Chamber banquet celebrates successful 2018


The Petal Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its accomplishments and progress during 2018 at the annual banquet held Jan. 24. The banquet was sponsored by the chamber’s great partner, Mississippi Power Company.  

“We welcome and thank the businesses that have chosen Petal as their home and those that have re-opened or moved to a new location in Petal,” said Chamber Director Valerie Wilson. “They have invested in our community and should be recognized for their allegiance to Petal.”

 Here is a listing of the ribbon cuttings that were held in 2018.

• Merle Norman & More – re-opening following the tornado

• The Mortgage Connection

• Sully’s

• Chappell Hill Grocery & Restaurant

• Robin’s Wharf

• Rhinestone Ranch

• Domino’s Pizza

• Keesler Federal Credit Union

The chamber was very active in 2018 organizing and promoting the following programs and events to improve the business climate and quality of life in Petal, including:

• Petal High School Ambassadors Leadership Program

• MS Scholars and MS Tech Master’s Program

• Petal Military Advisory Board 

• Shop Petal First

• Area Development Partnership Education Task Force

• Veteran’s Day Salute Cookout

• Petal Christmas Parade

• Petal Christmas Market

• Celebration in the Park

• Petal Southern Miss Powwow

• Star Spangled Celebration on the River

• Petal Police & Firefighter Thanksgiving Turkeys

• Petal Farmer’s Market

• Police Officer & Firefighter of the Year Awards

• Bobby Runnels Leadership Award

• Downtown Revitalization

• Business Recruitment and Retention

• Business Professional Development Seminars



The evening also recognized Ione Bond as the 2018 recipient of the Bobby Runnels Leadership Award. Bond was presented with the award by the 2017 recipient, Deborah Reynolds.

 In addition, the Police Officer of the Year and the Firefighter of the Year awards were presented to DeReginald Keon Williamson and Chris Shows, respectively.

Carrie Flynt Holeman, president of the Chamber board of directors, was presented with  plaque honoring her service by incoming president, Markus Simmons of the Area Development Partnership. New board members will begin their terms in April. New members include Chuck Parish/HomeCare Hospice South, Ann McWilliams/Ann McWilliams Properties, Mandy Wigley/Southern Lace Boutique and Leahne Lightsey/Petal Education Foundation.


New Orleans Beignets & Coffee come to Petal

The delicious aroma of fresh beignets and coffee can be enjoyed at the ribbon cutting of New Orleans Beignets & Coffee Co. in Robin’s Wharf on the Evelyn Gandy Parkway. What was formerly the seafood market side of the building will now offer a full array of breakfast items and fabulous coffee.  Join Chamber members and guest for a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, to check it out.


Petal High School Ambassadors

get Personal with Sharks 

The Petal High School Ambassadors annual field trip took place Jan. 31. The students visited the new University of Southern Mississippi Marine Education Center in Ocean Springs where they were involved in three hands-on  learning modules:  Shark Dissection, Water Quality and Coastal Habitat. It was a wonderful day which presented a new possibility for future job pathways.