BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Chamber of Commerce is receiving state-wide attention for its work within the community.

Chamber members returned home from the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals with an armful of awards.

This is the fifth time Bay County has won the chamber of the year award.

The Bay County Chamber of Commerce received the 2022 “Chamber of the Year” award.

It previously won the award in 2004, 2010, 2016, and 2019.

President of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce, Carol Roberts, was also recognized for her 45-year career with the chamber.

“It has been such an exciting ride to watch over the 45, last 45 years, the changes that have taken place in our communities,” Roberts said. “You know, I remember two-lane Back Beach Road, two-lane 23rd street. I remember the old rickety Hathaway Bridge. And, you know, the great part about all of that, this organization played a vital role in making those changes possible.”

Roberts received the Pillar Award, which recognizes chamber members for their professionalism and leadership.

Roberts said she was honored and proud to play a role in how the chamber has influenced the community.

“Probably the biggest change in probably most recent years was the relocation of the airport and that changed our community,” Roberts said. “More so than anyone will ever know. And we’re feeling the impacts of it now that that airport has put us on the map. We now have room for growth and development and industrial growth instead of being land like we were before.”

The chamber also brought home two communications awards, the first recognizing their guide to Bay County.
The second award recognized “A Better Way to a Bright Bay” Education Initiative, which encourages the business community to get involved with local public schools.

“It was certainly an exciting time at the conference to make five trips to the podium,” Roberts said. “The entire state was excited for Bay County and I’m excited to bring these awards back and recognize our community as it should be.”

Roberts said moving forward they hope to continue the work of the ‘Building a Better Bay’ campaign.