WARNER ROBINS — The Warner Robins Area Chamber of Commerce held its 60th annual meeting and awards dinner Thursday night.
A special lifetime achievement award was presented to the late Mayor Donald Walker, and was accepted by his wife, Patricia Walker, and daughter, Stephanie Walker, and presented by his brother, Houston County Commissioner Jay Walker. The crowd stood and applauded as the Walkers took the stage. Patricia Walker spoke briefly and emotionally, relating something the 15-year mayor once said at a chamber Eggs & Issues event.
"My top three priorities," Patricia Walker recalled Donald Walker saying, "are Robins Air Force Base, Robins Air Force Base and Robins Air Force Base."
The chamber also named the fourth director emeritus in its history, past chairman Barbara Shaheen. Shaheen has been a member of the chamber for more than 40 years and is the mother of Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen.
Margaret Heck - the wife of Glenn Heck, a two-time chamber chairman who passed away in May - presented a historic photograph to be displayed inside the Chamber of Commerce offices on Watson Boulevard. The black-and-white aerial image, which belonged to Glenn Heck, shows the Commercial Circle area. It is undated, but was clearly taken during an earlier era of the city's history.
Those winning annual awards were: Marie Munson, Heide M. Hubbard Ambassador of the Year; McDonald’s Horse Supply and Western Wear, Charles Shaheen Small Business of the Year; Mike Johnston of Warner Robins Supply, Edward Bayer Employee of the Year; Mike Long, Sherrill Stafford Good Government Service Award; Lisa Redmond, A.C. ‘Dick’ Walden III Chamber Person of the Year; and Maj. Gen. Rondal Smith, Charlie L. Jones Memorial Citizen of the Year.
More than 250 attended the ceremony, held at the Museum of Aviation's Century of Flight hangar.