Three community leaders honored at Chamber’s annual Small Business Awards Celebration
On Thursday, three area professionals were honored by the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce at the annual Small Business Awards Celebration for their innovation, creativity and commitment to our city’s quality of life.
Tyler Jones, owner of The RailYard, Whisk’D Café and High Point Market was named the Raymon Baker - John Cook - Ralph Jones Small Business Person of the Year; Mary Ila Ward, owner and president of Horizon Point Consulting, was named the Arthur Orr Young Professional of the Year; and Michael Tubbs, chief executive officer of Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, was named the Lynn C. Fowler Non-Profit Professional of the Year. The luncheon was presented by Redstone Federal Credit Union and held at the Doubletree by Hilton Decatur Riverfront.
“Decatur has some tremendous business leaders in our community, and we are excited to celebrate Tyler, Mary Ila and Mike this year,” said John Seymour, president and CEO of the Chamber. “Each are leaders in their fields and go to work each day wanting to do better than they did the day before. Those are the type of creative and innovative citizens that give our community a strong workforce that gives back to our area. Every day, their work makes Decatur-Morgan County a great place to live and work.”
Jones founded The RailYard in August of 2015 and has developed the restaurant into a regional destination specializing in locally sourced, “farm to fork” upscale southern cuisine. He is also the founder and owner of Whisk’D Café, a breakfast and brunch restaurant located in Decatur’s Albany Historic District, as well as High Point Market, a café and fresh goods market also located in downtown. Each of his ventures have played key roles in the successful redevelopment and revitalization of downtown, while bringing new products and dining options to our hospitality community. Among his long list of community engagements, he is a Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority board member, a Decatur Downtown Merchant Association board member, a United Way Allocation Ambassador, was awarded the 2017 Decatur Morgan County Tourism “Mr. Tourism” award, and this year was awarded the Volunteer Center of Morgan County’s “Hero on Demand” award for 2018. A native of Decatur, Jones is a graduate of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., where he serves as an international alumni board member. He and his wife Anna – owner of Breathe Yoga Barre in Decatur – and their son live in Decatur.
Ward is president of Horizon Point Consulting, a company she established in 2011. With a background in corporate recruiting, economic and workforce development, talent management and leadership coaching, she helps employers and communities focus on growth using forward-thinking practices that are grounded in research, science and analytics. As a leadership and human resources trainer, she has worked with businesses and non-profit organizations across the country, served as a subject matter expert speaker at HR conferences, and written for news websites including the Huffington Post. Locally, she is the past president of the Decatur City Schools Foundation Board, previous board member of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM), previous board member of the North Alabama Society for Human Resource Management, a current board member for CASA of North Alabama, and president-elect of the Alabama Chapter of SHRM. Ward has bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Middle Tennessee State University. Ward and her husband Drew live in Decatur with their two children.
Tubbs is the chief executive officer of the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, a position he’s held since 2005. From its base in Decatur, the Partnership’s more than 600 employees produce a broad range of comprehensive results for families in 28 Alabama counties where its primary mission is to reduce or eliminate the causes and consequences of poverty. The Partnership is the largest non-profit in north Alabama, and as a NeighborWorks affiliate is one of the largest developers of affordable housing in Alabama. Before joining the Partnership, Tubbs served for 30 years in various positions with Alabama Power Company, a subsidiary of Southern Company and the nation’s leading provider of electric energy. He is a graduate of Faulkner University, the Auburn University Economic and Community Development Institute and the Chamber’s Leadership Morgan County program (now known as Excellence in Leadership). He is a former member of Decatur Daybreak Rotary and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He recently was appointed to serve on the board of Regions Bank Community Development Corporation. Tubbs and his wife Terry, who have two adult children and four grandchildren, live in Decatur. He is set to retire from the Partnership in the fall of 2018.