Event spotlights difference made by Small Business Relief Fund, COVID-19 efforts
The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama recognized top volunteers for 2020 during its 120th annual celebration, presented on Thursday, May 13, 2021 by The University of Alabama at the Bryant Conference Center.
Kelsey Rush of Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports was named the 2020 Charles H. Land Member of the Year, the Chamber’s highest honor presented to an individual member. Rush, who serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, has been an active volunteer for the organization.
A committed community volunteer, Rush has worked with non-profits throughout the area, including the United Way of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, and Habitat for Humanity. In her previous role as VP of Marketing at Bryant Bank, Rush worked with their Adopt-A-School partner. As a Chamber volunteer, she has devoted her time and talents to the Small Business Relief Fund, Let’s Keep West Alabama Working campaign, and the Young Tuscaloosa program. She also serves on the Chamber’s Executive Committee as Vice Chair, Communications and Marketing.
“Kelsey Rush is an engaged volunteer, and the Chamber is fortunate to have her on our team,” said Jim Page, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. “Her willingness to tackle a range of issues that face not only our Chamber but the community make her an incredible asset. Her level of commitment is only surpassed by her talent and her vision.”
The Chairman’s Leadership Award was presented to longtime community banker Mark Sullivan. Sullivan devoted his skills to the Chamber’s Small Business Relief Fund, a partnership with the Community Foundation and the City of Tuscaloosa, to deliver swift relief to small businesses across the West Alabama region.
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 BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing.
The Diverse Business Council Trailblazer Award was presented to Michele Coley of the Allstate Coley Agency.
The Non-Profit of the Year Award was presented to the West Alabama Food Bank.
The Chamber also recognized outstanding community leadership with the presentation of two Distinguished Service Awards, which are presented to individuals or organizations for their service and leadership. The 2020 awards were presented to Mildred Black of People Optimum Consulting and Daniel Bradshaw of the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors.
The H. Pettus Randall Entrepreneurial Rising Star Award was presented to Jackson Carpenter of Tankr. The H. Pettus Randall Entrepreneur of the Year was presented to Luke Cox of Your Golf Superstore.
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 2021 leadership team was made at the annual celebration. Robert M. Bragg of JamisonMoneyFarmer PC served as the 2020 Chair of the Board of Directors of the Chamber and Elizabeth Winter of Regions Bank serves as the 2021 Chair of the Chamber.