Lancaster Co. chamber honors Boykin with citizenship award

By trade, Dr. James Boykin is a teacher and physician, but Thursday the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce honored him for being a trendsetter.

The chamber awarded Boykin its citizenship and service award at the annual banquet at the Lancaster Golf Club.

Boykin, chamber officials said, personified all the traits of the award, someone who has demonstrated a long-term community commitment, someone who has integrity, stewardship, initiative, is inclusive and values teamwork and accountability.

Boykin was the first black member appointed to the South Carolina State College trustees in 1965. He was one of the first three blacks named to the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce board of directors in 1970.

Born and educated in Lancaster, Boykin started teaching science at Barr Street High School in Lancaster after serving in the U.S. Army. He went on to teach in Spartanburg.

He decided to change careers, earning a medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1963, Boykin returned to Lancaster to begin his medical career and service to his community.

His resume includes serving as the chief of staff at Springs Memorial Hospital, and service to the Boy Scouts, the Lancaster County Council on Aging, and the Housing Authority of Lancaster.

Boykin was appointed to a four-year term on the housing authority in 1969. He served 31 years, leaving the board in 2008. The housing authority recently honored Boykin by naming its board room in his honor.

Other award winners were:

• Chad Catledge, president of Perception Builders, Businessperson of the Year: Catledge’s stamp is on projects throughout Lancaster County such as Founders Federal Credit Union’s headquarters, Founder’s Hall at the University of South Carolina-Lancaster, the Lancaster County Courthouse and the Native American Center.

Catledge was honored for his honesty, integrity and “meticulous attention to detail,” chamber officials said. “Chad’s management style is a direct reflection of who he is as a person. His beliefs in God, family and the Golden Rule have served him well,” according to those who nominated him.

• The Hairport Salon, Lancaster, Small Business of the Year: Sandra Rodgers started the Hairport Salon in 1984 and was joined by her partner, Annette Spencer, two years later. The salon now employs 12, with the average length of employment being 18 years. More than 50 percent of their employees have graduated from the Lancaster High School Career Center.

The salon’s community activities include the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, collecting food for Project Hope, collecting toys and food for the Lancaster Children’s Home and serving on the boards of the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, the Lancaster Career Center Advisory Board and the Ladies Auxiliary at Springs Memorial Hospital.

• Sam Courtney, Volunteer of the Year: While the chamber honors a volunteer of the year, this year’s winner could be a volunteer for every year, said presenter Nikki Nash of Founders Federal Credit Union. Courtney has been giving his time to Lancaster organizations for 40 years, among them the American Heart Association, Healthy Lancaster, the United Way, Lancaster Rotary Clubs, See Lancaster and the Lancaster County Council of the Arts.

• Lisa Highberger, Ambassador of the Year: Highberger and her husband started Pro Martial Arts studio in Indian Land in 2013. She teaches kickboxing and is a kettle bell instructor. As an ambassador she represents the chamber at various functions.