Rogers Insurance named 'Business of the Year'

CHIPLEY - The Washington County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual banquet Tuesday, April 11.

The annual event features the presentation of the Jean Hollingsworth Ambassador of the Year Award and the naming of the Washington County Business of the Year.

Ambassador Donna Meldon and Rogers Insurance were recognized as Ambassador of the Year and Business of the Year, respectively.

Rogers Insurance was founded by Gerald Lee (Pee Wee) Rogers in May 1974 following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force as a Senior Master Sergeant after 20 years of service.

He quickly became a pillar of the civic and business community and developed a reputation for loving the community where he lived and served.

Rogers retired in 1992, at which time the tradition of service continued under the leadership of his son-in-law and daughter, Ricky and Donna Miller. Ricky had joined the agency in 1984, and he and Donna purchased the business, allowing Rogers to retire.

Rogers passed away March 10, 2017, about a month shy of his 65th wedding anniversary with wife Kathleen.

Other Business of the Year nominees were Brickyard Market, Community South Credit Union, Orange Hill Express, and Rivertown Community Church.

The chamber also recognized outgoing members of the board of directors Wayland Fulford, Andrew Fleener, and Garrett Martin.

In a new fresh twist to the chamber's annual festivities, guests were brought into a tale of mystery as THEY Improv, LLC presented a murder mystery during dinner. The actors mingled with guests, weaving a story of intrigue that culminated in a death - leaving several guests as "suspects," including Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews, County Commissioner Tray Hawkins, local dentist Sasha Minor, and Washington County News Publisher Nicole Barefield.