PELL CITY – Jean Speer, co-founder and board member of the Good Works Charitable Foundation, was presented the Pell City Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award Wednesday.
“I do want to say thank you,” Speer said in front of the packed crowd at the 2018 Chamber awards banquet at Eden Westside Baptist Church.
The Good Works Charitable Foundation is a nonprofit charity that provides food to those in need.
Speer said her mother and father instilled in her the importance of helping others.
“I can’t do this without all of you,” she said.
For more than 20 years, Speer has held an October coat, mitten, hat and blanket drive, and she has been a community swim instructor since 1992, providing free swimming lessons to adults and children, as well as people with special needs.
Since 2014, Speer has served as a volunteer for the Special Stars Prom hosted by the Pell City Civitans Club. The annual prom is for individuals ages 15-22 with special needs. She also collects prom dresses for many of the attendees.
Speer serves on the board of directors for the Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity, which serves Jefferson, Walker, Shelby and St. Clair counties.
Speer was one of three Citizen of the Year nominees, along with Caran Wilbanks and Larry Daugherty.
“All three of you display wonderful character,” said Pell City Chamber of Commerce President Brandon Turner.
In all, seven awards were presented at the two-hour luncheon. The event was well-attended.
“When you have a full house, that’s amazing,” Turner said.
He said the Chamber office received 80 nominees for the seven awards. The nominees were narrowed down to three candidates per category by the number of votes each business, industry, nonprofit and individual received.
MainStreet Drugs and Gift Shop captured the Small Business of the Year award. State Farm Agent Bart Perry and Specialty Printing Company were the other nominees in the Small Business category.
Dixie Sod Farm claimed the top award for medium size businesses. Bain and Company and Woods Surfside Marina were the other nominees for the award.
Chick-Fil-A was crowned the Large Business of the Year. Johnny’s Electric and McSweeney Automotive were the other nominees for the award.
Royal Foods won the Small Industry of the Year award, while Ford Meter Box was the runner-up.
Garrison Steel won the Large Industry of the Year award. Benjamin Moore and Eissmann Automotive were the other nominations.
In the nonprofit category, The Children’s Place took top honors. Other nominations included GoodWorks Charitable Foundation and Ann’s New Life Center.