Mona Chavarria – 2014 Chairperson
Patrick Larkin – 2015 Chairperson
WOW! It is hard to believe it has been a YEAR…a year ago, I stood at this podium to deliver my acceptance speech as well as to outline my plan of action for the Chamber. Well… in that year… I learned much about the complexity of the job AND PATIENCE!!
I also learned to appreciate the enormous investment that my fellow board members provided in terms of time and collective experience; (for that I’ll be eternally grateful). I I confirmed that success comes in small and steady measures; and I practiced what I called the “Balancing Act of teamwork,” collaboration and participation with investors, chamber staff and board members. It was an eventful year, where once more, the Chamber advanced as the Voice of Business for our community. At this point, one has the tendency to reflect and wonder what is the legacy that I leave behind? I’m happy to tell you, that for me, it was to be ANOTHER LINK IN THE CHAIN. Under my chairmanship, we were able to accomplish some large and, in other times, small steps to move forward. I know that those steps (large or small) wouldn’t have been possible without the respect and support from ALL OF YOU! I thank you for taking the plunge with me, trusting me with our common goal of promoting an environment for trade through strategic partnerships and planning the continuation of what was started more than 50 years ago in this community – the vision to bring business together and become leaders in commerce.
Since we are an evolving organization, I’m happy that our new Chair (Patrick Larkin)- has chosen “The Best is Yet to Come” as his theme. He understands that his leadership will add another link in this long chain. I know it will be brilliant, PROVING true Henry Ford’s quote: “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success.” Thank you for a great and memorable year!
Patrick Larkin accepted his new position with grace and assurance and told the audience that he too was ready to work and saw the potential on every one of the attendees: “As we sit here tonight, I look around this room and what I see are more than members of our community, or members of a chamber of commerce. Contrary to what some in Washington would have us believe, when I look around this room I see patriots. I see heroes. I see visionaries that started with a dream but who now are living the American dream. Dreamers that have created jobs, wealth and opportunity. The reason we are here tonight is because all of us share this same fundamental belief that man is better off when the free enterprise system is promoted, not punished. That our communities are better. That our schools are better. That our families are better off when this is our goal. That is the very essence of why we are here tonight.”
As the outgoing Chair of the Chamber, Mona Chavarria was able to select an individual who she believes has made a great contribution to the community and has shown outstanding leadership qualities. Anna Bryant was a traveler from early on which contributed to her acceptance of all people and the ability to work with community leaders. She found her niche working in the retail community. Anna never says no, but more importantly, when volunteering, she brings corporate muscle and other business alliances to help in whatever endeavor is at hand. She was selected as volunteer of the year for Vic Coppinger YMCA; twice won the Woman of Distinction Award for HEB and developed the “Plastic Bag Contest” for schools which now is a company-wide program.
Anna is the daughter of a 20-year retired Air Force father. Has two daughters and has been married to her husband for over 30 years. Congratulations to this award winner and great inspirations to others.
Pictured left to right: Jessica Bryant, Ricky Bryant, Anna Bryant, Jennifer Bryant and Mona Chavarria.
Pictured left to right: Carol Artz-Bucek, (President and CEO for Pearland Chamber of Commerce), Teir Allender (Pearland Town Center), Aubree Gerardi (Texas Emergency Care Center), Andrew Pikoff (Keller Williams – The Pikoff Team), Donna Coneley (Memorial Hermann), Sue Flannigan (Berkeley Eye Center), Patrick Larkin (The Larkin Law Firm PC), Phil Lloyd (The Growth Coach), Dr. Kristopher Schoeffler (Pearland Animal Hospital), John N. Lyle (Kelsey-Seybold Clinic), Sean Murphy (HomeTown Bank of Pearland), Brian Holroyd (Triad Retail Construction). Not pictured are Mike Orlando (Champion Energy), Charity Ellis (Advocare International), Sandra Cavazos (A-Better Plumbing), Brett Binkley (Binkley Barfield), David Graham (Coder for Rent), Mac Gardner (Raymond James &Associates), Donald Hayes (America Modern Green).
Linda Darnell (Allstate Insurance) was the recipient of the 2014 Steve Friedman Ambassador of the Year Award. Pictured left to right: Patrick Larkin, Linda Darnell, Dr. Melanie Melancon (Eye Styles and 2013 recipient of this award) and Carol Artz-Bucek President and CEO of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce.
Craig Slater (Farmers Insurance) was honored as the 2014 Citizen of the Year. Craig also received a Texas Flag flown over the Capitol. Pictured left to right: Lauren Francis Slater, Craig Slater and Justice of the Peace and 2013 recipient of this award Judge Gordon Starkenburg.
ADDI Printing and Promotions was the winner of the Business of the Year for 2014. They were also recipients of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Award. Pictured left to right: Eric Melass (from Killum Pest Control, also winner of this award and 2013 Blue Ribbon Award recipient), Stephanie Farmer, Gareth Blackett and Drew Dietrich.
HomeTown Bank was awarded the 2014 Member of the Year. Pictured left to right: Donna Rizzo, Sean Murhpy (both from Hometown Bank) and Carol-Artz Bucek President and CEO of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce.
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