Coach Marvin Rochelle inducted into Chamber Hall of Fame
by Mark Ledbetter
CHILDERSBURG — The annual Chamber of Commerce banquet was held Saturday evening in the Margie Sanford Building on the Central Alabama Community College Campus. Chamber members, community leaders, educators, and business and industry owners were on hand for a time of recognition and entertainment.

Former Childersburg High School basketball coach Marvin Rochelle was inducted into the Chamber Hall of Fame and local resident Jimmy Landers was awarded the Community Service of the Year award.

The Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union sponsored the event and CEO Don Carden shared a brief history of the credit union.

Organized in 1950 by employees of the paper mill to assist employees, Carden said the credit union has grown and serves customers in six counties. The original building was on plant property. Carden said the offices now have been inconvenient and the credit union is planning to purchase property on U.S. 280 in Childersburg.

“The Board is set on moving the main office – it is not a branch,” Carden said. “The community has been good to us and our home is in Childersburg. We want to give back wherever we can to help our community and our members.”

Carden also announced plans to provide a “Financial Fitness” program on their website and customers will be able to find advice by video or can call to talk to a financial counselor.

Childersburg High School Senior and Chamber Ambassador Hannah Garrett announced plans for a Tennis Carnival to raise funds for the Ambassador project “Tennis for Tigers.” Garrett said the Ambassadors are sponsoring the event to raise funds for improvements at the city’s tennis court so the school could offer a tennis program.

Garrett said the event will be March 9 and will not only feature a tennis tournament but will include special music, wiffle and kickball tournament, powder puff football game, pony rides and other events for all ages.

Chamber President Pete Storey presented a Chamber report that included Bubba Cleckler, Chamber board vice-chairman, and research of the history of the Chamber. Storey said although the Chamber is a “member-driven organization,” people do not have to become members to participate in the many activities sponsored by the Chamber, including Coosa Fest scheduled for March 16.

Storey reported the Chamber gained 13 new members the past year and “1,014 visitors walked through the Chamber’s front door.”

During the awards ceremony several people were recognized for their achievements:

• New Business of the Year – Chunde McKinney, Heavens Gold Cakes & More

• Established Business of the Year – Helen Thomas, Forget-Me-Not Flowers & Gift Shop

• Industry of the Year – Resolute Forest Products

• Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Anthony Tomlin

• Teachers of the Year: JoAnn Cobb, Childersburg Middle School, Elementary Teacher of the Year; Jason Jacks, Childersburg Middle School Teacher of the Year; Al Barnett, Childersburg High School Teacher of the Year; Traci Roberson, Childersburg Elementary; Kellie Lansford, Fayetteville Elementary; Tracie Kelly, A. H. Watwood Elementary; Dawn Guy, Fayetteville High School; Brandon Brown, Winterboro High School; Brittanni Brown, Winterboro Middle School; and Keri Camp, Winterboro Elementary.

Landers was awarded the Community Service of the Year. Storey said Landers has spent many hours working at Kymulga Grist Mill making improvements on the cooking area, renovating the general store, and clearing nature trails and trees from Talladega Creek.

“I’m just a small part of this thing,” Landers said. “A lot of people are not seen and I thank them for their support.”

Landers said Martha Little, who leads the Grist Mill Task Force, deserved the award.

“I’d tell Martha what I needed and she’d get it,” Little said. “Without people like that it doesn’t get done.”

Rochelle was inducted into the Chamber Hall of Fame. Serving as CHS’s coach from 1973 to 1983 Rochelle had a 70 percent winning percentage.

“To have a measure of success,” Rochelle said, “you must have good support from students, team members, the administration, and teachers.”

Rochelle has continued to live in Childersburg and has served on the Chamber Board of Directors and presently serves on the city’s Industrial Development Board.

The event closed out with entertainment with CHS Senior and Chamber Ambassador Nichole Morris playing the part of famed TV celebrity and variety show hostess Carol Burnett. Morris said she spent hours watching “The Carol Burnett Show” DVDs to prepare for the role.

The variety show featured First Baptist Pastor Dr. John Beck, CHS baseball coach Chad Slaten, and Missy Bullen in several comedy skits.

The food was catered by Coosa Valley Medical Center’s Hickory Street Café and Childersburg Ambassadors and Diplomats served as greeters and servers.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at

© 2013