CHIPLEY — Good food, excellent music and fine fellowship were abundant when Washington County residents and business leaders gathered at the county Agricultural Center on Thursday for the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
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, and this year’s winners were Ambassador Cindy Johnson-Brown and Taylor Chiropractic, owned by Dr. Mark Taylor.
Johnson-Brown recently opened Therapy World of Northwest Florida, where she is a speech language pathologist.
“This year’s recipient is really no stranger to anyone who has spent time with the Ambassadors,” said Chamber President Nicole Barefield. “She makes a great impression — bubbly personality, energy and enthusiasm. And if you’ve ever met her, you’ll never forget her.”
Johnson-Brown’s involvement includes representing the Chamber at many civic and social functions, assist in new member solicitation, member retention programs and serve on the marketing committee. Johnson Brown also recently joined the national association of Chamber Ambassadors.
In addition to chairing the WCCC Ambassadors, Johnson-Brown is a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Washington County Arts Council board of directors and Take Stock in Children.
A Chipley High School graduate, she received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida, masters at Nova Southeastern University, where she is completing her doctorate. She and her husband, Gary Brown, have one daughter, Olivia.
“I’m passionate about volunteering,” Johnson-Brown said upon accepting the award. “And I am excited about being able to bring health care back here to Northwest Florida.”
Taylor Chiropractic, the 2013 Business of the Year, has been in Washington County since 2008, when Dr. Taylor took over for another longtime health care provider in Chipley.
Two years ago, the business upgraded to a larger facility in downtown Chipley and now has seven employees.
“In the past five years this business has treated hundreds of patients with an effort to bring a unique combination of quality healthcare in a warm and relaxed environment," said Barefield. Dr. Taylor was also was recognized for leadership in policy-making regarding economic development and organization.
Dr. Taylor is a member of Kiwanis Club and the Chamber of Commerce. He supports local little league teams and Project Graduation, and volunteers his time at local health fairs providing free screenings and massages.
“Our success is a reflection of the community, and how much you support local businesses,” Taylor said.
Outgoing Chamber President Philip Pippin was also honored for his service to the organization, as were the officers and directors of the Chamber: President elect Pat Schlenker, vice president Amy Wiwi, treasurer Garrett Martin, EDC chairman Gary Clark, Vann Brock, Joy Davis, Terry Ellis, Andy Fleener, Jan Page, Darrin Wall and William Steverson.
Ted Everett, executive director of the Chamber, and administrative assistant Chris McBlain, were also recognized for their contributions to the organization.
Entertainment was provided by the Big River Bluegrass Band, and the dinner was catered by the Northwest Florida Community Hospital.