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Chamber recognizes special people in membership banquet

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CHAMBER AWARD WINNERS – Special awards were presented to those recognized at the Carroll County Membership Banquet Oct.24. On the front row (from left) are Callie Bryant and Olivia Hays from West Carroll Elementary School; and Taylor Anthony from Central High School, Youth Achievement Awards; Andrea Browning, Business Person of the Year; and John Mann, Carroll Countian of the Year. On the back row (from left) are Jacky Atkinson and Jamie Peterson, owners of J & J General Store, Business of the Year Award; Jimmy Tosh, owner of Tosh Farms, Agri Business/Farmer of the Year; Ike Gilbert and Neal Williamson, Webb Alumni, Bicentennial History Award.
CARROLL COUNTIAN OF THE YEAR – Carroll Countian of the Year John Mann holds up his plaque that he was presented. In the background is Terry Bradshaw who presented the award. Photos by Shirley Nanney



Carroll County Chamber of Commerce recognized special people at the Chamber’s Membership Banquet Oct. 24 at the Carroll County Civic Center.

John Mann, of Hollow Rock, who has proven his love for the county by his many years of service as a county commissioner and serving on many committees and in other capacities, was honored as Carroll Countian of the Year. 

He was presented the award by Chamber member Bro. Terry Bradshaw who noted he was the thirty-seventh person to receive it.

 Andrea Browning of Trezevant who grew up in the banking business, and followed in the footsteps of her father George Atwood, was named the Business Person of the Year. Chamber representative Joe Smothers and her dad, who was the 1990 Busines Person of the Year, presented the award.

Browning serves as president and CEO of Centennial Bank, headquartered in Trezevant. She said she was pleased to be named Business Person of the Year just as her father was in 1990. 

Her father introduced her and told how she she had been promoted to the present position. There are 153 employees in the bank family.

“I began popping popcorn as my first job,” she said.

The bank was started in 1916 by Browning’s great grandfather.

The Webb Alumni Association was presented the Bicentennial History Award by County Mayor Joseph Butler who spoke of how much the association means to Carroll County and its historical value.

Neal Williamson, of Trezevant, president of the national organizational, and Ike Gilbert, former president of the national organization, both spoke of the history and heritage of Webb. 

Williamson said he was proud of Webb Alumni and what it had stood for all these years in educating students.

Gilbert noted that he graduated from the last class in 1966 that was opened in the 1930’s as the only black high school in the county.

There are Webb Alumni organizations all over the United States. The Alumni actually own the school, Gilbert pointed out.The Webb Alumni organizations meet each Labor Day at the school to honor their heritage.

The Youth Achievement Award was presented by Chamber official Don Reed to West Carroll Elementary Meeting of the Minds team consisting of Callie Bryant, Olivia Hays, Mia Hamm and Chloe Rimmer.

Taylor Anthony, Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School senior, was named as a recipient of the John W. Harris Leadership Award by the National Beta Club. Only five students from 242,000 eligible students nationwide were selected.

J & J General Store of Clarksburg was presented the Carroll County Business of the Year by Chamber member Marty McKnight. The owners are Jacky Atkinson and Jamie Peterson.

“It’s a county store,” said Peterson. “We have customers from all over the county and are thankful for their support.”

He said they bought the store on a spur of the minute notion. It happened when they drove up to get gas and the gas pumps were covered. He told his partner they were going to buy the store and made the deal when they went inside.

Chamber member John Sanders presented the Agri-Business/Farmer of the Year Award to Tosh Farms which was accepted by Jimmy Tosh and his wife Alonna. 

Tosh expressed thanks to the Chamber and said he was pleased to be a part of Carroll County’s agri-business.

“This evening’s event represents the 39th time the Chamber has held a membership banquet,” said Chamber President Brad Hurley.

He told the large audience the purpose of the banquet is simple because it is to honor businesses and individuals who have made and continue to make a positive difference in the lives of the citizens of Carroll County. “Clearly, Carroll County’s greatest asset is our people and our strong business community,” said Hurley. “Tonight we will honor only a few of our county’s bright and shining stars. As you listen to the story of each honoree tonight, you will realize the many ways they have contributed to making Carroll County a better place to live.  Also, I encourage you to look at the program to see the impressive list of previous winners”  

Bro. Terry Bradshaw blessed the food for the occasion.

John Mann

2022 Carroll Countian of the Year

John Mann served fifty-five years in service to Carroll County, as both a county commissioner and a member of the county school board.  Let’s put John’s years of service into perspective.  Fifty-five years ago,  Lyndon Johnson was President, a new car cost $2,700, and milk was a dollar a gallon.  

Through it all, John Mann was working for Carroll County.  A man with a true dedication for helping others, John stated that it had been a pleasure serving the county.  

