Each year, the Sanford Area Growth Alliance — Chamber of Commerce presents the Chamber Dedicated Service Award, which gives recognition to someone who has demonstrated exceptional support of the Chamber of Commerce, and has made Sanford and Lee County a better place to live and work.

The inaugural Chamber Dedicated Service Award was presented in 2016 to Hal T. Siler. Since then, award winners have been Tommy Mann, Jr., Jerry Pedley, Dr. Bud Marchant, and John Ramsperger.

This year’s winner, Brenda Clegg, has served on the Chamber Board of Directors since 2018, during which time she has shown significant commitment to the Sanford Area Growth Alliance Program of Work.

She was a leader in the Inaugural Children’s Business Fair in 2020. From assisting in planning the event, to recruiting volunteers, to speaking to each young entrepreneur the morning of the Fair… she was emersed in this project.

Clegg is currently on the leadership team for a Joint Community Job Expo, ready to assist the needs of our local employers by putting them in front of potential employees. This event will take place on Wednesday, July 21 from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Dennis A. Wicker Center, and will host 35 employers.

She was instrumental in the development of the Junior Mentorship program at her place of business, Belflex Staffing Network, serving at-risk youth by preparing them for the workforce. This includes interview and resume preparation, dressing for success and other key areas that employers are looking for.

Clegg assisted the Chamber of Commerce in updating our member code of conduct and has lined up speakers for our Public Policy Luncheons. Most recently, she presented the topic of the Business Case of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to Chamber members this past week, as you may have read about in Tuesday’s edition of the Sanford Herald.

She is also interested in quality of place here in Lee County. She volunteered with the Lee-Grow-Play-Succeed bond referendum initiative, which passed, to ensure our local youth, and visitors alike will have a top-notch sports complex facility in Lee County. She is serving as a role model for present and future generations in our Chamber and our community.

Clegg’s passion for our community, economic development and workforce education has significantly strengthened our businesses and industries in Lee County. In late 2020, she showed her support of SAGA by speaking before the Lee County Board of Commissioners and City Council to advocate for competitive incentive packages for four economic development projects.

She lives by the belief that if you have enjoyed any amount of success in your business, you have a civic duty and responsibility to give back. It was with great pleasure that the SAGA — Chamber of Commerce was able to award Brenda Clegg the Chamber Dedicated Service Award at last month’s Chamber Annual Membership Banquet.