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Chamber awards community advocates

Russell Love with his wife Kathie pose for a photo at
the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce Annual Chamber Dinner. Love was presented with the Mary Nave Ahrends ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award. Online photo,

By Karla Prudhomme
Freelance Writer

After a forced two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce finally had its Annual Chamber Dinner on Friday, June 3. Held at the Life Center on Main Street, well over one-hundred people turned out for the anticipated event. 
The evening began with a delicious meal provided by the BeetRoute Catering Company, followed by opening statements from Chamber President Gina Meade. Tennessee State Representative Scotty Campbell also spoke and gave updated information on the redistricting of the third district, which previously included all of Johnson County and part of Sullivan County, but which now includes part of Hawkins County as well. 
Next on the agenda was the Mac Wright Citizen of the Year Award presentation.
Chamber Board member Tia Thomas presented the coveted award to Johnson County Senior Citizens Center director Kathy Motsinger-Eller. 
Thomas gave a heartwarming overview of all the good works that Ms. Eller has done and continues to do for some of the most vulnerable citizens in Johnson County- even finding ways to continue providing meals to the elderly during the pandemic lockdowns. 
The following presentation was given by Chamber President Gina Meade, who spoke passionately about the recipient of the Mary Nave Ahrends ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award winner Russell Love, and about the lifetime of service he has given to the youth of Johnson County. 
As his students called him, Coach Love got a standing ovation and accolades for all his years of extraordinary volunteerism. The last presentation was given by Chamber Board Member Chastity Trivette, who presented the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award to Humphrey Masonry Supply. 
Trivette stated that Humphrey Masonry is a thriving and growing Johnson County business and that the Humphrey family has always gone the extra mile to help the community. 
The successful evening ended with an overview of the upcoming events planned by the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, with the next event being the Fourth of July Parade. 
Chamber Board Member and coordinator for the Annual Chamber Dinner, Jeannie Countiss, stated that “the event was a success, and that the Chamber Board appreciates the opportunity to serve the people of Johnson County, and is appreciative of the communities support of the Chamber and their purpose to support local businesses.”