Hancock County's most popular business event of the year is also one of the most fun: the annual Salute to Business and Industry Awards Gala.
- story by Ellis Anderson
The business and industry award-winners are lauded in short, well-edited videos shown on large screens. The year’s ten Outstanding Citizens are introduced in another video, leading up to the hold-your-breath moment when one of the ten is named Citizen of the Year.
The gala’s been called the local version of the academy awards, because of this suspenseful finale. But a few behind the scenes changes makes the announcement even more meaningful.
Beginning in 2016, the individual business winners (Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, Waveland and Hancock County/Kiln), as well as the Citizen of the Year, are chosen by polling members of the Hancock Chamber. Organizers say that since the winners are selected by votes instead of a committee, it reflects the will of the membership.
While the business winners and the Outstanding Citizens are announced in June with much fanfare, the Citizen of the Year selection is held close to the vest. Even chamber members have to wait until the announcement at the gala to find out the winner’s name.
Individual tickets to the event are $75 and tables are available with event sponsorships. They can be purchased online.
The 2017 business honorees:
The ten 2017 Outstanding Citizens were chosen from a field of 18 nominees.
To read more about the 2017 Business of the Year winners and the Outstanding Citizens,click here.
Here's a video of the 2017 Outstanding Citizens - congrats again!