Kenneth Humphreys was honored with the Person of the Year award Thursday night at the 69th annual Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

As he sat at the same table with County Mayor Brent Greer, Humphreys was obviously shocked and surprised as he listened to Michele Atkins, last year’s Person of the Year, outline his accomplishments.

He is 1971 graduate of Henry County High School and a 1975 graduate of Lane College in Jackson.

Humphreys also served 22 years in the National Guard, was a music teacher in the Henry County School System for 37 years and has been a county commissioner for 33 years.

He has also been pastor of Cedar Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Cottage Grove for more than 38 years. He received the Drum Major for Justice in 2018.

Humphreys is married to the former Sylvia Casey of Union City.

He is a member of the Paris-Henry County Arts Council and the Rhea Public Library Board.

After accepting the award, Humphreys was still shaking his head in disbelief but thanked the audience for allowing him to serve the community.

Several other awards were given during the banquet.

The young professional of the year is Carly Wheat, who directs the local Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.,

Henry County Medical Center was named the Chamber’s Business of the Year, and the Small Business of the Year is Sweet Jordan’s, while Kevin Buie was named the chamber’s Board Member of the Year.

Winning the Community Engagement Spotlight award were the Paris-Henry County Jaycees and the “You Made It Happen” award was presented to Brittney Green of Easton’s Angels.

Receiving the Conservationist of the Year award were Tyler, Jessie and Steve Smith of Future Visions Farm.

“Last year, I encouraged all of us to increase the chamber’s momentum,” outgoing President Scott Morrison said.

“I think we’ve had a great year and it shows — we have accomplishments of which we can be proud.”

As an example, Morrison said this year’s Fun Run at the lake had a record 670 participants, 75 percent of which came from outside Henry County.

“I encourage all of you to make the most of your membership,” he said.

“Our board members and all of our current 409 members make us a very strong chamber.”

Incoming president John Etheridge said it’s the chamber’s staff and large number of volunteers who serve that will continue the good work of the past year.

“Thank you for everything and for the opportunity to serve you once again as president.”

Also honored with certificates were the 14 members of this year’s Leadership Henry County class.

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