By Angie Bado, TSB Publisher
City leaders and members of the business community gathered on Friday night at the Collin County Regional Airport as the McKinney Chamber of Commerce held their annual community awards celebration.
Following dinner, Mayor Brian Loughmiller kicked off the festivities, welcoming guests. The highlight of the evening was the announcement and recognition of the various community award winners.
Chairman of the McKinney Community Development Corp. Board of Directors George Fuller presented the Quality of Life Award to long-time McKinney leader and volunteer, Tracy Rath. The award is given to an individual or organization instrumental in enhancing quality of life and place in McKinney.
Rath held the position of Chair of the MCDC Board for two years, is currently president of the McKinney Ladies Association, and is involved with the Golden Corridor of Republican Women. Over the years, she has served as a tireless volunteer for many city organizations including the Rotary Club and Relay for Life.
Thirteen year old Geordon Cox, accompanied by his dad, Adam, received theMcKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Partner of the Year award for his accomplishments with his foundation, Strikes Against Cancer, a dream born out of a boy’s love for his mom. Board Chair Angie Bado said the Strikes Against Cancer baseball tournament held in May of 2012 brought 248 baseball teams to McKinney and the surrounding area. This year, the group expects to host 400 teams.
The Tourism Partner of the Year award is given to a group or an individual who plays an instrumental role in promoting McKinney to visitors and increases visitation and overnights stays in McKinney.
Independent Bank was recognized with the Corporate Performance of the Year award. The recipient of this award must be a role model in corporate citizenship by contributing to the community in a meaningful way, having met or exceeded all requirements and benchmarks set forth in their incentive agreement with the McKinney Economic Development Corp.
The recipient of the Encore Wire Award was Spectocor. The criteria for selection for this award is a business that has existed in McKinney for at least three years and has measurable expansion of square footage, number of employee or product lines. Spectocor provides full-service cardiac monitoring for physicians and hospitals, providing a better way to diagnose rhythm abnormalities
The Spirit of McKinney Moving Forward award went to Encore Wire for exhibitng contributions and commitment to our community through new investments and development, while embracing our the unique community spirit of McKinney.
Judy Gay, (pictured left) a realtor with Ebby Halliday, was honored with the Leadership McKinney Alumni of the Year award. Married to former Mayor John Gay, and a native of North Texas, Judy volunteers her time and resources with numerous local organizations and is a graduate of the Chamber’s leadership program. She is a role model for others and has demonstrated leadership, and major accomplishments in her chosen profession.
Tony Nevotti of Fiat of McKinney was the recipient of the Main Street Partner of the Year. Presenter Jan Temples, Chair of the Main Street Board said Novatti has provided promotional support through his dealership promoting Historic Downtown McKinney as a destination. Mr. Nevotti also acted through volunteer support in events such as Bike the Bricks, Wish 100 and the McKinney Oktoberfest.
Grimes Development, a commercial development firm, was selected as Outstanding Small Business of the Year winner for exhibiting innovative industry-wide leadership and for their community support. This award is given to the small business that has enhanced the economy of McKinney through the successful, long-term, profitable operation of their business. Russell Grimes founded the company 30 years ago.
The Outstanding Business of the Year was presented to Rodney Haynes (L) and Haynes Landscaping by Crosspoint Church pastor Mark Turman. Turman said Haynes is still a role model for his employees and has a heart for service.
The award is given to a business that has enhanced the economy of McKinney through successful long-term, profitable operation and exhibits community involvement and innovative leadership with employees clients and within its industry. The company must have been in business for at least five years.
The evening culminated with the retired Dr. Jerry Sims (L) being recognized with the Carey Cox Citizen of the Year honor. As he took the stage in the midst of a standing ovation, Sims said “There has never been a town like McKinney. The hospital has been great, and the town has been great.” Sims, a general surgeon, began his career in McKinney in 1965 and spent many Friday nights on the football field as a team doctor. He has supported many community endeavors, including 3E McKinney.
The Citizen of the Year award is given to an individual who has made significant contribution to the well-being of the community in terms of his or her expenditure of resources, energy, and creativity over a sustained period of time. The individual is required to have lived and/or worked in McKinney at least three years and have been visible in the community, and is recognized as an outstanding role model of responsible citizenship.