Hall of Famer: Induction is emotional for Crump
By: Bryn Stole
The Greenwood Commonwealth
Bill Crump’s career in public service got off to an unusually early start when he was elected to the Schlater Board of Aldermen at the record age of 19.
On Tuesday night, the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce honored Crump, now 60, for his many contributions to the area by inducting him into the Leflore County Hall of Fame during the chamber’s annual meeting.
In introducing Crump, Delta State University President William N. LaForge, who was a classmate of Crump’s at DSU, said Crump might even be “overqualified” for the honor.
During his long career in public service, Crump has served in Washington as chief of staff to Rep. Webb Franklin of Greenwood and later Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, arranged travel for President George H.W. Bush, worked for Lee Atwater at the Republican National Committee and served in the federal Department of Labor.
Closer to home, Crump served several terms as mayor of Schlater, worked for more than 10 years with Viking Range Corp., served as president of the chamber and chaired numerous civic organizations.
Crump is currently chairman of the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation and executive director for the Fred and Margaret Carl Foundation.
During the award presentation, the chamber played a video montage with congratulations to Crump on the award. Among the well-wishers were Sen. Thad Cochran, former Sen. Trent Lott and Viking founder Fred Carl Jr.
To a person, they all agreed that there couldn’t be a more qualified candidate for the honor.
An emotional Crump said he was deeply moved to be joining the county Hall of Fame.
“I have looked at the photos of the recipients many times in the chamber, and never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would some day be joining them,” Crump said. “I hope with the time I have left, I’ll be able to live up to this tremendous honor you have bestowed upon me tonight.”
The inauguration was the high-point of the 97th annual meeting of the chamber, which also included the Taste of Greenwood food tasting. More than 20 restaurants from the Greenwood area served up sample dishes to the approximately 450 attendees, while local businesses set up booths in the chamber’s business expo.
Chamber President Mark Hutson thanked all the many people who put together the chamber’s many annual events, including 300 Oaks, the Delta Band Festival and the AgFest.
“I believe that without those events, the Greenwood area would be a poorer place,” Hutson said. “I believe what the chamber does is vital and important.”
Hutson said the chamber has had several great years in a row and stands in excellent financial shape.
“I believe next year should be another banner year, and I’m looking forward to it,” Hutson said.