“It’s been an honor to serve as the executive director,” Batemon said Tuesday. “I never really thought I would be the executive director.”
But for more than 16 years, Batemon held the reins to the local chamber office.
“It’s been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life,” Batemon told those who attended her retirement party Tuesday night at the Pell City Civic Center.
She said it was her desire to be a part of helping promote the city and be involved with the community that drew her to the executive director’s job after she retired from the Pell City school system.
Batemon worked as a teacher for more than 25 years.
One week after her retirement she was back at work, helping her community as the executive director for the Chamber.
“Lynn Batemon has had a distinguished career in public service,” said Mayor Bill Hereford, who presented Batemon with a proclamation honoring her service to the city.
He said Batemon has been a friend and colleague in countless civic projects.
“I first knew her as a wonderful school teacher, later as the first lady of St. Clair County and finally as executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. In each capacity, her service has been outstanding,” Hereford said. “To Lynn – I say thank you for all that you have done to make Pell City and St. Clair County a better place to live and work.”
St. Clair County Commission Chairman Stan Batemon also commended Lynn, who was involved with the Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce for almost 30 years.
He said prior to being hired as the executive director, she served as a member and also as a member of the board of directors for the Chamber.
“She was part of the original committee that went down to Montgomery and lobbied for the widening of U.S. 231,” the chairman said. “Lynn has been involved in many activities.”
He said she played a part in helping build the Friendship Bridge in Lakeside Park, the bridge that spans the water from the park to the Sports Complex.
Batemon said Lynn was able to solicit all the lumber and materials to build the bridge, and members of the St. Clair County Home Builders Association volunteered to build the bridge.
He said Lynn and former Pell City councilwoman Betty Turner teamed up to design the wooden bridge.
She also played a part in helping establish the St. Clair County Economic Development Council.
Batemon said Lynn, along with Tommy Bowers and Bob Barnett, visited other counties as part of a search committee.
Ed Gardner Sr. thanked Lynn for her support and his job as the first director of the St. Clair County County Economic Development Council.
“Once the council was up and running, Lynn Batemon was one of our biggest supporters,” Gardner said. “We worked together on so many projects.”
Bowers said he served on the board of directors that made the recommendation to hire Lynn as the executive director for the Chamber in 1996.
“I think it was a very good choice then, and it continued to be a good choice until her retirement,” Bowers said.
Lynn officially retired as the executive director April 6.
Batemon said Lynn learned about economic development councils when she worked in real estate with Ed Ash, who was the volunteer economic development person for the city and county at the time.
“She’s been involved in a lot of things in the community in an unselfish way,” Batemon said. “She has helped bring about positive growth.”
During Lynn’s time as executive director, Pell City saw the BASS Masters Classic held on Logan Martin Lake, not once, but twice.
Officials said Lynn played a big part in helping bring people to Pell City.
While Lynn was executive director, the chamber held its first Lakefest at Lakeside Park in an effort to draw people to Pell City. That event was followed by Summerfest, Autumnfest and eventually the Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce Block Party, which brought about 15,000 people to the historic downtown business district of Pell City last year.
With Lynn at the helm, the Chamber sponsored the first Kids Catfish Rodeo. She also helped form organizations like the Retail Exchange and the Industrial Improvement Association in an attempt to enhance growth in the business and industrial communities.
Bowers said Lynn was an active volunteer with the Chamber even before she was hired as the organization’s executive director.
He said they worked side-by-side in organizing chamber events, like the annual Christmas Parade.
She also helped organize and host the Business and Industry of the Year banquets, Citizen of the Year banquets and later the Celebration Luncheon, which combined both night banquets into one luncheon.
Lynn also helped get the Leadership Pell City program off the ground and the program helped spur the development of the St. Clair County Leadership program.
Bowers said as a teacher, Lynn taught hundreds of children in the community who are now grown, and as a executive director and volunteer for the Chamber, she worked tirelessly to help spotlight and improve her community.
“She truly cares about her community,” Bowers said. “She always has.”
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.