Herrington named Citizen of the Year at COC event

Published 7:55 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

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The Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce gathered Tuesday night at The Hour Glass to honor current, out-going and in-coming directors and officers for the organization as well as make presentations of other awards.

During the evening, the presentation of the Citizen of the Year is one of the main highlights. This year’s presentation was no exception.

Susan Rhodes took the podium and quickly named the honoree so that “the recipient could hear every word and know that it is meant solely for them. I want them to cherish this moment and feel the love and admiration that this award embodies. I want this person to be able to truly live in this moment tonight.”

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Hillary Herrington was named Brewton’s 2023 Citizen of the Year and received an ovation from those attending the event.

“Hillary Herrington was raised in the family business at Herrington’s The Florist,” Rhodes said. “She was taught her strong work ethic from her dad, Ronny, and her attention to detail by her mom, Pat. She grew up watching her parents put in the work and sweat equity that it takes to have a successful business. For a short time she lived in Pensacola working for an events and catering company to gain experience as a floral designer on a much bigger stage. But, finally, she decided to come back to her hometown to help run her dad’s business.

“Hillary chose to come back to Brewton and she chooses to raise her boys in Brewton,” Rhodes said. “After bringing back her talents and experience to Herrington’s, she started to dream bigger. They expanded Herrington’s and opened Herrington’s on Highland in Flomaton. Then two years ago came the opportunity of Amazon. They had the vans, the knowledge of the layout of the town, the drivers…so why not? She convinced Ronny to try this Amazon delivery concept and see if it could work. Thankfully, he was willing to take a chance and supported the opportunity. And, look how far it has come. They were one of eight businesses in the United States to pilot this program. It has been so successful CNBC came to Brewton to do a story segment and then Amazon brought their California camera crews and shot a corporate promotional commercial. After the success of Amazon she wanted to start something else that was her own. So, she opened the Brewton Brew coffee trailer officially in January 2022 while still working full time at the flower show. And that is where the “Flower Shop Tired” coffee got its name.

“She is always thinking outside of the box and opportunities to better Brewton,” Rhodes said. “What does Brewton need? Then in November, the opportunity came to expand Brewton Brew into the café area at Coastal Alabama that opened in January. While planning the Brewton Brew expansion, she and Michael seized the opportunity to open another business at the former curb market and the next month they opened The Brewton Bee (Garden Center). Only Hillary would be so ambitious to open up two businesses within two months.

“You will not find a harder worker than Hillary,” Rhodes said. “I have no idea how she does it all but I can say she has the best family and friends who support her fully and will jump in to help. I won’t tell you all of the ideas she throws around in her head because she isn’t done yet. She has served as a Chamber director and is a past president. She has always been the first to offer her help in various community and school events, dances, FFA Floral Design Tram training, not to mention helping to create a beautiful prom for T.R. Miller and has always helped with prom events at W.S. Neal.

“She is my ride or die best of friends and it is my distinct honor to present Hillary Herrington with the 2023 Citizen of the Year.”