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Angela Machnik (right) accepts the Athena Award from TRUE Community Credit Union CEO Chrissy Siders.  Photo by Sara Scaife, JTV.

(February 1, 2024 10:19 PM ET) Tonight, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and awards ceremony, The Night of Distinction, at the Commonwealth Commerce Center City View Room.

At the event, Chamber President Ryan Tarrant and Board Chair Stu Kail shared highlights from the past year, including the addition of 91 new members to the business community.   In 2023, nearly $30,000 in rebates were paid back to members through the Accident Fund workers comp partnership, 39 events were hosted with more than 2,000 total attendees, and improved services were provided to minority-owned businesses.  The Chamber’s online business directory provided 4,900 new leads to members through the online business directory, and the Chamber Board of Directors and staff completed a new strategic plan to guide the organization over the next several years.

This evening’s Night of Distinction ceremony and reception celebrated the Community Award Winners. Short feature films announced award winners throughout the evening in a new format and location.  The Commonwealth Commerce Center served as host and catering provider, offering an expansive charcuterie board and numerous food stations, a full bar, and a theater-like experience due to a collaboration with Red Letter.

Community Award Winners include:

  • Vocational Village (Parnall Rd. Correctional Facility), Reach Hire Award sponsored by Michigan Works! Southeast
  • Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, OBTAIN Graphics, City of Jackson Fire Department (Station 2), and Jackson County ISD (Central Campus); Brick Awards sponsored by Jackson Commercial Contractors Association
  • Stephen Willbee (Willbee Transit-Mix Co. Inc), Small Business Person of the Year sponsored by County National Bank
  • Angela Machnik, Athena Award sponsored by TRUE Community Credit Union
  • Rockin’ the Tee Box Music Festival by APEX Sports & Entertainment, Omotenashi Customer Service Award sponsored by Experience Jackson
  • Bart & Karen Hawley, Jamie McKibbin Community Enthusiast Award in honor of Jamie McKibbin
  • Kristi Tabor (Fox 47 News WSYM TV), Albert Earle Chamber Ambassador of the Year

The Night of Distinction event’s Gold Sponsor was Consumers Energy.

The celebration of award winners will continue throughout Community Awards Week, February 5-9, with media stops for each of the award winners at JTV, Home.fm, McKibbin Media Group, and Jackson Magazine.

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