The Salado Chamber of Commerce honored its Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year and Hall of Fame recipient during its annual Awards Banquet at Tenroc Ranch Jan. 30.
Prior to the awards portion of the gathering, Chamber chairman Lara Tracy shared the successes and challenges of 2019 with the audience. “If there is one word to describe 2019 it would be perseverance. We have persevered together.”
With the completion in 2020 of construction of sidewalks, bike lanes and lighting along Main Street, the future for Salado will be a bright one, according to Tracy who will serve as Chairman of the Chamber Board again in 2020.
She thanked her 2019 Directors and acknowledged the board members for 2020.
Citizen of the Year
Claire Hartman, who was named to the Chamber Hall of Fame for 2018, chaired the awards committee in 2019 and announced the award recipients.
Deanna Whitson was named the 2019 Citizen of the Year.
Deanna, Hartman said, “has been in our community helping, with a big H! From Chamber events to community events.”
“This person doesn’t have to be in charge,” Hartman continued, “but will be if called upon. Her desire to give and help is genuine and authentic.”
Whitson chaired the largest Christmas Stroll parade ever, despite the obstacles, literally, of construction on Main Street. The parade had more than 60 entries this year under Whitson’s leadership. She also had a leadership role in the second annual ‘Que on Main fundraiser for the Salado Rotary Club, which brought a dozen barbecue teams and hundreds of visitors to Salado Memorial Day Weekend.
She “always brings a smile everywhere she goes,” Hartman added. “She’s a mortgage loan officer, proud mom of two and a proud wife.”
Business of the Year
“This year’s Business of the Year has been around for a while,” Hartman said. “And through the years has seen a couple of leaders. However, it is the team at this business that this award seeks to represent and acknowledge.”
“The team members of this company spend time in our community in a variety of ways” she added, “from helping of this company spend time in our community in a variety of ways, from individuals working on committees or reaching out to help take tickets at an event to having their own appreciation parties in their parking lot.”
“All this to show their love for their community of Salado,” Hartman said. “Help me congratulate our 2019 Business of the Year: Horizon Bank.”
Hall of Fame
The Salado Hall of Fame is given to someone who has shown an outstanding long-term commitment to the Village, not tied to one event or focus.
The 2019 recipient came to Salado in the late 80s with their family, Hartman said, “and put their roots down and never looked past helping this Village continue to reach new heights, knowing no limits.”
“They are always willing to be a good sounding board for many of us who needed advice or understanding, she added. “If there was a project that needed attention this person was willing to jump in and be a part of the solution.”
“They have been a part of many organizations in our Village,” Hartman said, adding that is “probably not a complete list. Let’s begin with the groups I do know about…”
Salado Chamber board member, Salado Chamber committees, Art Fair, Christmas Stroll, Christmas Parade, Salado Family Relief Fund, Salado Civic Center Foundation, Salado Community Foundation, Public Arts League of Salado, Wilmer Fellow of the Institute for Humanities at Salado, numerous renovation projects all over Salado and support of children from Boys Scouts to Girls Scouts, church youth groups to children’s sports.”
“And now one more, as next year’s Salado Chamber Awards Chairman.
“There are many reasons she has earned this designation, not just because their business is here but because Salado is her passion,” Hartman said. “You don’t always see her as she stays behind the scenes grabbing our moments and helping us create our memories.”
“Help me congratulate our 2019 Hall of Fame Recipient Marilyn Fleischer.”
Following the award presentations, Bill Hall gaveled an auction of four items to raise money for the Chamber. Gail Allard II won the tandem skydive donated by Skydive Temple with a bid of $500.
Joanne Wylie and Mike Zuber partnered to win the bid for a blow-your-own beer mug party at Salado Glassworks with beer provided by Barrow Brewing Co. and food by Brooke May of La Luncheonette restaurant and Hecho en Queso food truck with a winning bid of $1,500.
Allard also picked up a Dove Hunt at Solana Ranch with the winning bid of $450.
Crain Chiropractic Care donated a massage per month for a year, which Tim Fleischer won with a bid of $1,000.
A special breakfast for a group prepared by Jill Shipman and Cathy Sands went home with Zuber and Allard for $500.