Photo: John & Terrie Rattan
It was an evening of celebration and surprises during Friday night's annual Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Celebration. This year the event, featuring the theme "Flying High, Soaring Higher", was held at the Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney. Punctuated by an aircraft positioned on each side of the stage, Mayor Brian Loughmiller welcomed the crowd and noted that it was appropriate for the event to be held at one of the city's jewels.
The highlight of the evening, the presentation of the awards, was anchored by Master of Ceremonies, Johnny B, of KLAK radio, who introduced the presenters for each of the award categories.
McKinney Community Development Chair, Tracy Rath, opened the presentation of awards by recognizing John Moore with the Quality of Life Award.
This award is given to the organization or individual is instrumental in enhancing McKinney's quality of life through economic, social or environmental impact on the community.
A retiree, Mr. Moore is far from inactive. A member of the McKinney Kiwanis Club, he builds wheel chair ramps for the elderly, delivers Meals on Wheels, works with the Bingo program at Homestead Nursing Home, and started the Senior Helping Seniors program. During the last year, the Seniors Helping Seniors program helped more than 200 seniors accomplish many tasks and meet daily needs that otherwise would have gone unmet.
The McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Partner of the Year was awarded to Chestnut Square and to its Executive Director, Cindy Johnson, for being instrumental in the promotion of tourism through the implementation of the Farmers' Market, the Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank Off, Living History Days, weddings and more in downtown McKinney's Historic Chestnut Square.
Photo: Chestnut Square Executive Director, Cindy Johnson
City of McKinney Awards of Excellence:
- Historic Preservation Residential Rehabilitation Award: The British Builder
- Historic Preservation Commercial Rehabilitation Award: Emigdio Raymundo for The Louisiana Street Grill
- Commercial & Building Design Award: Tom Evans Building
- Spirit of McKinney Moving Forward Award: Baylor Hospital of McKinney
McKinney Main Street Partner of the Year Award: McKinney Noon Lions Club
Given to an individual or an organization that has made significant contributions to the wellbeing of McKinney's historic commercial district through dedicated involvement.
McKinney Economic Development Corporation
- Corporate Performance Award: Emerson Process Management
- Retention & Expansion Program Award: Medical Center of McKinney
A brand new category was added this year; that of Leadership Alumni of the Year Award. This award is given to a graduate of the Chamber's Leadership Program who displays leadership in his or her profession, and has made a positive difference in McKinney through active involvement in the community.
Mayor Loughmiller presented the first Leadership Alumni of the Year Award to John Rattan, owner of The Body Shop, collision repair specialists. Mr. Rattan is a community leader who has actively been involved in a variety of leadership roles, including serving as a member of board of the McKinney Chamber, Main Street McKinney and the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Small Business of the Year Award: San Miguel Grill: Arturo Ibarra and family, San Miguel Grill opened in October 1992, and has been serving quality Tex Mex and Mexican cusine ever since.
The award is given to a business that has been operational in McKinney for at least three years and has enhanced the economy through long term and profitable operation, exhibiting innovative leadership with clients and within the industry.
Photo: Arturro Ibarra of San Miguel Grill
Business of the Year Award: Wells Hospitality Group, for Rick's Chop House, Sauce, Grotto and the Grand Hotel. Accepting the award, Rick Well's told the audience, "I always tell my employees, they'll (customers) forget about what you said, they'll probably forget what they ate, but they will never forget how they were treated."
Given to a business that has enhanced the economy by demonstrating long-term, profitable operation in McKinney for at least five years, and is an active Chamber member. The business must demonstrate community involvement and innovative leadership.
The culmination of the evening awards was the presentation of the Carey Cox Citizen of the Year Award, which was given posthumously to Mr. James Stewart. Stewart, who passed away in Nov. 2011, at the age of 84, was Executive Vice President of Business Development for Independent Bank of McKinney and was heavily involved in the community. In a video tribute, Stewart's longtime friend, Councilman Travis Ussery said, "Greatness can be measured in many ways, but (his) true greatness continues to live through all the lives he touched."
The Citizen of the Year award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions 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.