Clovis chamber honors community workhorses

By Emily Crowe

CMI staff photo: Tony Bullocks Outgoing Chamber President Sandra Taylor-Sawyer served as the master of ceremonies at Friday night’s Clovis-Curry County Chamber of Commerce banquet at the Clovis Civic Center.

CMI staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Outgoing Chamber President Sandra Taylor-Sawyer served as the master of ceremonies at Friday night’s Clovis-Curry County Chamber of Commerce banquet at the Clovis Civic Center.

The Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce got all jazzed up Friday evening to celebrate its annual banquet and honor community members for their myriad contributions in 2013.

Top award winners included longtime community supporter Bill Kinyon, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and newspaper Publisher Ray Sullivan, who was the Citizen of the Year.

Kinyon earned the biggest roar from the crowd when he accepted his honor.

“I don’t really think I deserve this, you know,” Kinyon said. “On the other hand, I had botulism in 1978 and I didn’t deserve that either.”

Kinyon took time to recognize his wife and two daughters, as well as his former business partners.

Sullivan, publisher for Clovis Media Inc., thanked his team and everyone at the banquet who helps the community grow.

“Honors belong to everybody you work with and everybody who touches your life,” Sullivan said. “It doesn’t belong to you alone. No one ever gets to where they’re going alone.”

Col. Tony Bauernfeind, commander of the 27 Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, opened the banquet talking about the unique relationship between the Clovis community and the base.

“I have been in service to this nation since 1987,” Bauernfeind said, “and I will tell you that the support I have seen throughout the years pales in comparison to the support that this committee, that these communities, that these teammates that y’all represent provide to the military men and women out at Cannon Air Force Base.”

Chamber President Sandra Taylor-Sawyer wrapped up the evening by passing her gavel on to Holly Stockstill, who will preside over the chamber for 2014.

Award winners

• Citizen of the Year: Ray Sullivan

“Ray has done a tremendous amount of work since he’s been here,” said Chamber Executive Director Ernie Kos. “He is being recognized for his extraordinary support of the chamber. There’s been lots of special projects that he’s just taken on single-handedly.”

Kos said Sullivan has twice led the fundraising campaign for community Christmas lights, was instrumental in getting four Clovis entrance welcome signs, has opened his home to single airmen, and served in every capacity with the chamber.

“As far as with the military, he works here locally with the Military Affairs Committee, he works on the state level and he’s been to Washington to represent us and he’s done a great job,” Kos said.

• Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Kinyon

Kinyon served as Chamber president in 1978 and has been chairman of the Committee of Fifty on two occasions. He was an organizer for the “Shopping in Clovis Makes Good Cents” campaign and was a strong supporter of Clovis Community College. He recently retired after 37 years with Durham and Kinyon Insurance.

• Ambassador Spirit Award: Larry Holland

Holland was born and raised in Clovis and has been a part of the ambassador program for the past five years, and rarely misses an event. He is also on the board of directors for United Way and is involved with the Lions Club, Kiwanis and Parkview Baptist Church.

• Ambassador of the Year: Steve Harmon

A military veteran and local volunteer, Harmon has served as a Chamber ambassador since 2004 and is the current chairman. He is also a member of the National Association of Chamber Ambassadors.

• Ken Huey Patriot Award: Lee Malloy

Malloy has served as chairman of the Committee of Fifty, and in every other office on the committee. He is involved with Cannon Appreciation Day each year and is a liaison between the Cannon Wing commander’s office and the Committee of Fifty. He is also a member of the New Mexico Military Commission.

• Large Business of the Year: Xcel Energy

Xcel employs 24 in Clovis and has spent more than $200,000 with Clovis suppliers. In addition, the company gave more than $19,000 to United Way of Eastern New Mexico, participated in the Clovis Relay for Life event, and helped sponsor the Clovis Music Festival.

• Small Business of the Year: St. Bernard Farms

Chamber officials said St. Bernard Farms is opening up a world of possibilities for the Clovis community, from hosting birthday parties and school field trips to allowing the community to come in and experience its farms.

• Chamber Volunteer of the Year: Stacey Martin

Martin has been integral in cleaning up the stretch of Highway 60/84 between Cannon Air Force Base and Clovis, including orchestrating a clean-up effort to clear 100 tons of trash, 250 dead trees, nine billboards and 300 tires from the roadway. He raised more than $4,000 for the joint effort between the base, the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Committee of Fifty.

Heart Award: Sheila Holley

Holley has dedicated much of her time to recreational activities for the children of Clovis. She has served as an elementary physical education coach and currently serves as league administrator for Zia Little League.

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