Carlton Prothro and Eddie Hammontree, both known for their countless contributions to the community, were named 2017 Man and Woman of the Year during the annual Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce Banquet, held Thursday night at the Minden Civic Center.
Richard Campbell, representing the Minden Lions Club, spoke about the profound positive influence Prothro has had on the Minden community.
“For over 40 years, he has contributed to the education of local schools from classroom to guidance to administration,” Campbell said. “As a social studies instructor at Minden High School, he made learning enjoyable.”
Campbell went on to say Prothro had an uncanny ability to relate closely with his students while retaining their respect.
Prothro was a U.S. Army aviator and served in the Reserves. At retirement, he held the rank of Colonel.
He also served as commander of Wiley-Pevy Post 74 of the American Legion.
As a public servant, Prothro has served as a past Lions Club president and held leadership roles at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“Community service has always been high on his agenda in his adopted city of Minden,” Campbell said of the 84-year-old Prothro.
Willie Hammontree presented the Woman of the Year award to his mother, Eddie Hammontree.
“She has spent her adult life in public service and giving back to the community,” Willie Hammontree said. “Her leadership was a key factor in building the Webster Parish Library system into the institution it is today.”
A Terre Haute, Indiana native, Eddie Hammontree worked as a teacher’s aid in the Webster Parish School System after moving to her late husband’s hometown in the 1970s.
Hammontree went on to work for the Webster Parish Library for more than 25 years, eventually becoming director of the Webster Parish Library System. She earned a bachelors degree in library science from Louisiana Tech University and went on to earn her masters degree from Louisiana State University.
As director of the library system, Hammontree oversaw the introduction of the first computers, Internet and digital media into the library system.
Willie Hammontree said the greatest accomplishment of his mother was the building of the current 16,387 sq. ft. main library branch.
Prior to the 2017 presentations, the 2016 Man and Woman of the Year recipients, Jack Byrd and Peggy Jones, were recognized.
Following the Man and Woman of the Year presentation, Chamber board member George E. French III bestowed Marcus Wren with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“This man was instrumental in the establishment and success of our industrial park,” French said. “He and Jim Branch worked tirelessly to acquire the land that today is home of the South Webster Industrial District. He continues to work on this project by serving as a SWID board member for the past 16 years.”
A Minden native, Wren was president of Sanitary Dairy before his family purchased a small water business, Music Mountain Water, and grew it exponentially.
French also presented Wimberly Agency as the 2016 Small Business of the Year award, MBL Bank with the 2016 Business of the Year award, The Minden Charity Classic as the 2016 Community Partner of the Year, and Alicia Adams as the 2016 Business Person of the Year.