The 38th Annual Hancock Chamber Business & Industry Awards Gala held on Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at Hollywood Casino – Gulf Coast was nothing short of an evening at the Academy Awards. Close to 500 business and governmental leaders gathered to recognize outstanding citizens and businesses. During the event, Mryon Labat, a retired educator and administrator, was elected as Citizen of the Year by members of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce from a field of 10 Outstanding Citizens. Other outstanding citizens recognized include: Allison Anderson, Unabridged Architecture; Lisa Cowand, Community Leader; Mark Duffy, Community Volunteer; Barbara Huet, Community Volunteer; Regan Kane, GRI, Broker, John McDonald Realty; Cynthia Mahner, The Arts, Hancock County, Mike Meyers, State Farm Insurance; Robert J. “Bob” Occhi, Coast Electric Power Association; and, Terie Velardi, Bay St. Louis Rotary Club.
Known as the local version of the Academy Awards, the Hancock Chamber Annual Awards Gala recognizes outstanding achievements in citizenship, tourism, industry and business in August of each year at the Hollywood Casino Grand Ballroom. The annual production includes a reception, sit-down dinner and video presentations featuring the award winners.
Recognition of Citizens and Businesses
The Chamber has been honoring exemplary citizens for nearly 40 years. In 2003, the organization invited the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission and the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau to join forces to host a single awards event. Tickets for the gala are traditionally sold out, with over 500 people attending annually.
Awards are also presented by the Hancock Chamber of Commerce for Businesses of the Year representing Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Diamondhead, Kiln and Hancock County. The Top 10 Outstanding Citizens of the Year are also recognized, with one being announced as Citizen of the Year during the Gala.
Industry Awards of Excellence for Port Bienville, Stennis International Airport, and Stennis Space Center are selected by the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. The Hancock County Tourism Development Commission selects the recipient of the Patt Cucullu Tourism Industry of the Year.
2016 Outstanding Citizens
Citizens of the Year
Industrial Awards of Excellence
Community Award of Excellence
Patt Cucullu Tourism Industry of the Year
John Ferrucci, Silver Slipper Casino
Businesses of the Year
Bay St. Louis
The Blind Tiger
City of Waveland
Keesler Federal Credit Union
Kiln Business Council
Almost Home Catering
Lazy Magnolia Brewery
2014 Citizen of the Year winner
LiLi Stahler Murphy
Pictured with 2013 winner, Angelyn Scardino Treutel Zeringue, and 2012 winner, John Ferrucci.
2014 Award Gala Bloopers
And the ever-popular “bloopers” video from the 2014 Awards Gala!