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Clarksville Chamber lauds leading citizens

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Top, Trish Garland, a vice president with Estes Trucking, was honored as Clarksville Citizen of the Year. Presenting the award was Dr. Charles Lee, last year’s honoree. Above, Lise Burnett accepts the 2013 Kathleen Walker Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions to the town. / December 18, 2013

The Clarksville Lake Country Chamber of Commerce introduced its 2014 officers and directors before recognizing several of the town’s leading citizens at the annual Christmas banquet Thursday night.

Trish Garland fought back tears upon being named the 2013 Clarksville Citizen of the Year. She accepted the honor in memory of her parents, whom she praised for teaching her the importance of giving back to her community. Garland, a vice president with Estes Trucking, thanked the Chamber and citizens in Clarksville for letting her be part of “such a wonderful community.”

Lise Burnett received the 2013 Kathleen Walker Lifetime Achievement Award. In the words of presenter Clarksville Mayor Kevin Allgood, “she has done more for this community than most people are aware.”

In addition to being a local Realtor, Burnett was instrumental in starting the first Christmas parade in town and more recently spearheaded the monthly cruise-in car shows in Clarksville. She is active in a number of local charities, and has been known to sponsor golfers in many of the fundraising tournaments held at Kinderton Country Club.

The Evelyn Hurst Volunteer of the Year award went to Doreen White for her dedication to and support of the events sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, but in particular her work before and during the Harvest Days Festival.

Clarksville Town Manager Jeff Jones presented Benchmark Community Bank with the Chamber’s 2013 Business of the Year award. Recalling how Benchmark grew from a modest two-person operation on Commerce Street into a multi-million dollar business, Jones praised bank employees for their service throughout the community.

Jones added that Benchmark earned the honor, in large part, for its support of the community and the Chamber of Commerce. Two prime examples of the bank’s involvement in the community can be seen in Ann Bowers, a relationship banker with Benchmark, who is the outgoing President of the Chamber, and Benchmark’s senior loan officer Mike Rowe, who serves on the Chamber’s personnel committee.

After accepting the award, Allen Murray, regional and Clarksville branch manager for Benchmark, announced a change in Benchmark’s local management team. Starting in January, Todd Jones (brother of Town Manager Jeff Jones, and a relationship banker at Benchmark’s South Hill office) will become branch manager in Clarksville. Murray will continue to serve as regional manager, but also will take on responsibility for the bank’s branches in Victoria and Kenbridge.

Before concluding the program, Chamber Executive Director Sheila Cuykendall thanked individuals and businesses who help to sponsor the banquet each year, including beverage hosts David and Janet Buchanan and Mike Sizemore with State Farm Insurance, social hour hosts Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance, SOVA Realty, and Carol and Ed Brown of Southside Marine & Auto. Also receiving thanks were Theresa Morris of Avenue Floral and Design who provided the decorations, and Peggy Bowlin and Mary Willis who assisted with set-up. The dinner was catered by Henrico Farms Gourmet Catering under the direction of Scott Williamson.

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