To celebrate a fantastic year, the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 78th awards dinner on Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Centennial Building in Port St. Joe


To celebrate a fantastic year, the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 78th awards dinner on Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Centennial Building in Port St. Joe.



Chamber President Aaron Farnsley will give the annual address focusing on the successes of the past year.  Judge Tim McFarland will preside over the induction of the board’s three newest members. 



New this year will be the award given to recognize the volunteer organization of the year. 



“While in past year the Chamber has awarded an individual with this recognition, we felt there were many organizations that have worked tirelessly for our community,” said Chamber director Paula Pickett. “We wanted to recognize their efforts and say thank you.”



Additional awards will include Business of the Year for 2013 to recognize a company that’s celebrated a standout year.



This year’s guest speaker will be Lewis Jordan, CEO of GratitudeAmerica, Inc., a nonprofit organization with the mission of assisting communities in building local programs to support U.S. veterans, their families and the families of fallen soldiers.



Jordan enjoyed a 50-year career in commercial aviation prior to devoting himself to GratitudeAmerica. Career highlights include serving as president and chief operating officer for Flying Tigers, the world’s largest international cargo and military transport, as well as Continental Airlines during its major growth and acquisition period.



In 1993 Jordan co-founded ValuJet Airlines and served as its president and later its successor, AirTran Airways where he served as chairman until his retirement from management in 1997. He remained an active member of the AirTran board until it was acquired by Southwest Airlines in May of 2011.



The dinner will be catered by Sunset Coastal Grill. Tickets can be purchased for $35 per person. Members may call the Chamber of Commerce at 227-1223 prior to Feb. 24 to make reservations.