Willis wins Lifetime Achievement award Tuesday

Sherman Willis

Sherman Willis

ALBANY — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce honored leaders in the community and its own organization Tuesday at the Riverquarium’s Imagination Theater.

More than 125 members and guests of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce attended the second annual Black Tie Barbecue dinner and awards ceremony at the theater to applaud the recipients for their contributions to the community.

The Lifetime Service Award went to Sherman Willis, an Albany attorney. Willis’ service with the Chamber’s vision campaign, on the boards of the Albany YMCA, Darton College Foundation, Flint River Girl Scout Council were among the dozens of contributions to the community listed.

Willis said he learned his tradition of community involvement from his mother as he delivered used clothes to the Salvation Army when he was young.

“I was the 10th child of 10. My mother would have us fill that red wagon with hand-me-downs. I think of that red wagon often,” Willis said. “It is our responsibility to contribute to the community.”

Doing the right thing could be a byword for the non-profit of the year chosen by the Chamber — Girls Inc. Speaking before bestowing the honor Cynthia George spoke of the Girls Inc. group’s work.

“Girls Inc. has been changing the lives of girls in Albany since 1974,” George said. “To date, they remain the only program that delivers single-gender, life-skills programming on a daily basis throughout the entire year by giving girls resources and critical thinking skills to make healthy, safe and productive decisions.”

Honored for her contributions to the Chamber of Commerce in volunteering her time to support Chamber activities, Candice Godby received the Alice Hawthorne Ambassador of the Year award.