Chamber honors former Senator Shelby, top volunteers at annual celebration; Jordan Morris named Member of the Year

TUSCALOOSA, AL – The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama recognized top volunteers during its 122nd annual celebration, presented on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023 by The University of Alabama at the Bryant Conference Center. 

This year, the chamber honored Senator Richard C. Shelby’s years of service in the United States Senate and welcomed him home to West Alabama for his retirement. Tributes were made by Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Rob Robertson, Northport Mayor John Hinton, and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. The Chairman’s Leadership Award, presented annually by the chamber, was also renamed in honor of Senator Shelby.

Jordan Morris of Ward Scott Morris Architecture was named the Charles H. Land Member of the Year. This is the highest honor given to an individual member. Morris, who serves on the chamber’s Board of Directors, has been an active volunteer within the organization for several years.

“Jordan Morris represents everything good about the Chamber and leads by example,” Jim Page, the chamber’s president and CEO, said. “He has been actively engaged in virtually every area of the Chamber’s broad scope of work and has his fingerprints on so many of the organization’s many recent successes.”

The Honorable Richard C. Shelby Leadership Award was presented to Michael Goebel of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Goebel is an active leader in the business community and chaired the chamber’s successful ALL IN capital campaign last year.

The Robert C. Tanner Corporate Service Award, which recognizes the corporate leadership, philanthropic efforts and community service by a member entity in the West Alabama region, was presented to EatMyBeats, Inc.

The Ambassador of the Year Award was presented to Romel Gibson of Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa.

The Diverse Business Council Trailblazer Award was presented to Thomas Dedrick of Raymond James and Elizabeth Winter of Regions Bank.

The Nonprofit of the Year Award was presented to Arts ‘n Autism.

The Chamber also recognizes exceptional organizational leadership with the presentation of two Distinguished Service Awards. These are given to individuals or organizations for their service and leadership. The awards were presented to Matt Fajack of The University of Alabama and Whitni Molden of Hotel Capstone.

The H. Pettus Randall Entrepreneurial Rising Star Award was presented to Gavin Baum-Blake and Erik Johnson of CityDetect.

The H. Pettus Randall Entrepreneur of the Year was presented to Matt Pavlick of GRO Marketing

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is a Tuscaloosa-based pro-business advocacy organization serving more than 65,000 working men and women through more than 1,300 business enterprises, civic organizations and educational institutions. The official transition to the 2023 leadership team was made at the annual celebration.Tripp Powell of Powell Enterprises, the 2022 Chair of the Board of Directors of the chamber, officially passed the gavel to Michele Coley of the Allstate Coley Agency, who now serves as the 2023 Chair.