Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Bridge City Bank faced some tough competition as it claimed a prestigious award on Monday night.
Bridge City Bank was selected as the “Business of the Year” at the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce 54th Annual “Taste of the Bayou” Banquet this past Monday night at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center in Orange. Other nominees included David Self Ford in Orange and Dupuis Tire and Service Center in Bridge City.
Scott Hale, the president and CEO of Bridge City Bank, carried a large smile on his face at the end of the night. Hale, who accepted the award on behalf of the bank and its staff, was accompanied by eight employees to the podium.
“We are very excited to win this award,” Hale said. “We are a community bank and one of the last locally owned community banks in the area. We plan to keep that way for as long as possible.”
Bridge City Bank is considered to be one of the cornerstone businesses in Bridge City. According to Hale, Bridge City Bank has served the community since 1959 and places emphasis on delivering a high level of customer service to its patrons.
Bridge City Bank, which also operates a branch in Orange, actively serves its community by participating in activities with the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce as board members and ambassadors.
Another big honor presented on Monday night was the “Citizen of the Year” award to Jerry Jones, the city manager of Bridge City.
Jones, who was visibly touched by the award, kept his speech short and to the point. He asked his family members in attendance, nearly dozen, to stand and be recognized. He also asked all Bridge City councilmembers and mayor and city employees in attendance to stand and be recognized.
“This award is for all of you,” Jones said as he fought back tears. “Thank you.”
Jones became the city manager in 2008 and was quickly put to the test as he, along with Mayor Kirk Roccaforte and city council, faced the task of helping rebuild their community following the devastation of Hurricane Ike in September of that same year.
He has been successful in his job as city manager by helping the city secure numerous projects from disaster recovery funds. This includes repairs to a majority of the streets in Bridge City, as well as to the sewer plant and lift stations and having new generators installed.
Jones has served on the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a member of the Bridge City - Orangefield Rotary Club, and Orange County Economic Development Corporation.
Scot C. Shaffer, the ambassador chairperson of the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce, presented the “Ambassador of the Year” award to Shirley Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is known for enthusiasm and seemingly endless energy and dedication to serving the community as a member of the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.
“You don’t get this award for just showing up,” Shaffer said to the audience.
Also during Monday’s annual banquet and meeting, Brandy Slaughter, the outgoing president of the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce, officially passed the gavel to Lucy Fields, the incoming president, signaling the change in leadership for the coming year.
Fields looks to continue the growth of the chamber which occurred during Slaughter’s extended term as president.
“We work hard, but we have a lot of fun in the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce,” Fields said to those in attendance. “Whether you are a business-owner or an individual, I encourage you to join the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and see what it is all about.”