Chamber of Commerce hands awards, celebrates overcoming hardships at annual dinner

The Christian County Chamber of Commerce celebrated overcoming hardships and local businesses and agencies at their annual dinner and awards ceremony Tuesday night.

President and CEO Taylor Hayes congratulated not only their award winners but all in attendance, saying they’re part of what makes Christian County a great place to live, work and play and the Chamber will continue to support their efforts and goals.

The keynote speakers this year were Derrick Ramsey and John Tilley, both of whom have extensive experience in local and state government.  Tilley, a Hopkinsville native, spoke on justice reform and how it can affect the workforce in Kentucky, while Ramsey spoke on the journeyman program he helped start in the state and how it could help a critical shortage of skilled work force.

Ramsey says Kentucky needs to work on being more inclusive in its workforce across the board, especially for the previously incarcerated.

Tilley says a good chunk of the population have a criminal record, and that can often affect employment, which in turns affects businesses and the economy.

The Young Professional of the Year Award was presented to Bennett Greene, the Bob Kelso Ambassador of the Year Award went to Abigail Landrum, and the Presidents Award was claimed by Tracey Clarke.

The dinner concluded with outgoing Board Chair Jeff Hurd passing the gavel to Jim Blair, who will sever as the chair for 2022-2023.