Community leaders honored at Chamber’s annual Small Business Awards Celebration
Today, community leaders representing small business, non-profit and education were honored by the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce for their commitment to the business community and their contributions to increasing the quality of life for citizens across the area.
The annual Small Business Awards Celebration luncheon, held at the Doubletree by Hilton Decatur Riverfront and presented by Redstone Federal Credit Union, is put on in observance of National Small Business Month – an initiative led by the U.S. Small Business Administration to encourage and highlight small business and entrepreneurialism.
“Each of our honorees recognize the value of relationships in building a healthy business community and a high quality of life for Morgan County,” said John Seymour, president and CEO of the Chamber. “The deep commitment they bring to their work each day is exactly what we want for our area, and their willingness to serve is a shining example of what this region has to offer. They are each ambassadors for Decatur.”
Three awards were presented during the luncheon.
Willie LaFavor, owner and president of Contractor Service & Fabrication, Inc., was honored with the Raymon Baker - John Cook - Ralph Jones Small Business Person of the Year award. LaFavor founded the family-owned business in 1985, which has become one of the largest mechanical contractors in north Alabama, employing a team of nearly 200. He oversees all operations involving companywide systems and procedures for reporting, project and financial controls, as well as managing all operations of industrial contracting. LaFavor serves on numerous community boards and committees, including vice chairman of workforce and education for the Chamber Board of Directors, chairman of the North Alabama Workforce Development Alliance, Calhoun Community College Industrial Programs Advisory Committee, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and 1st Priority of the Greater Decatur Area, among others. He is married to the former Charlice Ann Sanford, with whom he has a son who serves in the U.S. Navy.
Tim and Pamela Bolding, co-directors of the Neighborhood Christian Center in Decatur, were honored with the Lynn C. Fowler Non-Profit Professional of the Year award. The Boldings have been co-directors of the NCC since May 2006, leading a non-profit that serves thousands of adults and children each year with emergency services, ministry and educational programing, personal development classes, food, clothing, hygiene items and financial assistance. The Boldings lead a team of six full and part time ministry staff at their Bank Street NE location. Prior to serving at the NCC, they helped lead French Camp Academy, a Mississippi-based Christian boarding school for approximately 180 troubled young people where they served in a variety of roles.
Karissa Lang, principal of Chestnut Grove Elementary School in Decatur, was honored with the Arthur Orr Young Professional of the Year award. Lang became principal of Chestnut Grove in July 2013 after serving three years as assistant principal of Oak Park Middle School. Prior to serving as an administrator, Lang was a classroom teacher for eight years at Gordon Bibb (now Banks-Caddell) Elementary and Leon Sheffield Magnet Elementary. Lang was recognized as the Leon Sheffield Teacher of the Year in 2007 and the Jenice Riley Memorial Award winner for excellence in elementary education in 2008. She is president of the Decatur Assembly for the 2016-2017 year, board secretary for River City United Soccer Club, and board member of Lions Club. She is married to Aaron Lang, with whom she has a daughter and two sons.