New Pine Street Business Center Dedicated To Bettye Stevens-Coney

Bettye Stevens-Coney
Melodi Anderson, Coney’s daughter
Lake County Educators


LEESBURG – Almost everyone, public officials, elected and community leaders, residents, personal friends, and even family members knew that Bettye Stevens-Coney was being honored for her tireless and dedicated service to educating Leesburg’s students, preparing new teachers to be successful, and helping individuals to improve their quality life on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Although family members started showing up at her house during the week, it still didn’t arouse any suspicion for Ms. Coney that a new business center at 410 Pine Street in Leesburg will be officially opened and named The Bettye Stevens-Coney Business Center of Excellence.

The building dedication was sponsored by the Community Development Corporation of Leesburg Inc., which has accomplished many feats that have “improved the quality of life for all residents through economic and community development opportunities while preserving the heritage of the community.”

When Ms. Coney realized she was being honored, she said, “Wow! All this for me…” It was a heartfelt statement. She also admitted she didn’t have a clue about the building dedication until the very end when they started speaking.

Individuals whose lives were impacted by Ms. Coney made presentations. Ms. Mollie Cunningham, Chairman, Lake County School Board, said Ms. Coney helped her to become a skilled speech teacher 40 years ago when she had just graduated from college in Alabama. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart to look at this legend be recognized for the fruits of her work.

Robbie, a white speech student of Ms. Coney, said, “Ms. Coney taught me not to judge people by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  Al Minner, Leesburg City Manager; presented a proclamation. Melodi Coney-Anderson, Ms. Coney’s daughter, said, “Today I stand with immense pride and joy for this incredible woman with unmovable strength, boundless love and a relentless pursuit of excellence.”

Referring to Ms. Coney, John Christian, Chairman of CDCOL, rhetorically asked, “Isn’t it better to give people their recognition, their flowers while they are living?”

“Ms. Coney has made such an incredible impact on the Leesburg Community’s youth and residents for so many years. Today, we’ve heard the testimonies from speakers who attested to Ms. Coney’s positive involvement in their lives,” continued Mr. Christian. “When we were considering the building dedication, Ms. Coney was a very good choice.”