Gerald “World Class” Glass, a retired professional basketball player, says the one man he never wants to disappoint is his father, Milton Glass, who has provided unwavering support.

“I want to give special thanks to this man. He doesn’t know how special he is to me,” Glass said. He was speaking during his induction into the Leflore County Hall of Fame during Thursday night’s annual meeting of the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce at the Leflore County Civic Center.

Glass was introduced with some friendly words by hotel executive Suresh Chawla, his friend since their days at East Elementary School. Chawla presented him with a plaque, and a biographical video about Glass, including comments from his father, was shown.

Chawla shared memories of their days in elementary school. He said Glass befriended him and taught him how to play basketball, among other sports.

Glass  played for East Elementary’s basketball teams before becoming a basketball standout at Amanda Elzy High School.

He played for Delta State University and then the University of Mississippi. He was drafted by the NBA’s  Minnesota Timberwolves and played for a variety of other NBA teams as well as leagues abroad.

“Gerald, you represented Greenwood so well,” Chawla said.

Glass returned to the Greenwood area to coach boys basketball at Elzy High. The school won state championships in 2012 and 2013.

Chamber members also recognized those within their rank who displayed commitment to the Greenwood-Leflore community.

Chamber annual meeting

The 2019 Young Professional of the Year award was given to Portia Collins, left, by her husband, Mikhail Collins, president of the Greenwood Leflore Young Professionals, at the chamber’s annual meeting on Thursday night.

Portia Collins, executive director at ArtPlace Mississippi, was recognized as the 2019 Young Professional of the Year. She was handed her award by her husband, Mikhail.

“This is my home, and I want to do all that I can do to make it better,” Collins said.

Dorothy Robertson, 2018’s Ambassador of the Year, presented the 2019 Ambassador of the Year award to Gloria White.

Chamber annual meeting

The 2019 Ambassador of the Year honor was awarded to Gloria White, left, by last year’s recipient, Dorothy Robertson.

“I would just like to say thank you very much,” White said.

Stella Britt, president of the  Junior Auxiliary of Greenwood — which was 2018’s recipient of the Community Pride Award — handed 2019’s award to Tommy Ellett, the director of the Greenwood Food Pantry.

Chamber annual meeting

Stella Britt of the Junior Auxiliary of Greenwood, right, hands Tommy Ellett of the Community Food Pantry a plaque for being this year’s Community Pride Award winner at the chamber’s annual meeting on Thursday night.

“I never expected to receive an award for doing something I enjoy so much,” he said.

Shelby Gorman of Turnrow Book Co., which won the 2018 Small Business of the Year award, presented 2019’s Small Business of the Year award to Gail and Mike Goldberg of Conerly’s Shoes & Clothing.

Chamber annual meeting

Gail Goldberg, left, and Mike Goldberg, right, owners of Conerly’s Shoes & Clothing, receive the 2019 Small Business of the Year award from Shelby Gorman, middle, of Turnrow Book Co., which was last year’s recipient, Thursday night at the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting

“All of us at Conerly’s want to say thank you,” Mike Goldberg said. “We’re so proud to be a part of this community.”

Scott Kirk of Kirk Auto Group, which received the 2018 Big Business of the Year award,  presented the 2019 Big Business of the Year award to Staplcotn. Hank Reichle, the cotton cooperative’s CEO and president, who accepted the award, said Staplcotn will celebrate 100 years of operation next year and is looking forward to celebrating another century.

Chamber annual meeting

Tracy Shelton, left, and Hank Reichle of Staplcotn receive the 2019 Big Business of the Year award at the chamber’s annual meeting.

Eric Miller of Planters Bank and Trust Co.,  the outgoing president of the chamber, recognized Lisa Smith as this year’s chamber president. A pharmacist, she owns Greenwood Drugs and Anderson’s Pharmacy in North Carrollton.

Chamber annual meeting

Lisa Smith, right, the 2020 chamber president, presents a plaque to Eric Miller, the 2019 president.

“I am truly honored to serve as this year’s president,” said Smith, who added that she wants to strengthen the chamber’s current members and draw in new members.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or

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