Steve Wilkerson
Steve Wilkerson
A longtime Philadelphia businessman and community leader has been named Philadelphia and Neshoba County's Citizen of the Year for 2013.

Steve Wilkerson, owner of Steve's on the Square, will receive the award on Monday, Oct. 14 during the annual banquet of the Community Development Partnership.

The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Neshoba County Coliseum.

Neshoba County General Hospital will receive the large business of the year award and Magnolias and Sassafras, the small business of the year award.

Skip Skaggs, director of the Mississippi Development Authority Existing Industry & Business Division will be the guest speaker. The meal will be catered by Shriners. Entertainment will be the cast from "And the Winner Is."

Steve's on the Square has received the Mayor's Award and the Best Christmas Window Award during Main Street's annual competitions.

It is a past recipient of the Business and Professional Women's Club's "Golden Broom" award.

Wilkerson received the Retailer of the Month Award from Gary Cahn Associates. Steve's on the Square was also recognized by Mississippi Magazine as one of the top men's stores in the state.

Wilkerson is a past president of the Philadelphia Rotary Club, Main Street and Community Development Partnership. He received the 2012 Mississippi Main Street Special Service Award, private sector.

Wilkerson is a former two-term city alderman. He is a guest lecturer at Mississippi State University's School of Business. He is also a guest speaker for Mississippi Scholars and Leadership Neshoba.

He volunteers annually for the Ham Jam Arts Festival and is a member of the Super Bulldog Club at MSU.

Wilkerson attends Beacon Street Baptist Church where he is a deacon, Sunday school teacher, Brotherhood member and past Sunday school director.

He is an avid supporter of "Donate Life."

Wilkerson is currently fulfilling his dream of owning a colorful, musical ice cream truck and giving away "smiles" in the form of ice cream.

He and his wife, Jenny Lynn, have one daughter, Lacy.

The Citizen of the Year award has been presented annually since 1989 when Stanley Dearman, then editor and publisher of The Neshoba Democrat, was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce which started the award. Other recipients have been:

Allan King, Mary Gipson, Albert Latting, Dr. Rudolph Posey, Hugh Thomasson, Kenneth º, George Saxon, Chief Phillip Martin, William G. Yates Jr., Don Kilgore, Steve Webb, Connie Sampsell, Charles Mars, Glen Waddell, 367th Maintenance Co. and the 298th Corps Support Battalion, Jackie Hester, Lynda Stribling, David Vowell, Audine Agent, Rayburn Waddell, O. D. Jackson, Laura Cole Thrash and Roberta Byars. Tickets to the banquet are $20 and are available at the depot.