Desoto County News

Southaven Chamber holds annual Awards Luncheon

Photo: The Southaven Chamber Awards Luncheon attracted hundreds to the Landers Center Wednesday afternoon. (Bob Bakken/

The Southaven Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards Wednesday during its Awards Luncheon at the Landers Center. 

Following are the persons or businesses that were recognized as award winners:

  • Man of the Year, Stacy Dodd, Vertava Health and the Hope Center
  • Woman of the Year, Ashleigh Parker, Olive Branch Eye Care and DeSoto Hope
  • Corporate Business of the Year, Chick-fil-A Southaven
  • Small Business of the Year, Buff City Soap-Southaven
  • Spirit of Main Street, Brown Missionary Baptist Church
  • Nonprofit Leader of the Year, Debra Crum, Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation
  • Southaven Human Resource Association Leader of the Year, April Strickland, Buff City Soap-Southaven
  • Southaven Young Professional Leader of the Year, Hunter Riley, Contractors, Inc. 
  • Ambassador of the Year, Stacy Dodd

During the luncheon, Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite presented a proclamation to Chamber Executive Director Debbie King recognizing the Chamber during National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day.  

Southaven Chamber Executive Director Debbie King and Mayor Darren Musselwhite (Bob Bakken/

Musselwhite also briefly highlighted the past year in Southaven, a year that saw higher sales tax receipts and business permits, along with a return in building permit numbers to levels not seen since 2007. 

King gave a Year in Review about Chamber activities, which included the addition of staff members Cristan Engelke and Shawntel Hibbler, the addition of 133 new members and a member retention rate of 86 percent. 

King also mentioned that the Chamber has held 79 events in the past 12 months, including the Christmas parade. 

A golf tournament was a first for the Chamber and it raised more than $10,000 toward a Chamber Foundation, which is being formed in the next year. 

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