2013 Central Chamber of Commerce Awards

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    The Central Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday Evening, February 20, at Kristenwood.  The evening was entitled, “Magical Mystery Nights!”  This evening was set aside for the purpose of giving honor and recognition for the accomplishments of various businesses and organizations in 2013.  We also were introduced to the Board of Directors for 2014 and chairman Wayne Leader recognized and thanked retiring Board members Claude Derbes, Matt Price and Angie Rabalais for their dedicated service.
    To kick the evening off Juanita Ross, Ambassador Chairman, announced John Kolvalcik as the Ambassador of the Year.  Following this presentation, Chamber President Ron Erickson announced that Juanita Ross, who also is Vice President of Marketing, would be retiring at the end of February.  A plaque was presented to Mrs. Ross for her many years of dedication and service to the Central Chamber.  She will be missed greatly! Erickson then presented the President’s Award to Chuck Langlois for his unwavering commitment to the St. Jude’s Bike-A-Thon over the last 30 years.  Erickson also presented a plaque to Chairman Wayne Leader for the Central Chamber being selected as the Louisiana Small Chamber of the Year for 2013.
    The Chamber continually looks for ways to partner with others in our community and this year the decision was made to invite some of the service orientated Non-Profit organizations to take part in our awards ceremony.  Rather than each organization having to arrange their own event, we invited them to come to ours and give out their special awards.  Taking part this year were The Art League of Central, Central Community Assistance Foundation, Central Toy Box, Central Rotary, and Cooking in Central.
    Magician Rob Rue then wowed and entertained the crowd with his comedy and magical illusions.  Following Rob Rue’s Magical Event, we acknowledged all 23 nominees for the 2013 business of the year awards and the winners were: New Business of the Year – ACT Security, Small Business of the Year – Peoples Bank, Medium Business of the Year – Trey Marino’s Central Florist, Intermediate Business of the Year – Caliente Mexican Cravings, Large Business of the Year – Demco and Chamber Member of the Year – Suzonne V. Cowart CPA LLC.  Two categories of special awards were given out as well: the Life Time Achievement Award went to Mac Watts and Nonprofit Organization for 2013 – Central Community Assistance Foundation. 
    Truly, a great time was had by all!  Special thanks go to the group of girls from the CHS Softball team for being our servers for the evening.  Finally, thanks and congratulations to all the Nominees, Award Winners and Members who helped to make this event possible and who enabled your chamber to be highly successful in 2013!