“I love Carroll County, where I have lived most of my life,” he said.  “I’ve always tried to assist the people and do what would best benefit them all.”

During John Mann’s tenure as county commissioner, he was often sought out to assist in implementing new programs.  He assisted in organizing the Carroll County Rescue Squad, the rural fire departments, the E911 system, and the rural waste/recycling program.  

His involvement with each new program did not end when it was voted in place.   “Once these programs were started, I supported every effort to help raise funds and continue the work of these programs,” he stated.  

He was a member of many committees throughout the years.  He served on the Budget Committee for 36 years.  He also served on the County Highway Department Committee, Resolutions Committee, Rural Fire Department Committee, Solid Waste Committee, E911 Board, Beer Board, and Indigent Care Board.  

Asked why he did it, he replied with a statement that sums up his feelings about his lifetime of service:  “It’s because they elected me to do a job, and I need to listen to them and know what they need.”

He has been married to his wife, Ruth Ann Schantz Mann, since August of 1967.  The couple has three daughters: Pamela Ruth Mann Evans, Jennifer Katherine Mann Austin, and Melissa Jane Mann Moody.  They have six grandchildren: Aaron, Patrick, and Chester Evans; Zoe Hope Austin; and Silas and Amalie Moody.  

Mann is a veteran of the United States Army. He was employed for twenty-eight years by L&N, Seaboard Coast, and CSX Railroads.

Andrea Browning

2022 Business Person of the Year

This year’s recipient is Ms. Andrea Browning, CEO and President of Centennial Bank that has it’s headquarters in Trezevant. 

Centennial Bank of Trezevant is one of the 13 offices of the bank and has been serving the financial needs of their customers in Trezevant, Carroll County, since 1916.

Andrea is truly a home grown success story. She was born and raised in Trezevant and has lived on the same street her entire life.  She graduated from West Carroll High School in 1994 where she was Valedictorian.  Andrea continued her education at Union University where she graduated in 1998 with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting. 

Chamber member Joe Smothers made the presentation. 

After graduating from college, she started working full time at Farmers & Merchants Bank in 1998. She worked in the Operations Department for four years, then shifted to the role of Internal Auditor for approximately 10 years.  In 2014, she was promoted to Executive VP, as part of the Executive Team.  In 2016, she was promoted to Chief Executive Officer and in 2018 assumed the additional role of President.  

Andrea is a fourth generation banker.  Her great grandfather, Arthur Argo, Sr.,  started the Bank in 1916.  

She has been married to Ricky Browning for 24 years. Andrea and Ricky grew up across the street from each other.  The couple have two children, Trey who is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee at Martin majoring in accounting, and Sarah who is a senior at West Carroll High School and plans on being a nurse.. 

Andrea is a member of First Baptist Church in Milan where she teaches a Freshman and Sophomore girl’s Sunday School Class and has served as Chairperson of the Stewardship Team. 

Webb Alumni

2022 Bicentennial History Award

As Carroll County celebrates its Bicentennial year, many people have looked back at the history of the county.  During a recent Youth Leadership Carroll County visit to Webb School in McKenzie, the question was asked of the students, “Do you know the history of your high school?”

If that question had been asked of a Webb School alumnus, in thirty minutes that person would have covered the history of the school.  The last graduating class of Webb High School was in 1966.  During Labor Day weekend of this year, nearly 500 alumni returned to McKenzie and Carroll County for Webb’s Homecoming 2022.

Neal Williamson, president of the National Webb Alumni Association and Ike Gilbert, past president of the National Webb  Alumni Association, accepted the award from County Mayor Joseph Butler.

Webb High School was the only high school for African-American students in Carroll County until integration in 1966.  

A few years ago, in 2012, the Webb Alumni Association created a museum at the school depicting the history of Webb High School.  The museum contains artifacts collected through the years by alumni and friends who attended the school.  

The Webb School Alumni Association is the envy of every school in the country.  To have such strong alumni support for a school that closed 56 years ago is amazing.  

Webbites are proud to be graduates of this esteemed institution of learning.  Their commitment and dedication to preserving their history is a model for all of us.  Therefore, the year of our county’s bicentennial marks an appropriate time for us to recognize the Webb Alumni Association and express to them our appreciation for sharing their story

2022 Business of the Year

J & J General Store

Small businesses are what make our communities such special places. Businesses in small towns even have a great impact on their community. They may be the unofficial meeting place where knowledge is shared and gained. They are likely the first place everyone goes for a donation for schools, festivals, sports teams, or any other local cause.  Simply put, small home-owned businesses are a vital pillar in any community. Tonight’s honoree certainly meets this requirement.

