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Editorial: Chamber and citizens make Marshall great

March 13, 2017 at 1:55 p.m.


A very smart lady once extolled the virtues and power of individuals. Margaret Mead said the now oft used phrase: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has," and she was absolutely correct, no less so when thinking about Marshall.

The Chamber has made tremendous strides over the past two years both for the chamber and business community. Chamber ambassadors do a host of things behind the scenes of the chamber, which all go toward growing business in Marshall.

Many people contribute to making this town the East Texas marvel it is, but two were honored for their myriad contributions last week at the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet and we were pleased as peaches when their names were called out.

The main awardee of the evening, Janet Cook has long worked quietly and diligently for the good of the entire community.

Cook, director of the Harrison County Historical Museum, took the big honor of the evening when she was named as 2017's Citizen of the Year. If nothing else, her work at the museum is preserving the very history of Harrison County, no small feat that generations will benefit from long after we have all moved on to the great beyond. But she has done so much more than that.

She has been involved in city government, working as director of Planning and Community Development and assistant city manager, during which she wrote grants to secure funding to renovate the Weisman Center, the cornerstone of Marshall's redeveloped downtown. She also played a pivotal role in building the Center for Applied Technology at Texas State Technical College, The Business Development Center and the Marshall Visual Art Center by investing countless hours in volunteer efforts.

Cook's latest efforts directly fueled the long-time-coming restoration of Memorial City Hall, when she secured $150,000 to build and install a veteran's exhibit in the building's basement. The grants had an expiration date that finally spurred the city to dedicate time and money to fixing up the beautiful old building that will soon, hopefully, be used by many, many Marshallites.

Cook is always willing to put aside what she is working on to help her fellow residents research or find some information and will truly leave the community a better place than when she found it.

Tim Huff took the other big honor when he was named Ambassador of the Year. Huff is always willing and even eager to jump in with both feet to help and get involved.

Hats off to the Chamber for the work they do for the community. We also couldn't think of two thoughtful, or committed citizens more deserving of these awards. Keep up the good work and thanks.

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