Celebrating Drug-Free Businesses

The Coalition recently held its annual Drug-Free Business Partnership luncheon to recognize businesses in the community that value drug, alcohol and tobacco-free workplaces.  The luncheon featured Jennifer Cofer, Director of the EndTobacco Program at MD Anderson, as the keynote speaker.  Ms. Cofer updated the audience on the continuing ill effects of tobacco use, including the 26.9% of cancer deaths that are attributable to tobacco use and the $8.85 Billion annual healthcare expenditures in Texas related to smoking. In the light of the nationwide epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, Ms. Cofer was a timely speaker with an important message: “95% of current smokers started smoking before the age of 21.”  Ms. Cofer continued, “If we can delay the age when people first use tobacco, we can significantly reduce the number of adult smokers. Research from the Institute of Medicine predicts that raising the sale of tobacco from 18 to 21 would reduce the smoking rate by 12% and would result in 223,000 fewer premature deaths from tobacco-related diseases.”

The Coalition also recognized several businesses in attendance for their continued commitment to drug-free workplaces and special recognition was given to the Drug-Free Business Partnership’s new and upgraded members. For the past 25 years, The Coalition has focused on eliminating the use of harmful substances by affecting public policy, laws, attitudes and behaviors, all in an effort to foster healthy life-long choices for the local community. The Coalition is one of the oldest substance abuse prevention community coalitions in the United States.  For more information on raising the sale age of tobacco from 18 to 21, visit www.texas21.org and for information about participating in the Drug-Free Business Partnership, contact The Coalition at 936-634-9308.

New Business Members

Five businesses were honored as new members of the Drug-Free Business Partnership of The Coalition. Congratulations to these businesses for partnering with The Coalition for a better community.
Back row, left to right:  Crystal Williams and Shae Smith, McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning. 
Front row, left to right: Yana Ogletree, Georgia-Pacific; Tamara Tucker, Tucker Family Medicine. Not present: Bentley’s Air Conditioning & Refrigeration and Pinnacle Senior Living.

Upgraded Members

In appreciation of their dedication to a drug-free community, The Coalition recognized several businesses as upgraded members of the Drug-Free Business Partnership.
Pictured from L to R:  Melanie Shirley, Austin Bank; Celesse Goeyns and Jeremiah Campbell, Boys & Girls Club of Deep East Texas; Ben Bartlett, Bartlett, Baggett & Shands; and Johnny and Stacey Hargroue, The Medicine Shoppe.

Angelina County Drug-Free All Stars

Angelina County Drug-Free All Stars represented The Coalition at the annual Drug-Free Business Partnership luncheon.
Pictured back row, from left: Joshua Simmons, Lufkin High School; Jared Christopher, Huntington High School; Oscar Hernandez, Central High School; Marco Rendon, Central High School; and Alex Sanchez, Diboll High School.
Front row, from left: Riley Latham, Lufkin High School; Gabrielle Kenner, Huntington High School; MaHaley Johnson, Zavalla High School; and Alison Acevedo, Hudson High School.

Sustaining Platinum Members

Drug-Free Business Partnership Sustaining members at the Platinum level were honored at the annual Drug-Free Business Partnership luncheon. Pictured, back row from left: Greg Harrison, Angelina County; Cary Kirby, Angelina County; Terry Pitts, Angelina County; Celesse Goeyns and Jeremiah Campbell, Boys & Girls Club of Deep East Texas; Paul Jackson, Burke; Paula Botsford, Angelina County & Cities Health District; Chris Logan and Kim Simmons, The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council; Michelle Lockhart and Sandra Wilson, Hospice in the Pines; Brittany Semien of the City of Lufkin; Janet Taylor, Taylor Brothers Paint and Floor Covering; Al Ross, KSWP/KAVX; Will Price, Bancorp South.
Front, standing from left: Amanda Anderson, Woodland Heights Hospital; and Melanie Shirley, Austin Bank. Front, seated from left: Lynn Hopper, State Supported Living Center; Lynne Haney, Lufkin Coca Cola; Patricia Jelinek, Burke; Martha Hernandez, Southside Bank; Greta Rich, Family Crisis Center; Katie Webb, Bancorp South; Stacey Hargroue, The Medicine Shoppe; Lauren Chatman, Brookshire Brothers; Johnny Hargroue, The Medicine Shoppe; and Michelle Ross, KSWP/KAVX.

Sustaining Gold Members

Gold level Sustaining members of the Drug-Free Business Partnership include, back row from left: Dale Botsford, Regional Physical Therapy Center; Richard Rudel, Alexander, Lankford & Hiers; John Thannisch and Chris Caraway, Commercial Bank of Texas; Justin Risner, Central ISD; Paula Havard, Pregnancy Help Center; Kendall Beattie and Erica Rounsavall, Abeldt’s Pharmacy; Ronnie Musgrove, Central ISD; Ty Cauthen, Central ISD; Ricky Oliver, Zavalla ISD; Brian Kruk and April Walker, Pineywoods Community Academy.
Front row from left: Robin Jennings, Moore Brothers; April Soderquist, Lufkin ISD; Yana Ogletree, Georgia-Pacific; Shanie Sanford and Kim Warner, Pregnancy Help Center; Maci Dover, Whataburger/GVCS; Jessica Grillot, Pregnancy Help Center; Rebecca Reid and Jessica Grenier, The Mosaic Center; and Laura Jones, Pineywoods Community Academy.

Silver & Bronze Members

Back row from left: Shae Smith representing McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning and Ben Bartlett from Bartlett, Baggett and Shands.
Front row from left: Austin Bank’s, Melanie Shirley, Tucker Family Medicine’s Tamara Tucker and Crystal Williams representing McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning.