HAMMOND — More than 300 business leaders representing nearly 100 companies gathered to celebrate the Greater Hammond Chamber’s 2019 Installation and Awards Luncheon on Jan. 10 at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Student Union Grand Ballroom in Hammond.

Reflecting on her year as chairwoman, Elsbet Smith Hollywood, of Chehardy Sherman Williams, touched on some of the chamber’s accomplishments, such as the its active role in the search for a new Tangipahoa Parish school system superintendent and two opportunities for membership to hear directly from new Superintendent Melissa Stilley. The chamber also provided direct support for member legislative priorities, including higher education and health care, and cultivated national and regional partnerships with representation on the U.S. Chamber’s Business Leads Fellowship and the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The chamber also hosted Ready to Run, a workshop for Tangipahoa Parish residents interested in running for office. Hollywood pointed out that the chamber is financially sound and owns the Historic Train Depot, where its offices are housed.

Accepting the gavel as 2019 chairwoman was Ginger Cangelosi, of Tangipahoa Economic Development. Cangelosi said she looks forward to this year with excitement, as she continues her 12-year involvement with the chamber — the last three of which has been in a board member capacity. She encouraged businesses to join the chamber and assured members that their chamber is always working for them and looking out for their interests.

The guest speaker for the event was Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson, who praised the economic development efforts the city and parish are making and the successes they are seeing. He shared the status of state infrastructure, financial stability and the momentum established in Louisiana.

The Greater Hammond Chamber honored four award winners — businesses and volunteers that excelled during 2018. Northshore Broadcasting was honored as Business Member of the Year. Daryl Ferrara, of Hancock Whitney, was honored as the Frances Chauvin Volunteer of the Year for his many years of service and civic involvement. Jared Lauderdale, of Stirling Properties, was recognized as the Board Member of the Year for his guidance toward accreditation and his service as chamber treasurer. Christy Whitaker, of Southeastern Real Estate Partners, received the Ambassador of the Year award. The Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Co. team received the Best Decorated Table Award.

Judge Blair Edwards attended to swear in the chamber's 2019 Board of Directors. They are Chairwoman Ginger Cangelosi, Tangipahoa Economic Development; Chairman-elect Rick Sedberry, Movement Mortgage; Treasurer Kristin Spano Braud, Pedelahore & Co. LLP; President and CEO Melissa Bordelon, Greater Hammond Chamber; Immediate Past President Elsbet Smith Hollywood, Chehardy Sherman Williams; Brian Abels, Boyer, Hebert, Abels & Angelle; Glen Alack, Alack Culinary Superstores; Ryan Barker, Chappapeela Sports Park; Sally Carlisle, Berryland Insurance; Dr. Alecia Cyprian, Southeast Community Health Systems; Glenda Dobson, Cypress Pointe Hospital; Shelly Gaydos, Hammond High Magnet School; Theresa Harris, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Co.; Casey E. Lambert, Jani-King; Dr. Kay Maurin, Southeastern Louisiana University; Marcus McMillian, City of Hammond; Lindsey Palmer, Stirling Properties; Tom Pistorius, PA Architects; Morgan Seale, Lamar Advertising; Jessica Shirey, Noland Stewart Salon; Hayley Taff, Front Porch Coaching; Belinda Vining Trepagnier, Parishes Supportive Living, Inc.; and Michael Watkins, North Oaks Health System.

Recognized as outgoing board members were Larry Bleakley, of Shell Robert Training and Conference Center; Mark Dispenza, of Kaizen Strategy; Greg Drude, of Wainwright Real Estate; Daryl Ferrara, of Hancock Whitney; Jared Lauderdale, of Stirling Properties; Meghan Notariano, of Parker Layrisson Law Firm; Elizabeth Reno, representing Primerica; Sandy Summers, of Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University; and Kim Walker, of 5 Stones.