This evening honored is a business that opened on April 20, 2019, by two local men. Being highly creative, these two men named Jamie Peterson and Jacky Atkinson called their business J &J General Store. It is the place to grab the best Philly cheese steak (commonly know as the Jacky) in the county.  It is also the place to meet others and catch up on the latest news.  In other words, J&J General Store has quietly become Clarksburg’s local “college of knowledge.”

Chamber official Marty McKnight made the presentation.

J & J Market is the only place in Clarksburg to buy gas. Everyone likes to see new construction, and if you drive by J&J, you will see six holes where six new gas pumps will be installed.  

J&J offers a varied menu of food items for breakfast, lunch, and supper seven days a week.  You can stop by for a sausage and biscuit on your way to work, grab a hamburger or one of the famous Philly cheesesteaks at lunch, or pick up a pizza for the family dinner.  

J & J is a proud supporter of all things Clarksburg—both the community and the school.  Jamie Peterson and Jacky Atkinson are proud residents of South Carroll and enjoy helping to make their community a better place.

Agri-Business/Farmer of the Year

Tosh Farms

Since 2007, the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce has presented an award to fifteen farming, agricultural, and livestock enterprises who continue to honor the agricultural legacy of Carroll County.Tosh Farms joins this list as the sixteenth recipient of the Chamber’s Agri-Business/Farmer of the Year award.  Tosh Farms is currently the top pork producer in the state of Tennessee.

Chamber member John Sanders made the presentation.

Tosh Farms is a family-owned business headquartered in Henry.  It all began in the 1960’s with the purchase of a small number of sows and local feeder pigs.  The first pig barn was built in 1970 on the site of Tosh Farm’s present feed mill.  

The business experienced much expansion throughout the following decades with the acquisition of neighboring acreage and partnerships with other producers.  In 1994 Tosh Farms signed a contract with Bryan Foods.  

Today Tosh Farms continues to grow.  The business currently consists of 19,000 acres and ten sow farms.  Earlier this year, Tosh Farms opened its newest sow production unit in Buena Vista in Carroll County.  Their employees number at over 450 workers.  

Jimmy Tosh and his sons Jonathan and Jamey operate three separate divisions under the umbrella of Tosh Farms. Tosh Farms is the general operating name and the crop production company. Tosh Pork is the pork production division, and Bacon by Gosh handles the transportation needs for the company.  

In addition to running a successful family enterprise, the Tosh Family is dedicated to making a difference for others. Tosh Farms is a sponsor of Future Farmers of American, 4-H, Harvest Food Bank, Shoot for Hunger, the HOPE Center ministry, and many more.  

As Jimmy Tosh has said, “Of course, farming is our top priority.  But, for us, it’s important to give back to agriculture and our neighbors.

2022 Youth Achievement Award

In 1999 the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce established the Youth Achievement Award to recognize young people who have achieved recognition beyond the state level.  This is not an annual award and has been presented to deserving groups or individuals only fifteen times since its inception.  

Our first recipients tonight are the four members of the West Carroll Elementary Meeting of the Minds team.  They are Callie Bryant, Olivia Hays, Mia Hamm, and Chloe Rimmer.  These four teammates competed on the national level in the Meeting of the Minds event at the National Beta Convention in Nashville earlier this year and brought home a national championship. 

Meeting of the Minds is a national competition through the National Beta Club.  Teams of four students are presented with a task that calls for their high level abilities and thinking skills.  The task requires that the team members call on their abstract thinking and problem solving skills to develop a design for display.  The designs are then judged on five criteria and displayed throughout the exhibition. 

To give some idea of the scope of this achievement, roughly 20,000 Beta students attended the convention in Nashville.

Please join me in recognizing Callie Bryant, Olivia Hays, Mia Hamm, and Chloe Rimmer, West Carroll’s Meeting of the Minds national championship team, their sponsor Lindsay Martin, and West Carroll Elementary School principal Jessica Williams.  

Taylor Anthony is a senior at Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School.  She is a member of the Central High Beta Club.  

Earlier this year,  Taylor was named as a recipient of the John W. Harris Leadership Award by the National Beta Club.  Only five students out of over 242,000 eligible students nationwide are selected for this prestigious award.  

The John W. Harris Leadership Award recognizes those outstanding Beta Club members who best exemplify the ideals of leadership.  The award honors the best and most deserving National Beta Club students.  

Taylor’s award included recognition during the National Beta Convention in Nashville and tuition to Beta Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, last summer.  

  With Taylor in attendance are Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School Beta Club Sponsor Lauren Runions, Director of Schools Dr. Myles Hebrard, and Assistant Principal Christopher Finley.

Chamber member Don Reed made the presentations to the students.

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