2 get chamber's top volunteer award WEST COUNTY/Crofton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

November 03, 1992|By Amy P. Ingram | Amy P. Ingram,Contributing Writer

No doubt it was equal parts Nina Hendrix's business know-how, community charisma and Mississippi charm that got her the West County Chamber of Commerce's most prestigious award.

Mrs. Hendrix, who lives in Severn, was one of two volunteers presented with the Unsung Heroes President's Award at the chamber's Volunteer Appreciation Reception Oct. 14. The award was made to honor the many hours of voluntary service she has given the chamber in the seven years she has been a member.

"I love people," she said, "and I love interacting with people. That's why I do this."

Mrs. Hendrix, manager of Citizens National Bank in Fort Meade, has been on the chamber's board since 1985 and has been chairwoman of several committees, including her current position on the Finance Committee.

She has organized several fund-raisers and business mixers, and next spring she will single-handedly organize what she hopes will be the chamber's biggest fund-raiser ever, the annual oyster and bull roast.

Mrs. Hendrix, 56, won the award along with Crownsville resident Judy Smiechowski, president of Odenton Federal Savings & Loan.

Born and raised in Mississippi, Mrs. Hendrix said she always felt the need to help out with the community, wherever she was. As an Army wife, she volunteered most of her married life to help with military events, including playing an active part in the Non-Commissioned Officer's Wife Club.

"I feel as though I've been truly blessed and touched by a lot of people," she said, "This is just a small way to repay them."

It was that kind of thinking that helped her when the man who preceded her at Citizens National Bank asked her whether she wanted to succeed him on the chamber board.

Marsha Hall, executive director of the West County Chamber of Commerce, said President's Award recipients are volunteers who give that little extra out in the field. Mrs. Hendrix, she said, is that kind of person -- and more.

"She's motivated, and she motivates people to do a lot," Ms. Hall said. "Her type of personality inspires people."

Mrs. Hendrix comes to most of the chamber's events, fund-raisers and raffles, doing "a lot of little things that make a big difference," she said.

Though Mrs. Hendrix, as she says herself, doesn't like to pat herself on the back, she guesses she was chosen for the award because of her relentless commitment to lending a helping hand, no matter the difficulty.

"It's nice that someone along the way recognized that," she said. "Now I can put on my cowboy hat and boots and head to the country show."

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