Nominations open for GSDP awards

Nominations are now being accepted for four awards slated for presentation at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership’s annual banquet in January, an official said.
The awards for which anyone can make a nomination are the R. Clay Simmons Exemplary Enterprise Award, T.E. Veitch Community Service Award, the Service to the Military Award and the Education Hall of Fame, said Allison Matthews, the GSDP’s vice president of membership and community development.
“We have so many people working tirelessly in so many different realms of our community. These annual awards make up a significant portion of our annual banquet program,” Matthews said. “It allows us to recognize those who have made great achievements in business, education and community services as well as supporting the military. It’s important to recognize great work and great service,” she said.
Matthews provided background on each of the four awards. They are the:
• R. Clay Simmons Award. This award will recognize a business which has made “outstanding contributions to the community and has manifested superior business practices,” the nomination criteria sheet reads.
The primary criteria for this award are civic involvement, educational advancement, economic development and business practices. Recent past recipients of this award include Bell Building Supply, T. E. Lott and Co., Thomas Shelton Jones and Associates and Prudential Starkville Properties.
• T.E. Veitch Award. This award acknowledges “community service and outstanding civic contributions,” the criteria sheet for this award reads. Recent award recipients have been Jeremiah Dumas and Tammy Carlisle, Keith H. Remy, Dr. Ann Mitchell and Dr. Fenton Peters.
• Service to the Military Award. This award is designed for an organization or person who has offered “significant service to the military community,” the nomination form reads.
Past recipients of this award – first presented in 2008 – are the Starkville Daily News and Gulf States Manufacturers.
• Education Hall of Fame. This recognition is for Starkville-area residents who serve in public or independent schools from elementary school to higher education.
Past honorees inducted into the Starkville Area Education Hall of Fame include William Graves, Janet Henderson, John Marszalek, Tina Scholtes, Kent Sills, June Barnett, Frances Coleman, Donald Downer, Paula Mabry, Larry Box and Anita George.
“For the past recipients of these awards, you can see these are very prestigious awards. Any company or individual who is honored by receiving one of these awards can be proud to be in the company of other Starkville and Oktibbeha County individuals or businesses who have had a positive impact on our community through their accomplishments,” Matthews said.
Anyone can submit nominations for the four awards. Nominations are due by Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. the GSDP offices.
Those presented for consideration for the Education Hall of Fame will need to fill out a nominee questionnaire and return it by Nov. 29 at 5 p.m.
Nominations can be submitted by hard copy or e-mail. People can request nomination packets by calling 323-3322 or sending an e-mail to Allison Matthews at
In addition to these awards, Starkville Visitors and Convention Council Board selects the Crystal Pineapple Tourism Award and the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority Board picks the Industry of the Year.