Jessamine Chamber of Commerce Dinner Recognizes Business and Civic Leadership

Published 3:39 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

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Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards Thursday at the R.J. Corman Hangar.

The chamber recognized businesses and individuals that have made an impact in the community over the last year at the annual dinner attended by more than 350 well-dressed people.

“Our 41st Annual Awards Dinner was a wonderful evening recognizing businesses and individuals that continue to succeed and overcome the challenging years we have had,” Chamber Director Ronda May said. “All of these are small businesses that require the community’s support to keep them going. We are blessed that they have chosen Jessamine County to be the location that allows them to live out their hopes and dreams in the business world. So very happy and proud to have them as Chamber Members.”

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Also, Jonna Perdue of PECCO & Blue Tank & Pump Rental was sworn-in as the new chamber president and given the gavel.
Photos of the event can be found at

Here are award recipients:
Civic Award: Bryan U’Ren of Asbury Seminary; presented by Bart Daily of Metronet and Dexter Porter of Asbury Seminary. U’Ren is director of facilities & security at the Seminary.
“I like to help and serve as a mentor,” said U’Ren, a coach to many teams in the community.

Educator of the Year: Dr. Michele Reynolds; presented by Mark Harris of Wesbanco and Tanner Perdue, Blue Tank & Pump.
“I just want the best for all the kids in Jessamine County,” said Reynolds, assistant superintendent/chief Academic Officer at Jessamine County Schools.

Small Business of the Year: Top Seed Tennis; Alan Vanarsdall of Central Bank and Glenda Creech of Wesley Village presented the award to Top Seed Tennis Assistant Director Susan Sloane.

RJ Corman Community Service Award: Blue Tank and Pump; April Colyer of RJ Corman presented the award to Tanner Perdue of Blue Tank and Pump.

“We really enjoy being in Jessamine County,” Perdue said. “Everything we’ve done wouldn’t be possible without the support of our team and all of you guys as well. We look forward to continuing our growth here in Jessamine County, so thank you.”

New Business Award: CNC Bakery; Chris Sloan of Alltech presented the award to Geetha Thomas, Lana’s sister (owner) accepted the award.

Industry Award: Stratton Lumber; David Reil of the City of Wilmore presented the award to Bill Baker who owns Stratton Lumber along with Lee Baker.

“The person who deserves this award — the people — are our employees,” Bill Baker said. “We wouldn’t be there except for them, the generations of people who have worked for us.”

Karen Thomas Ambassador Award: Hazel Teichen of BlueGrass Care Navigators; Chamber Director May presented the award.

“I have come to love Jessamine County,” she said. “The pride you have in this county is palpable. We can feel it. I know it. I know the chamber is zeroed into everything Jessamine. I’m honored. I’m humbled and I am very proud to be a part of the chamber.”

Impact Award: Community Service Center of Wilmore/Highbridge; Susan Sloane of Top Seed Tennis presented the award to Koby Miller, executive director of Community Service Center of Wilmore/Highbridge.

“It is because of the generosity of 30 years of supportive board of directors, a supportive community and Wilmore and everybody there that gives us the opportunity to be generous with the least of these. We are so grateful,” Miller said.

President’s Award: Clay Tankersley, retired, owner of Clay’s Barbershop for the 64 years; presented by Justin Ray, the outgoing chamber president.

“The people of Wilmore and Jessamine County — I miss them,” he said. “I don’t miss the shop that much, but I really miss seeing my customers.”

Outstanding Business Leader: Charlie Hensley, owner of Euro Wine & Tapas Bar; Taylor Perdue of PECCO and Cathy Lowe of Stock Yards Bank presented the award.

Business of the Year: Car Town Kia; Kathy Tussey of Baptist Health presented the award to Lynn Alexander, owner of Car Town Kia.

“Back during the Industrial Revolution when Henry Ford was revolutionizing the automobile business, he said if everyone is moving forward together, success takes care of itself,” Alexander said. “Each and everyone you here tonight understands all that. We as owners of businesses assume and recognize that getting to the top of the mountain by yourself is impossible — it’s very helpful if you’ve got a good team.”

Hall of Fame Award: Memory of Senator Tom Buford, who represented District 22 for 30 years. Buford assumed office in 1991. Buford served as Senate Republican whip from 1991 to 1992. He left office on July 6, 2021 when he passed away. J.P. Hunt, Car Town Kia presented the Hall of Fame award to Tom’s daughter Stephanie, who accepted the award on her father’s behalf.

“He didn’t just do it for us, he did it for each and every one of you in this community,” she said. “I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the support you’ve given dad throughout the years.”