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Police Chief Paul Irwin named Pell City Citizen of Year by Chamber (with photo gallery)

Paul Irwin named Citizen of Year

Jean Speer presents the Citizen of the Year award to Pell City police Chief Paul Irwin.

PELL CITY – In his 2⅟₂ years as police chief, Paul Irwin has had a great impact on the Pell City community.

He oversaw the formation of a S.W.A.T. team in 2018 that has continued to grow and has helped improve training for all his officers.

He has promoted officer wellness and safety programs to the point that the department won the National Officer’s General Wellness and Safety Award from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Destination Zero for 2019.

He has seen his department become involved in the Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, taught Citizen’s Response to Active Shooter events to public and local businesses and been involved in many civic and community organizations, including the Leadership St. Clair County board of directors, of which he is vice president.

For these efforts and more, Irwin received the Pell City Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award at a luncheon Wednesday at Eden West Baptist Church.

“I was very surprised and very honored that people would vote for me to receive this award,” Irwin said. “We’ve done a lot of great things as a department, but it is because I have a lot of great people working with me. 

“There are a lot of great men and women within the Police Department and within the community who work with me to make great things happen in Pell City.”

The other nominees in the Citizen of the Year category were Ivy McDaniel, founder of We Win Recovery, and developer Bill Ellison. 

Winners in two new categories – Policeman of the Year and Fireman of the Year – were awarded for the first time Wednesday. The Policeman of the Year was Thomas Gray, and Fireman of the Year was John Edge.

The Chamber also handed out its annual awards for Small Business, Medium Business, Large Business, Professional Business, Industry and Nonprofit Organization of the Year at the luncheon. 

The winners were Jamison Taylor’s School of Music (Small Business), Magnolia’s Gift Shop (Medium Business), Premiere Cinemas Entertainment (Large Business), Northside Medical Associates (Professional Business), Benjamin Moore & Co. (Industry) and Ann’s New Life (Nonprofit Organization).

Here’s a brief look at those winners:


Jamison Taylor’s School of Music, located at 1916 1st Ave. N., has five instructors and more than 100 weekly students. 

It offers weekly lessons on just about any instrument and in voice, and the school has several programs that help students perform as bands at local events. 

It also provides entertainment at events such as Relay for Life, Fall Frenzy, National Night Out and at various churches as well.

Taylor and his staff also volunteer and teach in area public and private schools, and Taylor personally donates his time, talent and resources to more than 20 organizations and events each year.

The other nominees in this category were Chicago Mike’s Hot Dogs and Partners by Design Inc.


Magnolias has been in Pell City since 2014 and strives to be a gift store that offers exceptional value and customer service.

Magnolias offers both bridal and baby registries and believes in offering beautiful gifts for every occasion in life and treasuring the stories behind every one of those gifts. It has also become known for its signature complimentary gift wrapping.

The other nominees in this category were Louie’s Grill and Town & Country Ford.


The Premiere Cinemas Entertainment complex that opened Jan. 16, 2019, has worked with the community to hold fundraisers for children’s advocacy groups and donated giveaways to the Pell City Fire and Police departments for events such as National Night Out, the Downtown Extravaganza and local fairs. 

It also proudly works with Pell City High School’s vocational job program. It has provided captioning and audio descriptive devices for blind and hearing-impaired patrons and partnered with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) in Talladega to host various events for its students.

The other nominees in this category were Buffalo Wild Wings and the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home.


Northside Medical Associates, a facility established in 2001 by Pell City native Dr. Rock Helms, employs 15 primary care providers who provide extended health care services to Pell City and surrounding areas. 

Northside Medical provides expanded services, including a full imaging center with MRI, CT, ultrasound and mammography; a full-service laboratory; and a retail pharmacy. 

Its 80,000 square foot campus also features multiple specialty physicians, including cardiology, optometry, gastroenterology, orthopedics, oncology/hematology, podiatry, dermatology, nephrology, OB/GYN, oral/facial surgery and general surgery.

The other nominees in this category were ERA King Real Estate and Trussell, Funderburg, Rea, Bell and Ferguson, P.C.


Benjamin Moore & Co. has operated in Pell City for nearly 34 years, and the Pell City location is unique in that it is both a manufacturing facility and a warehouse distribution center for the company. 

As an organization, Benjamin Moore & Co. is greatly involved in the community and makes charitable donations to the Pell City Fire and Police departments. The company also supports the Good Works Community Table charity, and its newest expansion will help local schools by generating an estimated $554,000 in education taxes over the next 10 years.

The other nominees in this category were Ford Meter Box and WKW-Erbsloeh North America Inc.


A limited medical pregnancy center, Ann’s New Lifeserves as a beacon of hope for women and their families facing an unplanned pregnancy. 

For 10 years, Ann’s New Life has provided life-giving alternatives to abortion and has helped more than 1,300 clients and their families. 

Ann’s New Life provides free and confidential limited O.B. ultrasound and pregnancy testing as well as parenting classes, peer counseling, Bible studies and material resources of all kinds.

The other nominees in this category were Eden Westside Baptist Church and Logan Martin Lakefest.