The Union County Development Association (UCDA) held its annual membership banquet Monday evening, April 25th, at the New Albany Middle School cafeteria. About 200 members and guests attended the UCDA’s annual banquet.
Featured speaker for the event was Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican in his third term in that office. Hosemann spoke about some of the work done since he took office in 2008. He discussed the implementation of voter identification requirements, and said keeping the U.S. Department of Justice informed about how the state was handling the controversial requirement was a major factor in its being done smoothly and without expensive law suits.
Using a colorful brochure, Hosemanm introduced the audience to the re-designed website, YallBusiness.sos.ms.gov, which makes tens of thousands of facts about the state instantly available to citizens, public officials and business people, including those who may be considering opening a business in Mississippi.
UCDA President Rusty Berryhill presided at the meeting.
Special presentations were made for UCDA Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year.
BNA Bank received the Business of the Year Award. It was presented by UCDA Executive Director Phil Nanney and accepted on behalf of the bank by the bank’s Chairman Vance Witt and BNA President James R. “Bo” Collins. Nanney discussed BNA’s long service and generosity to Union County. BNA is among the largest locally owned and operated banks in the region.
Former New Albany Mayor, Walter Johnson, was named UCDA Citizen of the Year. The presentation was made by Dr. Tommy Barkley, who cited Johnson’s long service to the city. It was under Johnson’s leadership as mayor that the land was acquired and construction started for New Albany’s Park Along the River.
The park includes the BNA Sportsplex, which features baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, and fields for soccer and football. The Park Along the River and the Sportsplex have become major sources of tourism tax revenue, because of the tournaments they have drawn from around the region. Interstate Highway 22 runs on an overpass through the middle of the park and makes it, perhaps, the most highly visible such facilities in the state.