Huntsville/Madison County Chamber gives highest awardPublished 4:45pm Thursday, January 27, 2011
Hundley Batts Sr received the distinguished service award at the chamber’s 75th Annual Membership Meeting Thursday, Jan. 27 at the Von Braun Center.
“I’m humbled and tickled pink,” Batts said. “I’m honored to receive this award.”
Batts is a Huntsville native who sold newspapers as a teen.
He currently owns an independent insurance agency and several radio stations.
“I couldn’t imagine a more deserving individual,” said Don Nalley, the 2010 chairman of the chamber.
The first recipient of the award was Dr. Wenher von Braun in 1957.
The chamber said the award is presented annually to a deserving leader in the Huntsville Madison County area who has contributed greatly to making the community better and helping to grow the local economy.
Also taking place at the meeting was the presentation of a chamber video. The video was created by Kudzu productions for the chamber to show businesses the benefits of locating in the Huntsville area.
“It captures some compelling reasons why our community is unique,” Nalley said.
The video praised the parks, museums, educational system and scenery of the Huntsville Madison County area.
It defined the area as “progressive,” and said it has “the highest concentration of degreed engineers in the country.”
The keynote speaker of the luncheon, Mark Penn, also praised the Huntsville Madison area.
“It’s a wonderful community that’s ahead of its time,” Penn said.
Penn is the author of Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes.
He gave a presentation highlighting some of the microtrends he believes are occurring in America.
Penn described the economy as a “Starbucks economy,” saying that choices have become increasingly personal.
“We’re craving individuality,” Penn said.
He also pointed out trends in dating and employment.
“It’s making the country more harmonious, and more different at the same time,” Penn said.
The annual meeting concluded with the passing of the gravel from Nalley to the 2011 chair, Charlie Kettle, president and CEO of First Commercial bank.
Kettle talked about diversifying the area’s economy.
“We have successes to build on and challenges to overcome,” Kettle said.