By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
John Pigott was named Citizen of the Year by the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual Awards Banquet held Tuesday night.
Dr. James Riser of Riser Medical Associates accepted an award newly minted by the Chamber, the Excellence in Business Award.
Shirley Stough and the Greater Picayune Arts Council also received awards.
This year, the Chamber combined its Awards Banquet with the Police and Firefighters Banquet, and those awards also were presented in the ceremonies, which were held at the Link of the First Baptist Church of Picayune
Pigott’s award was presented by Picayune Mayor Ed Pinero who lauded him for using his businesses to promote Picayune and help various civic organizations in the area. Pigott owns Allstate Insurance and WRJW radio station, both in Picayune.
“Many of us know John Pigott as a local businessman, but few people know just how well he has served our area in many other capacities,” Pinero said.
Pigott also has served six three-year-terms on the Chamber board and as president of the Chamber.
“He does his job without fanfare and he does it well. I think it is past time that we all recognize him as the astute businessman and goodwill ambassador for our community that he is. We can all be proud,” Pinero said.
Stough, a retired teacher from the Picayune school system, was honored as the Volunteer of the Year for her work with several local organizations including the Senior Center, the Civic Woman’s Club, the Friends of the Library and Retired Teachers. Stough also delivers meals to the homebound through the Christian Care Ministry. She is a charter member of the Picayune chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, the national teachers’ sorority. She was presented her award by Chamber incoming secretary’treasurer Rob Porter.
GPAC president Carolyn Terry, received the Civic Club of the Year award for the arts umbrella organization. The organization is involved in several projects that benefit Picayune, including providing volunteers for the fall and spring Street Fairs and Chamber Trade Days. The group promotes local artists through Art Works and provides monthly art classes to the physically and mentally handicapped and helps promote the June Summer Blues Out/Art walk. The Civic Club award was presented by Porter also.
Riser was presented the first Excellence in Business Award by Chamber president Gregory Mitchell who said Riser was honored for building and expanding his practice in Picayune and for helping to bring other businesses to the area.
Police Chief Bryan Dawsey presented several police department awards. James Bolton was named Officer of the Year; Chase Richardson received the Chief’s Award as Rookie of the Year, and Tricia White was named Civilian of the Year.
Fire Chief Keith Brown presented Nicholas Hinds with the Firefighter of the Year Award.
Guest speaker for the event was Daniel W. Jones, M.D., Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. The university has four campuses serving some 17,000 students, including the main campus at Oxford, the University Medical Center in Jackson and campuses in Tupelo and Southaven.
Dr. Jones used a series of stories about fishing with his late father-in-law to illustrate his message of service to others.
He also encouraged those in attendance to support all forms of education, from early childhood through high school and on into junior college and university education.
Dr. Jones, the 16th Chancellor at Ole Miss, closed his speech with several quotations on service to others including one from Mahatma Ghandi: “The best way to find ourselves is to lose ourselves in the service to others.”
The banquet was opened with a welcome by Chamber director April Lovelace and Jessica Smith, the Picayune Distinguished Young Woman, sang the national anthem.
Newly elected members of the board of directors are Sue Bounds, Angelia Howell, Rob Porter, Joey Temples and Mark Wallace. Members completing their terms on the board are Henry Jaume, Rob Porter, Steven Rodgers and Tony Smith.