Causey and Roy will be honored with the Bobby Runnels and Spirit of Petal Business of the Year awards at the chamber banquet


Petal Area Chamber of Commerce officials have announced the recipients of the organization’s two most prestigious awards: Jana Causey for the Bobby Runnels Leadership Award and Dr David Roy for the Spirit of Petal Business of the Year Award.

The awards will be presented at the chamber’s annual banquet, which will be held Jan. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Petal Civic Center on South Main Street. The event is sponsored by Southern Grace Senior Homecare.

“(These recipients) are the heart of Petal, and they are Petal’s face to others,” said Valerie Wilson, executive director of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want to recognize these people who have given our city such a beautiful face.

“They really represent the kind of people who live here in Petal and the kind of individuals who contribute to our community. ”

The Bobby Runnels Leadership Award, instituted in 1994, is presented annually to an individual who serves the community through church, family, school, civic clubs or the chamber, and the name of the recipient is kept secret until the banquet of each year. The award is named after Bobby Runnels, who served on Petal’s first elected board of directors and as deputy mayor while then mayor Jack Gay served in Desert Storm.

This year’s recipient, Causey, is Vice President of Forrest County Operations at Pearl River Community College, a position she started in 2015. She had worked at the Forrest County Center at PRCC 10 years previously, including two years in as assistant vice-president.

Causey is a member of the Petal Children’s Task Force and the Petal Youth Sports Association, as well as a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Educators.

“She really embodies all the qualities of the Bobby Runnels award; she goes beyond what her job requires her to do and is part of our community wholeheartedly, ”Wilson said. “Jana is involved in her church, she teaches honeymooners, she is very active with youth sports and coaches youth teams, she is part of the Excel By 5 coalition.

“She is so active in so many civic events.”

Previous recipients of the Bobby Runnels Leadership Award include, but are not limited to, Drew Brickson, Brad Eubank, Tom King, Nadine Coleman, Leahne Lightsey, Ione Bond, Jack Gay, Dr. Chuck Harrell and Lynn Cartlidge.

The Spirit of Petal Company of the Year Award, now in its second year, recognizes a company that contributes to economic growth and quality of life in Petal. Recipients must display professional practices and conduct that contribute to a sense of co-operation within the overall business community.

This year’s recipient, Roy, is a dermatologist at the Pine Belt Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center on South Main Street in Petal. He is board certified and a member of the American Society for Mohs Surgery.

Roy received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and his MD from NOVA Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort. Lauderdale, Florida. He completed an internship in internal medicine at the Grandview Hospital / Kettering Medical Center network in Dayton, Ohio. Roy completed his dermatology residency at Midwestern University in Phoenix, Arizona, and Kingman Regional Medical Center, where he was chief dermatology resident.

“One of the things (which made Roy worthy of this award) is the immense love his patients and employees have for him, and what he has done for our community,” Wilson said. “He is very philanthropic and is always ready to help any cause in our region.

“He generously supports the Petal Children’s Task Force, Excel By 5, and is a sponsor of the Petal High School Ambassadors.”

In addition, officials will recognize Police Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year at the chamber banquet. The Officer of the Year will be awarded to Jeremy Brown of the Petal Police Department, while the Firefighter of the Year will be awarded to Casey Johnson of the Petal Fire Department.

Tickets for the banquet cost $ 35 per person or $ 350 for a company table of eight, and can be purchased on the chamber’s website at Derrick Tennant, internationally renowned actor, speaker and musician, will host the event.

“Anyone can buy a ticket; you don’t have to be a member of the chamber, ”Wilson said. “If you want to come and support one of the laureates… the public is welcome to help honor them by purchasing a ticket.


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