Banquet honors best

By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers

Hundreds gathered Friday evening at the Clovis Civic Center to celebrate leadership, a centennial and the accomplishments of 2006 at the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Banquet.

Dressed in their finest, area community and business leaders feasted on a smorgasbord of cheese provided by Southwest Cheese, ribeye steaks and decadent desserts prepared by the civic center chef.

“There’s Strength in Numbers” was the theme for the semi-formal event. The large number of residents who banded together to support finding a new mission for Cannon Air Force Base and the celebration of Clovis’ 100th anniversary were the reasons the theme was chosen, according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ernie Kos.

Nine awards were presented at the banquet:

– Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, was honored with the 2006 Citizen of the Year Award. According to Chamber of Commerce officials, the award is given to someone who served the community in an extraordinary way. Crook, who was first elected representative for District 64 in 1994, serves as minority caucus chair. She received the award for being instrumental in procuring funds for several capital outlay projects, including the Business Enterprise Center and Clovis Industrial Park. Crook was also recognized for bringing the Second Chance Program to New Mexico. The Second Chance Center is a statewide, secure, long-term facility that provides the judiciary with an alternative to prison.

– Cindy Harris was presented with the 2006 Heart Award. The award is given to a special individual who dedicated time and resources to serving the community. Harris, who is the wife of Committee of Fifty member Randy Harris, was recognized for the 158 days she organized, developed and attended events throughout Clovis and Cannon Air Force Base in 2006.

– BNSF Railway received the Heritage Award in honor of its role in Clovis’ history and contributions to this year’s centennial celebration. Railroaders were also recognized at the dinner.

– The 2006 Business of the Year Award was given to the Clovis Board of Realtors. The award recognizes a business that made tremendous impact on the community’s economic growth. The Realtor group was recognized for organizing the letter-writing campaign that resulted in thousands of letters being sent to the Base Realignment and Closure Committee. The Clovis Board of Realtors was also honored for hosting the annual Casa Esperanza Golf Scramble that raised $7,000 for House of Hope and local families in need.

– Westminster Presbyterian Church Pastor Frank Sherman received the Ambassador Spirit Award. He was recognized for serving as a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador since 1989 and traveling to Florida to speak about Clovis with Air Force officials at Hurlburt Field.

– Dan Stoddard received the 2006 Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his “can-do” attitude and involvement in numerous clubs and organizations. The award is presented to an outstanding Chamber member and volunteer who served its mission and goals.

– Clovis Christian School Development Director Victoria Poller was named 2006 Ambassador of the Year. The award is presented to a Chamber Ambassador who goes above and beyond the call of duty to represent the Chamber of Commerce. Poller was recognized for her warm smile and enthusiastic attendance at Chamber events.

– Clovis News Journal Publisher Ray Sullivan was presented with the 2006 Leadership Award. Sullivan was recognized for his role in the development of the Chamber’s retail committee, his fund-raising efforts and the countless hours he volunteered at Chamber events.

– Wilma Fulgham was presented with the first Pioneer of the Year Award in recognition of her dedication to the pioneering lifestyle through rodeo involvement.

Fast facts
Also announced were 2007 Chamber of Commerce priorities:

– To support a successful transition of the missions at Cannon Air Force Base.
– To develop the Business Enterprise Center by
implementing the plans of the Welcome and Visitors Center, Museum and Business Incubator.
– To increase tourism by
supporting special events.
– To partner with Global Spectrum to ensure the success of the Clovis Civic Center by providing marketing support.

The members of the 2007 Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee were also announced:
– President Terry Moberly
– President-elect Jim Sours
– Past President Rhonda Bargman
– Financial Vice President Gary Wiley
– Economic Development Vice President Tom Phelps
– Community Development Vice President Raymond Mondragon