Hancock Chamber Also Announces 2017 Priorities.
During the annual meeting of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce and Hancock Community Development Foundation today at Diamondhead Country Club, Angelyn Treutel Zeringue, President of SouthGroup Insurance – Gulf Coast was named as the recipient of the 2017 Jody Compretta Person of Passion Award. Zeringue was cited for her passion to use her God given skills to help others achieve.
The award was presented to Zeringue by Cathy Wilson and Katharine Ohman past recipients of the award. “Jody Compretta lived by the mantra failure cannot cope with persistence,” said Wilson. “Jody also believed that working together we can accomplish great things because none of us is as smart as all of us,” she said.
The eldest of 10 Scardino children, Angelyn leads with an enthusiastic attitude, is a natural born leader and eternal optimist.
She is a driven woman with a strong background in business and insurance for more than 20 years. Angelyn served two one year terms as the president of the Chamber in 2016 and 2014. She has received numerous awards for her leadership. In 2013 she was recognized by the community as Citizen of the Year and in 2015 was one of the Coast’s Top 10 Community Leaders by the Chambers of Commerce in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. Today, she continues to serve the community as treasurer of the Bay St. Louis Rotary, was named Outstanding New Rotarian and received the Avenues of Service Award. She has also served on the Hancock Community Development Board for the past four years and is chairman of the Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Roundtable.
“I have a passion for making Hancock County a better place to live,” she said. “I am so honored to receive this award in Jody’s memory.”
The meeting opened to the electric sounds of the Bay Ratz Marching Battery. Later in the program, the South Hancock Choir wowed the crowd with their rendition of Tomorrow and We are the World.
Diamondhead Mayor Tommy Schafer welcomed the 250 people attending the meeting and encouraged Chamber
members to tap in to the marketing expertise the Chamber offers to business and governmental partners. Billy Hewes of Gulfport announced that the Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration South will be held on the Coast March 31 and April 1 at Centennial Plaza in Gulfport. The Hancock Chamber has been tapped to manage the event for South Mississippi, chaired by George Schloegel, retired CEO of Hancock Bank and former Mayor of Gulfport.
During the meeting, Zeringue passed the Chamber’s presidential gavel to Cathy Wilson, with the Hancock School District and Dr. Chari Labat passed the Foundation’s presidential gavel to Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company. Members of both boards announced economic and organizational priorities for 2017 with the theme Building Hancock County Tomorrow, Together.
“We surveyed our members and they told us what they want us to focus on,” said Zerinuge. “Through the 2017 strategic plan, we will deliver initiatives to achieve the goals.”
Some of the priorities Chamber members want the community to focus on include: a strategic plan for economic development beyond industrial development; increased marketing to enhance the image of the county; improved processes to work with business investors; cooperative government that supports and encourages growth; tax incentives to attract investment; advocating for lower insurance rates; planned residential developments; and, improved transportation corridors to attract new residents.
During a joint boards planning session, led by veteran strategist John Weibmer, the Chamber and Foundation boards identified five major strategic areas to focus on during 2017: economic development, chaired by Stephen Schruff of Mississippi Power Company; relocation campaigns, chaired by Regan Kane of John McDonald Realty; government relations, chaired by Rick Fayard of American Medical Response; revenue development, chaired by Alan Hodges of Hancock Medical Center/Ochsner Health Systems; and, growth at Stennis Space Center through Partners for Stennis Space Center, chaired by Michael McDaniel of Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Dave Treutel Jr. and Cindy Vernon Knoblock were recognized by McDaniel for their leadership in establishing the organization 20 years ago as a two state regional group. Accepting the award with Knoblock was Dave Treutel, Sr.
Sponsors of the meeting include: Hancock Bank, Mississippi Power Company, Coast Electric Power Association, American Medical Response, The Silver Slipper Casino and Hotel and The Peoples Bank.
If you have been considering joining the Hancock Chamber of Commerce as a non-profit, individual or business, go to www.hancockchamber.org or call 228-467-9048 for information on how you can market your business through the Chamber and become involved in the community.