More than 500 members in attendance at awards event 

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama recognized top volunteers for 2019 during its 119th annual celebration, presented on Thursday, February 6, 2020 by The University of Alabama at the Bryant Conference Center.

Tripp Powell of Powell Petroleum was named the 2019 Charles H. Land Member of the Year, the Chamber’s highest honor presented to an individual member. Powell, who serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, was instrumental in the successful relaunch of Young Tuscaloosa, a highly active group of professionals in the West Alabama community. 

Powell is a proactive community leader with respect to crime-related issues; helping start a program for at-risk children and leading the Community Corrections Board. Actively involved in the early planning stages of Elevate Tuscaloosa, Powell has also been a leader with the TakeOffTCL effort to bring commercial air service to the region. 

“Tripp Powell is a driven, committed leader, and West Alabama is fortunate to have him working on a wide range of concerns that will improve our community,” said Jim Page, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. “His commitment to our community’s young people sets a standard we can all follow, and his willingness to get out in front of important issues is a key character trait we need in our leadership.” 

The Chairman’s Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College. Since being named president of the college in 2017, Dr. Warrick has provided transformational change at Stillman, delivering administrative accountability, student success outcomes, and advancing new initiatives. 

The Robert C. Tanner Corporate Service Award, which recognizes the corporate leadership, philanthropic efforts and community service by a member entity in the West Alabama region, was presented to Buffalo Rock/Pepsi-Cola

The Minority Business Council Trailblazer Award was presented to Dr. Charles Nash of the University of Alabama System


Allyson Cooper of University Medical Center was named the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Year for her exceptional service to and on behalf of the Chamber’s membership. The Ambassadors are the Chamber’s official hosts for all functions. 

The Non-Profit of the Year Award was presented to the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center, a community based collaborative agency designed to meet the emotional, medical, and forensic needs of sexual assault survivors. 

The Chamber also recognized outstanding community leadership with the presentation of three Distinguished Service Awards, which are presented to individuals or organizations for their service and leadership. The 2019 awards were presented to Michele Coley of The Allstate Coley Agency; David Pass of the Sealy Companies; and Elizabeth Winter of Regions Bank. 

The H. Pettus Randall Entrepreneurial Rising Star Award was presented to Slade Johnston of Trips4Trade. 

In addition to honoring outstanding members for 2019, the Chamber presented a departure from the annual year-in-review, choosing instead to show attendees a fun, man-on-the-street video shot by Seed Creative.

At the close of the event, the official transition was made to the 2020 leadership team. Kimberly McMurray of Behavioral Health Consulting, LLC, who served as the 2019 Chair of the Board of Directors, passed the gavel to the 2020 Chair. The 2020 Chair of the Board of Directors is Robert M. Bragg of JamisonMoneyFarmer PC.

The 2020 Awards Celebration was presented by The University of Alabama.

Gold Sponsors for the event were The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies; Mercedes-Benz U.S. International; PRE Event Resources; and WhiteSky Communications.

Silver Sponsors were BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing; Tuscaloosa County Commission; and The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences.

Video Sponsors were Alabama ONE and Seed Creative.

Awards Sponsor was Award Company of America. Entertainment Sponsor was FASTSIGNS of Tuscaloosa. Floral Arrangement Sponsor was Stephanie’s Flowers.

Table Sponsors were Alabama ONE; BelFlex Staffing Network; Buffalo Rock/Pepsi-Cola; Renasant Bank; SmartBank; The University of Alabama College of Arts & Sciences; Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports; University of Alabama System.