NOTE:

Turn to A6 for photos from the event.

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