Local business owners and community members filled the seats of the Yam Theatre Tuesday to recognize the dedication and accomplishments of Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce members who exemplified service in 2013 during the chamber’s annual banquet.
The chamber’s 2013 President Megan Hamilton became emotional when announcing the Workhorse of the Year because she said Rose Robbins truly embodies the spirit of workhorse.
“She’s helped with literally every (chamber) event last year,” Hamilton said. “She doesn’t quit until the job is done.”
Robbins garnered a standing ovation from the audience.
Other award winners, including Wanda Pettus as Ambassador of the Year, received large applause.
Former chamber president Matt Hunton said the chamber’s ambassadors have become an important part of the chamber.
“None of this happens without the help we have from our ambassador group,” Hunton said.
He said it’s Pettus who is particularly the one to keep him in line.
“She always has a joke for me,” said Hunton of Pettus.
Wrapping up the night, Hamilton gave an emotional good-bye as president, passing on her duties to local business owner and city councilor Keith Thomas.
“We’re proud to live in Portales and we’re happy to see what it’s become and what it will become,” Hamilton said.
Thomas said he is proud to serve as president for 2014 and wanted to set the tone for his service Thursday night.
“My door is always open,” Thomas said.
• Ambassador of the Year: Wanda Pettus
Hunton said the mission of ambassadors is to enhance the chamber’s visibility and act as the goodwill and welcome arm of the chamber.
Hunton spoke of Pettus’ dedication to her ambassador position. He said the selection is made based on attendance at ambassador meeting and events.
• Harley and Faye Borden Awards
Since 1979, the chamber has recognized individuals who have significantly improved the appearance of their business or businesses through the previous year. The award is named after a respected couple in Portales who were killed in a car accident in April 1979, according to Thomas.
Thomas said the Bordens were heavily involved in the community. Harley Borden was a farmer and Faye Borden was vice president of Portales National Bank.
“They both had a great love for Portales and Roosevelt County,” Thomas said.
This year, three businesses were awarded:
• Goober McCool’s
• Fitness and More
• Workhorse of the Year: Rose Robbins
Robbins has been described as reliable by her peers.
“Wherever someone needs something there she is and she doesn’t quit until the job is done and done right,” Hamilton said.
The Workhorse of the Year award was started in 1963 when community member Gayle Ferguson came up with idea of an award honoring community work.
Robbins has been president and a big volunteer in the Eastern New Mexico University Bench Club, which made a major transition and name change to ENMU Athletic Club under her leadership, according to Hamilton.
Hamilton said Robbins organized a highly successful Fall Kickoff event and helped the early planning for a new stadium along with ENMU athletics staff.
She served as a board member and active volunteer for Portales MainStreet.
“She was extremely active on the Portales Military Affairs Committee of the Chamber, helping with every event the group sponsored in a year,” Hamilton said. “That was their most active year in recent years.”
Robbins and her husband Gary were named Volunteers of the Month in January of 2013 after the board recognized their work each year on their Christmas light display.