The Man and Woman of the Year were named at last night’s (Thursday) Washington County Chamber of Commerce Banquet.


Woman of the year Lanella Gray and Sally Blackie-Sengal.

The previous honorees, Sally Blackie-Sengal, and Jim Ellison read the accolades and accomplishments of this year’s winners, Lanella Gray and Bill Rankin.

Blackie-Sengal gave some strong clues about Ms. Gray, as she told her activities such as working as an advocate for abused Children in CASA for Kids, an active volunteer for the Brenham ISD ‘Host’ Program.  She continues to give her time as a docent trainer and volunteer host at the Independent Baptist Church Museum and Visitors’ Center.

She is a prominent Alumnus of Baylor where she was instrumental in setting up the Baylor University Line Camp that brings each year’s freshman class to the Baylor Columns of the Independence historical properties.  Finally, she had a vision and commitment to the enterprises that benefit Washington County.

Ms. Gray expressed her pride, and gratitude.


Man of the year Bill Rankin and Jim Ellison.

Jim Ellison introduced Bill Rankin as the Man of the Year, by telling the banquet that over the past 30 years, he has served and participated in numerous community activities.  He and his family supported the development of Hohlt Park, with one of the fields bearing his name. He also served on the BISD School Board, serving four years as president, including when a major bond issue passed.

He is the past president of the Brenham Noon Lion’s Club and has volunteered at the Lion’s Children’s Camp in Kerrville.

Rankin was also a past president of the Washington County A&M Club.

He is also involved in a jail ministry to the inmates of the Washington County Jail.

Rankin in accepting the honor said the community of Washington County were responsible for this being a great community.

Others were honored at last (Thursday) night’s banquet.  Linda Pipes was named the Blue Blazer of the Year.

Liz Hopkins was named the Chair of the Chamber Board for the upcoming year.  The retiring members of the Economic Development Foundation Board were also recognized.

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