|Left to Right: Young Citizen of the Year Shelby Gardner, Citizen of the Year JeNelle Lipton, outgoing Chamber Chairman Mike Nichols, and Tall Pines and Pink Tomato Award Winner Bo Hembree.|
Mayor Bryan Martin began the program for the event by welcoming the crowd and introducing guests. He was followed by the introduction of Directors by Patricia Wilkerson. Chamber President Joel Tolefree spoke briefly to the guests expressing what a great town we have and encouraging support of local businesses. Pastor Matt Overall of Immanuel Baptist Church asked a blessing over the meal which was served by 4-H Club members.
State Representative Jeff Wardlaw introduced the keynote speaker, Representative Mark McElroy who brought forth a humorous talk along with complementing the people of Bradley County.
Mr. Tolefree, with the assistance of incoming chamber board chairman Tricia Wilkerson, presented Mike Nichols a plaque as outgoing 2016 Chamber Board Chairman.
A special award, the Tall Pines and Pink Tomato Award which honored the late Weldon Sledge for all his work not only in the community, work through the Chamber, but especially his work and role for many years with the Pink Tomato Festival, was presented to Warren Athletic Director and Multiple Championship Teams' Coach James "Bo" Hembree.
The Young Citizen of the Year was presented to Shelby Gardner in recognition of the fantastic and successful fundraising she organized to benefit victims of PTSD who are served by the Veteran's Hospital in Little Rock. Shelby is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chad Gardner.
Finally, the Citizen of the Year was presented to JeNelle Lipton for her many years of service to the county through the Pink Tomato Festival, the GFWC Warren Woman's Club, the Chamber of Commerce and much more.