Black Chamber of Commerce hosts 16th annual awards banquet

Serving others was a recurring theme as seven individuals were honored Sunday during a banquet at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

“You’re nothing but a servant,” said Louis Jackson III, who was awarded the Will J. Carter Businessman of the Year during the annual banquet hosted by the Anderson Madison County Black Chamber of Commerce.

Jackson was quoting his mother, Beatrice, who alongside his father, Louis Jr., taught him “to love God and others,” according to a biography of Jackson presented during the event.

He currently serves as founder and CEO of The Village Anderson, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening youth and parents.

Encouraging children regardless of race is a goal for Donna Sloss, who was honored with the Cameron/Fennor Educational Award.

“In the words of Whitney Houston, ‘I believe that children are the future,’” Sloss said during her acceptance speech. “’Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.’ That’s what I’ve done.”

For the past 33 years, Sloss has served as elementary school treasurer for Anderson Community Schools.

Earlier in the evening, Sloss said she hopes to be an example to others.

“Keep doing right, keep being respectful and keep doing good,” she said when asked what she believes being a role model looks like. “When you do good, it comes around.”

Her advice to children — particularly Black children — is simple: Don’t ever stop pursuing goals or taking “no” for an answer.

“You will meet your goal,” she said.

Other honorees included Charlotte Cotton, Angie Strickler, Dr. Horace Brooks, Tammy Sloss and Sherman Carter Jr., a captain at the Anderson Fire Department.

Awards included the Girtie Clemons Businesswoman of the Year, the Weatherly Community Service Award of the Year, Church of the Year, Rising Star of the Year and Civil Servant of the Year.

Honorees are selected by the Black Chamber’s executive board, as well as chairpersons from each award’s committee.

This article appeared in The Herald Bulletin.