Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Members of the community and the Vidor Chamber of Commerce celebrated another successful year with its annual banquet on Thursday night.
The Vidor Chamber of Commerce held its 59th annual Meeting and Banquet on Thursday at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall in Vidor. The event, filled to near-capacity with chamber members, business owners, community leaders and guests, was a joyful event reflecting on another successful year.
Dickey Woodard, the outgoing president of the Vidor Chamber of Commerce, led the chamber during one of its most successful years.
“I think we did a lot to bring the community together,” Woodard said. “Our membership in the chamber has increased a lot this past year, and the chamber’s events have had increased participation. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback throughout the year, and that’s a good sign.”
Woodard is quick to praise the efforts of the chamber’s board of directors, its ambassadors and its members for 2013 being so successful, and he even credits his wife, Jodi, and daughter, Amber, for remaining focused on the daily tasks during his term as president.
“I learned a lot in this position, and it was a great experience,” Woodard added. “Working with the city, the school district, the county, the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce and the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce during the Bassmaster tournament last year was a great accomplishment for all of us. I hope the chamber can continue to build on the successes of this past year, and, under Ronnie’s (Herrera) leadership it will.”
Ronnie Herrera is the incoming president of the Vidor Chamber of Commerce and he officially took charge Thursday night. He knows how successful the past year was for the chamber and wants to continue that momentum.
“It’s going to be hard to fill Dickey’s shoes after the job he has done this year,” Herrera said. “We will continue to strive to do better for our community and our businesses. Ultimately, we are looking forward to making our community grow and that is one of my goals this year.”
Herrera has years of experience with the Vidor Chamber of Commerce and he knows it will take the effort of each member, as it did this previous year, for another successful year of growth.
“If we continue to work with our school district, the city, and the other chambers of commerce in the area, then I think we will be successful,” he added. “Our group of ambassadors are some of the best we have had and the group has grown in size this past year, and that, along with our membership, are the key to continued success.”
The Vidor Chamber of Commerce presented two awards during Thursday’s banquet. The first award, the Chamber Member of the Year, is presented to the person who goes above and beyond what is expected of an ambassador or member. The award was presented to Jodi Woodard.
The other award of the night was the chamber’s Citizen of the Year Award, which is a highly kept secret until the announcement during the banquet. This year’s award was presented to Glenn Leger, a man known for his extensive volunteer work in the community.
According to Sally Andrews, director of community relations with the Vidor Independent School District ad presenter of the Citizen of the Year Award, Leger is a man who gives of himself just because he can.
“Glenn never tells anyone no,” Andrews said of Leger. “He retired from his job three years ago, and he volunteers non-stop at the United Christian Care Center every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He is an unsung hero, and he deserves to be recognized even though he prefers to remain behind the scenes.”
Whether it is volunteering with United Christian Care Center, serving his community with the Vidor Lions Club, running the sounds system at First United Methodist Church or preparing dinner for the annual Heartbeats of Hope fundraiser, Leger likes to be in the background, according to Andrews.
“He is very humble and he takes care of everybody,” Andrews added.
Leger obviously prefers to avoid the limelight, if at all possible, as he displayed on Thursday. After being announced as the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, Leger accepted the award and then attempted to walk back to his seat without giving a speech. When affectionately prodded by friends, Leger just offered a quick word of gratitude and returned to his seat.
“He is always working behind the scenes, no matter what he does,” Andrews said. “He is a great guy and very deserving of this award.”