The Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce presented nine plaques at its annual awards banquet, held March 22 at the Sedalia Country Club, with the theme, “Connect, Engage, Grow.”

A total of 135 people attended the event.

Randy Kirby

Receiving the Lifetime Membership Award was Superintendent of Schools Brad Pollitt, who recently announced his retirement from education and also announced his candidacy for state representative of the 52nd District.

Pollitt was superintendent for the past five years. His last day on the job is June 30. Pollitt has worked in the education field for 34 years and has lived in the Sedalia community for 28 years. On February 7, current State Rep. Nathan Beard said he would not seek re-election.

Pollitt said he was surprised to walk into the banquet hall Thursday night and see his name listed on the program as an award recipient.

“I'm surprised, I didn't know I was going to receive that. I'm honored and humbled. We have such a good Chamber in Sedalia, and they promote our businesses and our community, and I just feel good to be a part of it,” Pollitt commented.

"One thing Sedalia has that I've never seen in a lot of in other communities, is the willingness of the businesses to give back and to donate to the school districts and (other causes), this is such a giving community," Pollitt said during his acceptance speech.

Betty Hopkins was named the Chamber's Outstanding Citizen. She was chosen due to her contributions to family, education, community, or to the arts, environment, health or human services through volunteer efforts.

"Thank you and I certainly do appreciate it. I think everybody here has a lot to give and I'm glad I was able to do some things (for the community) and just keep going. Lots of good people here and Sedalia's a great place, thank you," Hopkins said during her acceptance speech.

Matt Maggard was chosen the Chamber Ambassador of the Year due to his massive amount of participation in Chamber activities.

“Serving the Chamber is awesome,” Maggard told KSIS, adding that he has been a member of the Chamber for seven months so far and now serves as chairman of the Ambassador Committee.

“I was Ambassador of the Month six times in a row. It's a really rewarding position for me, because I can talk to members about what the Chamber can do for them, and talk to potential members about what we can do for them as well.”

Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County (EDSPC) Executive Director Jessica Craig was presented with the Chamber's “Sedalia Progress Award” for extraordinary efforts in promoting growth and progress in Sedalia.

Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County (EDSPC) Executive Director Jessica Craig was presented with the Chamber's “Sedalia Progress Award” for extraordinary efforts in promoting growth and progress in Sedalia.

“Makes me feel very humble, excited and surprised,” Craig remarked when asked abouty her reaction to receiving the award.

“It takes an entire community to move progress forward,” Craig told KSIS. “There have been a lot of players who have contributed to our success that we as a community have seen over the last year. And I feel like we're just starting to crack the surface of the potential here throughout the community.”

Karl Kramer was not only Volunteer of the Year, but the President's Award as well. He was unable to attend the Chamber banquet, but sent President-Elect Susan Mergen to accept on his behalf.

Bothwell Regional Health Center's “Healthy U” program was named the Chamber's Committee of the Year.

509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs Specialist Jennifer Greene received the Chamber's Spirit Award.

The Leadership Sedalia Class of 2017-18 was named Special Project of the Year by the Chamber for successfully completing their project. The winner of this award was selected by the Executive Committee.

All wards were presented by Chamber President John Meehan and Executive Director Angie Thompson.