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Community mayor, exemplary business people named by chamber

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RIVERVIEW – Recognizing extraordinary individual achievement and honoring outstanding community involvement in 2010, chamber of commerce members here have singled out seven of their own for the highest praise.

The accolades highlighted the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet Friday evening when the community’s honorary mayor for 2011 also was disclosed.

Photo courtesy of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce
The chamber’s Citizen of the Year award went to Dr. Bob Heilmann, principal of Riverview High School. The award was presented to Heilmann by Earl and Annabelle Lennard, the 2009 recipients.
Engraved palm trees suitable for desk or wall went to a veteran educator and administrator, to business managers, to an assisted living facility, to a Realtor and to a graphics designer as an enthusiastic membership applauded their colleagues chosen from among 35 nominees.

The mayor’s race, in part a chamber fund raiser and based on the number of dollar votes accumulated, was won by Mike Self, owner-operator of S&S Tacos/Pizza and Stuff. Self, whose “votes” totaled more than $3,000, “out polled” Dr. Kimberly Tyson, of the Four Paws Veterinary Hospital, and Charles Crump, head of a CPR training enterprise known as Save A Life Today LLC. Self received a “key to the city” plaque and as the community’s unsalaried mayor will represent it at various functions in the year ahead.

Chamber Executive Director Tanya Doran said this week she did not yet have the final tally of monies raised by the three mayoral candidates who have been campaigning since August. Half of the monies garnered by the candidates goes to the chamber for support of its various activities and half is contributed to charities chosen by the candidates. Self’s contribution is earmarked for Hands to Hope while Tyson chose the C.A.R.E. animal shelter in Ruskin and Crump directed his monies to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Checks will be presented to the charities during the chamber’s regularly scheduled February meeting, Doran added.

The chamber’s Citizen of the Year award went to Dr. Bob Heilmann, principal of Riverview High School who, Doran noted, goes above and beyond “to connect the high school with the community.” Heilmann’s commitment to the community is manifested by the regular massive blood drives conducted at the school, by hosting such activities as the annual New Teacher’s Breakfast and by participation in the chamber-sponsored Trick or Treat Street community festival each Halloween, she said.

The award was presented to Heilmann by Earl and Annabelle Lennard, the 2009 recipients. Dr. Earl Lennard, born and reared in the Riverview-Gibsonton area, served for many years as Hillsborough’s Superintendent of Schools and currently is the county’s Supervisor of Elections. Ruskin’s Lennard High School is named for him.

Ramona and Robby Scharber, husband and wife team, received the Volunteer of the Year award. They both volunteer to assist with nearly every function and activity undertaken by the chamber, Doran said, standing ready with the question “what can we do to help?” Ramona Scharber manages Sportsclips Haircuts.

Joe Eletto, a retiree who also is associated as a real estate sales person with Century 21 Beggins, was named the chamber’s Ambassador of the Year. As ambassador, Eletto frequently officiates at ribbon cuttings for newly opened or revamped businesses in the community and is quick to mentor younger members in the ambassadorial role, Doran said. “He’s a most caring person,” she added, “always able to see the big picture.”

The 2010 Business of the Year award was given to Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care, based on the assisted living facility’s economic impact and demonstrated leadership in the community, Doran said. Among the characteristics that elevate its profile, she added, is the management’s concern for and support of its employees.

Stacy Self, involved in two business operations, was accorded the Business Person of the Year award. Self is part of the team at Sam Cook’s Home Care, a for-profit enterprise, and at the same time leads the not-for-profit Hands to Hope operation which connects caregivers with helpful information and assisting agencies. She was chosen because of her generosity and support of those around her, Doran said.

The chamber also presented a new award this year – dubbed the Shining Star and dedicated to rewarding the efforts of a new member. This first Shining Star was given to Jack Parry, who operates Parry Designs, a graphics design business. Parry, who joined the group less than a year ago, the executive director said, has freely contributed his skills and knowledge to the organization, re-designing the chamber logo, assisting with its recent relocation to the Boardwalk of Riverview and taking part in every meeting.

The incoming chamber president, Sherri McLean Walker, and the organization’s outgoing official, Jill Andrew, shared moderator duties during the 2010 awards program.

Copyright 2011 Melody Jameson
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