NOMINEE NARRATIVES 2022: Spirit of Collierville

The Spirit of Collierville Nominees all embody a deep sense of community involvement. Alston Construction, Collierville Funeral Home, Southern Security Federal Credit Union, and State Farm-Joe Sarrio all understand the importance of giving back.

Alston Construction

Alston Construction is a nationwide company whose reach stretches from coast to coast. The company prides itself on excellent client relationships (almost 80% of its work comes from repeat clients) along with its outstanding projects creating, refurbishing, and extending buildings from its 23-nationwide office network. As a national company, they impacted 30+ charitable organizations and donated over $200,000 across the US in 2022. The Collierville office has been a part of the company since 2004 and leads by generous example with the company’s benevolent activities.

Led by Vice President and General Manager Chad Lindsay, Alston Construction has an impressive team looking to help the community. One can find him and his team participating with Collierville Rotary, Collierville Chamber, Collierville Education Foundation, and Main Street Collierville. They participated in a Partners in Education Business Forum for 8th-grade students and hosted a Cop Stop in their offices last year. And, maybe most notably, they were the presenting sponsor of the Collierville Balloon Festival, helped the event grow, and set a sturdy foundation for the future of the unique event. In Collierville, Alston Construction has gained a stellar reputation as a community and company partner.

Alston Construction Website

Collierville Funeral Home

Tharen Haley, manager of the Collierville Funeral Home, was “shocked and thrilled” about the nomination for Spirit of Collierville. As he mentions “most people don’t think of a funeral home for something like this,” but when you look at its influence across Collierville, there is no surprise why the Funeral Home was nominated for this award. Tharen and his team are a constant presence in the community. Carla Swindoll, Randy Hargis, Gary Taylor, Marleah Whitaker, Corey Hauge (who won the Chamber’s + Travel Leaders’ trip giveaway in December), Lee Murphy, and a solid group of associates who help when called on, are always looking to help the Funeral Home be a supportive part of the community, especially during families’ most difficult moments in life. Tharen gives a ton of credit to his staff for helping CFH mean what it does to the community. (Tharen himself is part of the Collierville Rotary Club, Page Robbins Board of Directors, and the Collierville Coffee Club among other community groups.)

As a part of the town for almost 100 years, the Collierville Funeral Home has seen its own location change a few times, (check out their brand new one on the corner of Winchester and Bailey Station Road) while observing the growing ways of the town. But Tharen explains that Collierville “still has that small town identity. Where you look out for each other, celebrate each other, and cry with each other.” This is very apparent at the Collierville Funeral Home.

Collierville Funeral Home Website

Southern Security Federal Credit Union

“It’s who we strive to be,” says Dawn Graeter, CEO of Southern Security Federal Credit Union, of the company’s Spirit of Collierville nomination. Being a “present community partner” for the Town is top of mind for Dawn and her team.

The influence Southern Security has on the town can’t be missed. The company is working on new headquarters in Collierville, does events with Collierville Schools, is the official credit union of the Town, and is a Premier Partner of the Chamber. In addition to that, Southern Security is involved on the CEF board and is part of the Collierville Rotary Club. They are always looking to sponsor and participate in events that “give back and be part of the community.”

The initial draw to Collierville for the company was the Carrier Plant and Mueller Industries. But they’ve remained a committed “business and community partner” to the area because of the natural growth and prosperity of the area. Every day, they look to offer financial services for non-profits and other community partners in and around the Town. Ultimately, Southern Security wants to be involved as a business and community partner in everything they do. When there is community success, business success is always there. That’s what Southern Security is all about. “We want everyone to be successful,” explains Dawn.

Southern Security Federal Credit Union Website

State Farm- Joe Sarrio

Joe Sarrio is “thankful for the recognition from the Chamber and the community” to be nominated once again for the Spirit of Collierville award. As a resident of Collierville since the 6th grade, Joe always saw himself living, doing business, and raising his family here. “It’s my hometown and I love it,” explains Joe.

Now part of the Collierville business community for about 10 years, he builds his agency on close relationships with customers and the community. He challenges himself the be “more, not less involved” each year with time and financial contributions to a variety of local organizations.

Collierville has helped him and his business through growth and wants to do all that he can to return the favor. It’s become a responsibility to help the town because “they support me.” He is also grateful for the support of the people around him, his wife, Brooke, his three kids, and his team at the office who lead a “relentless effort to help customers. They really care.” For Joe, it’s so important to give back to the community he calls home.

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