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GHS grad to speak at Chamber Banquet

The Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet will be held Feb. 18 at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the campus of LBW Community College.

Executive Director Francine Wasden said the event offers an opportunity to “come together and see what the Chamber is doing, as well as learn what’s in store for the city in the upcoming year.”

“This really is an event for everyone, not just Chamber members,” Wasden said. “We’d love to see everyone come out for it.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be Chris Womack. Womack, a graduate of Greenville High School, is executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company, one of America’s largest producers of electricity.

Chris Womack, a graduate of Greenville High School, is executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet Feb. 18. (Courtesy photo)

Chris Womack, a graduate of Greenville High School, is executive vice president and president of external affairs for Southern Company, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet Feb. 18. (Courtesy photo)

Womack, who he holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in public administration from The American University, directs Southern Company’s public policy strategies and oversees the company’s federal and state governmental and regulatory affairs and corporate communication initiatives.

Womack joined Southern Company in 1988.  He has held a number of leadership positions within Southern Company and its subsidiaries.  He has served as executive vice president of external affairs at Georgia Power and senior vice president and senior production officer of Southern Company Generation, where he was responsible for coal, gas, and hydro generation for Georgia Power and Savannah Electric.  Womack also served as senior vice president of human resources and chief people officer at Southern Company, as well as senior vice president of public relations and corporate services at Alabama Power.

Prior to joining Southern Company, Womack worked for the U.S. House of Representatives as a legislative aide to Leon Panetta and as staff director for the Subcommittee on Personnel and Police, for the Committee on House Administration.

He has received numerous honors, including the Johnny Morrow Endowment Foundation “Man of the Year” (1996); SCLC Leadership Award (1998); Distinguished Alumni, Western Michigan University (2003); Black Enterprise 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America (2012) and Black Enterprise Magazine’s 75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America (2005).  He also received the Boy Scouts of America Whitney M. Young Award for Public Service (2007); the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award (2010); and the Black Enterprise/Porsche Intelligent Performers Award (2010); and he National Award of Merit from Alpha Phi Alpha (2011).

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon will also deliver his State of the City address at the banquet.

The Distinguished Citizen of the Year, Milestone Award, New Business of the Year, and Distinguished Business of the Year awards will also be presented.

Tickets for the event, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., are $25 and include dinner. To purchase tickets contact the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce at (334) 382-3251.

The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday.