Chamber’s Crystal Brown honored with ATHENA Leadership Award at Women in Business Celebration
(Editor's note: for images from the Women in Business Celebration, please click here.)
On Tuesday, Crystal Brown, vice president of business and investor development, was honored with the ATHENA Leadership Award at the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce annual Women in Business Celebration at Doubletree by Hilton Decatur Riverfront.
Named for the Greek goddess of wisdom, as well as the champion of justice and law, the ATHENA award is presented across the world by chambers of commerce, women's organizations and universities. It is an international program and is promoted by local organizations. “Crystal’s style of servant leadership and her willingness to collaborate with others is the model we imagine when evaluating nominees for this prestigious honor,” said Trudy Grisham, a member of the nominating committee and past recipient. “She is generous with both her time and experience, and her understanding and ability to form relationships with people from all walks of life is truly amazing. Crystal is a blessing to this community and the State. How fortunate are we she calls Morgan County home!”
Born in Mobile, Ala., Brown joined the Chamber staff in 2012 as the director of business development and public policy before being promoted in 2016 to her current position. Her areas of focus include the retention and expansion of existing businesses, recruitment of new businesses and commercial investment, coordinating business training and networking opportunities, and serving as a direct liaison with Chamber investors. Prior to her work at the Chamber, she was advertising director at The Decatur Daily, where she was employed for 18 years. In her position, Brown’s responsibilities included developing and leading a staff of 22 sales and support media consultants, as well as customizing marketing programs, launching and implementing new print and internet business development programs for retail and classified advertisers.
In Decatur and across the state, Brown has served in leadership roles in a variety of non-profit organizations. She currently serves as the district five representative on the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees, the Athens State University Board of Trustees, treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama (CCAA) Board of Directors, and on board of directors for the Community Free Clinic of Decatur-Morgan County. She has actively served on boards for the American Heart Association, the Volunteer Center of Morgan County, and Parents and Children Together (PACT). Brown has also mentored several young girls who have attended West Decatur Elementary School. In 2003 and 2004, she served as chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
Brown was selected as the recipient the ATHENA award from community nominees. The award spotlights those who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business profession, provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and actively assists women in realizing their full leadership potential.
Past local ATHENA honorees include Dr. Cathy Hansberry (1992), Shirley Hammond (1993), Dorothy Schwuchow (1994), Betty Vaughan (1995), Betty Sims (1996), Trudy Grisham (1997), Dot Montgomery (1998), Willa Dockery (1999), Melissa Craig (2000), Jeanne Payne (2011), Gay Blackburn Maloney (2012), Venessa Edmonds (2013), June Odom (2014), Ashley Ashwander (2015) and Julia Roth (2016).
Brown graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a bachelor of arts degree in communications. She is also a 2016 graduate of Leadership Alabama – a statewide leadership program that gather 50-60 professionals each year for retreats to better understand problems and priorities for the our state’s future. She and her husband, Murphy, have three daughters, a granddaughter and live in Decatur.