Beth Stevens had a tough act to follow in 2004 when she became executive director of the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce.
Janice Moor, a chamber icon, had retired from the job about a year earlier, and Moor’s initial successor resigned after just a few months.
But Stevens not only maintained the fine standards Moor had set, but she made this vitally important community organization even better. For that, the Commonwealth has selected Stevens for its 2019 Community Service Award, presented in conjunction with Thursday’s Profile edition.
During Stevens’ tenure, the chamber has increased the diversity of its membership, revitalized its youth and young adult leadership programs, taken on the management of the largest bike ride in Mississippi, added an annual half-marathon and brought on board a whole new generation of community leaders.
Stevens would be the first to say she has had a lot of help along the way. The chamber has a small but fine staff, and there are numerous volunteers who serve on its board and committees and pitch in for the events it sponsors.
Nevertheless, it takes a special leader to marshal all those people to work toward the betterment of Greenwood and Leflore County.
Stevens has been just such a leader.