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Citizen of the Year: Hancock celebrates Waveland Alderman LiLi Stahler Murphy
By Echo Staff
Aug 23, 2014, 01:16

100 Men Hall owners Kerrie and Jesse Loya are honored as the “Pat Cuccullo Tourism Persons of the Year.” Presenting the award were Chamber President Mark Henderson, left; and John Hall, president of the Hancock County Tourism Bureau.

It was like a night at the Academy Awards for businesses and citizens attending the Annual Awards Gala Thursday night at Hollywood Casino.
Presented by the Hancock Chamber of Commerce and the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission, the event recognizes businesses of the year and the County’s outstanding citizens.
LiLi Stahler Murphy was honored as this year as Citizen of the Year from a field of nine citizens recognized this year. Although she originally moved to Hancock County to retire, she has become an energetic and well-known volunteer throughout the community.
“What’s good for Waveland is good for Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead and the unincorporated parts of Hancock County,” she said. “So much can be accomplished when we work together.”
Stahler Murphy has served as the Ward 1 Alderman for the city of Waveland, retiring later this year after eight years of service.
She is the founder of the Ground Zero Hurricane Museum located at the Old School on Coleman Avenue in Waveland, and has served on many different boards. She also manages publicity and public relations at St. Rose Catholic Church. She is best known for her “can-do” attitude. “Miss LiLi,” as she is fondly called, is recognized for her persistent spirit to do whatever it takes to make Hancock County a better place to live and work.
“LiLi is one of the finest local elected officials I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with,” said Ashley Edwards, executive director of the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission.
Tish Williams, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce agrees. “She does not see city, county or even state lines. LiLi knows that if we want to have an economically vibrant community we must all work together toward common goals and she does just that,” she said.
Other citizens recognized include: Jane Alford of Bay-Tique & Carroll House Bed & Breakfast, Debbie A. Benefield of Mississippi Power Company, William “Bill” Bradford retired MD of Emergency Medicine Physician, Dr. Cherie Antoinette Labat of Bay Waveland School District, Kerryn F. Liebkemann of Friends of McLeod Park, M. Carolyn Rhodes of Gaits to Success, Rhonda Dean Rhodes of Hancock Resource Center, and Linda Tucker of Hancock Medical Center. Kerrie and Jesse Loya were recognized as the Patt Cucullu Tourism Persons of the Year.
Several businesses were also honored at the event, including, Bay Town Inn for the city of Bay St. Louis, Park Ten Lanes for the city of Diamondhead, Treasures of the Bay for the city of Waveland, Coastal Hydraulics & Supply for the Kiln Business Council, and Dempsey’s Seafood & Steak Restaurant for Hancock County.
Two industries were honored for their contributions in the economic growth of the county. SpaceX received the Industrial Award of Excellence, while Calgon Carbon Corporation was awarded Industry of the Year. The Community Award of Excellence was awarded to the Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor.
Waveland Mayor David A. Garcia was also honored at the event for his more than 40 years of service to Waveland and Hancock County.
Williams said, “The Annual Awards Gala is a time for the people of Hancock County to join together to recognize the achievements in citizenship, tourism, industry and business; and, to express our appreciation to those individuals who are making this place one of the coolest small towns in America.”


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