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In Recognition of Ernest Pepples and His Service to the U.S. Tobacco Industry

Representative Saxby Chambliss

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to recognize an individual, Ernest Pepples, for his significant efforts on behalf of a valuable yet ever more challenged industry. Ernie has had a distinguished and honorable career within the global and U.S. tobacco industry and deserves the recognition of Congress at the time of his retirement.

Mr. Ernest Pepples joined Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation in 1972 and was appointed vice president and general counsel and became a member of the company's board of directors in 1975. He was named senior vice president in 1980. At the time of his retirement, he was responsible for the company's legislative representation and government affairs efforts, including its relations with Congress.

Prior to joining Brown & Williamson, he was partner in the Louisville, Kentucky, law firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs. A native of Louisville, Mr. Pepples is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia Law School. He also is a member of the American, Kentucky, and Louisville Bar Associations.

Throughout his career, Ernie has served in leadership positions for a variety of boards and councils, including the board of directors of the Tobacco Merchants Association of Princeton, New Jersey, and the Kentucky Tobacco Research Board of Lexington, Kentucky.

Now, in recognition of his retirement from Brown & Williamson and the tobacco industry after 30 years of service, I believe he should be duly recognized by this body for his integrity and personal efforts to find common ground on many difficult issues. Indeed, Ernie developed a reputation as a leading expert on regulatory and business issues involving not only tobacco manufacturers but also tobacco growers, suppliers, consumers, wholesalers, and retailers. My district in Georgia has been a direct beneficiary of Ernie's talent.

It is with this background that I say thank you to Ernie for his dedication and service over the years and congratulate him on an outstanding career. He has worked hard for his home state of Kentucky, Georgia, and the entire tobacco community within our country. Those of us who have been privileged to work with Ernie will miss his hard work, honesty, and dedication. We will also miss his great smile.

Congratulations Ernie on an outstanding career and best wishes to you and your family upon retirement.

[Taken from the Congressional Record, 29 March 2001, page E495.]