The Alliance has annual meeting and recognizes volunteers

CORINTH – Several individuals were singled out for honors on Tuesday during the Alliance annual meeting before the evening’s special guest made his presentation.
Senior Judge Neal Biggers, of the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Mississippi, was invited back to his Corinth hometown to offer his perspective on the relationship between economic development and the legal system.
The award for Volunteer of the Year, recognized by the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, was presented to Zack Steen.
CACVB Executive Director Kristy White and 2009-2010 Chairman Chris Porterfield said Steen deserved the award for his work on the Arts/Culture Committee, dedication as a founding member of the successful Corinth Green Market, work with the Crossroads Festival and Chili Cook-Off and ongoing support of projects like next weekend’s Grand Illumination.
The Jack Hora Award from Main Street Corinth was presented to Steve Knight, who in a year and a half as a volunteer has been endlessly available in whatever way the organization needed him, said presenter Brian McCullen.
A new award presented this year was the Ambassador of the Year Award, to recognize a person who has consistently and enthusiastically represented the Alliance at numerous events throughout the year. The award recipient was Brittany Burress.
In a series of community service awards, the Spirit of Service Award for Lifetime Achievement highlights someone “who has positively impacted the community through long-term volunteer efforts,” said Community Development Chairman Ben Albarracin.
This year’s recipient was Herman Gray, honored for his more than 50 years of service to Kiwanis, dedicated servant at First Methodist Church, recipient of the Public Service Award from the American Institute of Public Accountants, Junior Auxiliary Outstanding Citizen in 1996 and much more.
Others honored for their volunteerism included Barbara Barrett for Service to the Community, Clayton Stanley for Service to the Alliance and Youth Leadership Award winner Sara Windham.
As he passed the mantle of leadership to incoming Alliance CEO John Mercier, outgoing CEO Robert Williams said he wanted to bring a speaker with a unique perspective, someone other than an economic developer or a business leader, and thought of Biggers.
Biggers said that early in his legal career he had seen business and law at opposite poles.
However, commerce and the legal system have been intertwined since the Founding Fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution that replaced the Articles of Confederation.
Most of the representatives at the Constitutional Convention described themselves as merchants, Biggers said, with a couple of doctors, lawyers, an inventor and a soldier thrown in.
Through the years since then, and continuing now, there is tension and a struggle to “balance the interests of business and commerce and the private property rights of individuals,” he said.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio