Two former Marshall County leaders were recognized at a dinner given each year to honor all manufacturers in the county.
An Albertville realtor who blazed a trail of economic development in Marshall County, the late Gordon Henderson received the newly named Hinton Mitchem Economic Development Award of Excellence.
Mitchem, who died in January, served in the Alabama senate from 1978 to 2010. He was instrumental in recruiting and advancing industry in the state, particularly in Marshall County.
“We all benefit from some of the infrastructure that he was able to help with - creating a stronger economic development front for us - that was an aide to our schools, to infrastructure, to highways,” said Frank McDaniel, long-time friend who served with Mitchem in the Alabama Legislature. “We’ll always be indebted to Hinton for all of the things that he did to benefit North Alabama, particularly our area in Marshall County.”
Henderson was a force for Marshall County before there was an Economic Development Council, said Matt Arnold, President and CEO of MCEDC.
“Gordon Henderson was unarguably Marshall County’s first economic developer,” Arnold said. “He was always out there trying to sell the county and sell Albertville. He believed in Marshall County.”
Henderson’s son, Greg and daughter, Cindy accepted the award in honor of their father, who died last year.
The Hinton Mitchem Economic Development Award of Excellence is meant to honor business leaders who have made great strides in economic development and industry in the community.
The award was first given to Davis Lee in 2012 as the Marshall County Industrialist of the year.
“The MCEDC wanted a way to recognize people that have built their business and, on top of that given back to the community,” Arnold said.