(Orange, Texas)

December 14, 2013

GOAAC celebrates successful 2013 at annual meeting

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGEFIELD — The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce recognized several outstanding people, businesses and agencies at its annual meeting.

The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Sunset Grove Country Club in Orange to honor the many people, businesses and groups which have made 2013 arguably the most successful year for the chamber to date.

Chad Jenkins, the agriculture teacher at Orangefield High School and truancy officer for Orangefield ISD, was recognized as the 2013 Citizen of the Year by Gary Stelly, owner of KOGT radio and master of ceremonies for the annual dinner meeting.

Jenkins has been employed with Orangefield ISD for approximately 20 years. He is also a key figure in the Orangefield community as he helped organize the Centennial Celebration event this past summer and is also the event director for the Christmas in Orangefield event on Saturday, Dec. 14. He is heavily involved with the Orangefield Cormier Museum as well.

Jenkins offered thanks to many people, especially his family, including his mother, father, wife and children who were in attendance. He also thanked the administrators, past and present, with Orangefield ISD who have allowed him to do his job and serve the community in the process.

Stephen Lee of First Financial Bank presented the 20th annual Athena Award to Beverly Theriot Perry of Bridge City.

Perry has a long history of involvement with her community and the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce. She is past President of Bridge City Elementary PTA and received Texas State life membership to PTA. She currently serves on the BCISD faculty panel.

Perry has been an active member of the Bridge City Chamber since 1990 and was named its Citizen of the Year in 1995. She served as chamber President in 2001, and is an active chamber Ambassador and named Ambassador of the Year in 2006.

She has also served as a member of city council, including one year as Mayor Pro-Tem, and was the 2012 Bridge City Christmas Parade Grand Marshall.

“I don’t know what to say,” said an obviously surprised Perry. “There are so many chamber people here that I know and I have to come to love and who have been life-long friends. I am truly humbled and honored by this award.”

The Athena Award is inspired by the Greek goddess of the same name, who was known for her courage, strength, wisdom and enlightenment.

According to the Athena International Web site, the Athena Award is presented to a woman or man who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

The Business Community Service Award was presented to DuPont, and accepted by Bobby Laughlin. The company was recognized for its numerous activities of involvement within Orange and Orange County.

Amie Comeaux was recognized with the Ambassador of the Year Award for her hard work and dedication in promoting Orange and Orange County through her job and her efforts through the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jarren Garrett, outgoing chairperson of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, presented Amie Comeaux with the Chairperson of the Year Award.

Garrett then presented incoming chairperson Shawn Sparrow with the customary orange blazer, which is proudly wore by members of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, and officially passed the gavel signifying the change in leadership.

Kristen Williams was recognized as the incoming Ambassador Chairperson and Christy Khoury was honored as the Ambassador Chairperson of 2013.

The Non-Profit Community Service Award was presented to the Orange County Action Association, also known as Meals on Wheels. The award was accepted by its director, Linda Hughes, and presented by Tad McKee of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.

Johnny Trahan of Entergy presented a special award of recognition to Allan Ritter, State Representative of District 21, for his work and dedication to the citizens of Orange County during his term in office.