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SCC Chamber businesses go Hollywood for the night

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image Dee Crofton of SCC Howie’s Plumbing, right, last year’s winner of the Business of the Year Award, presents this year’s award to Jennifer McCarthy of Jen’s Market for all the events she has helped with this past year. Photo Penny Fletcher

Business and community leaders took their seats dressed to the nines to hear who took the annual awards during a dinner at Little Harbor’s Sunset Grill in Ruskin.

They couldn’t find a red carpet but the rest of the décor – including the clothing worn by patrons — was all Hollywood at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Jan. 10

“Ready, set, action,” was the call, just like on the set, as business and community leaders took their seats dressed to the nines to hear who took the annual awards during a dinner at Little Harbor’s Sunset Grill in Ruskin.

“Everything was Hollywood style,” said the chamber’s executive director, Dana Dittmar. “Even the music came from movie themes — like Star Wars, the James Bond movies, and Gone With the Wind. All music people would easily recognize.”

The program included giving four awards and announcing the new board members and its officers.

First, the Ambassador of the Year went to Jennifer Pettit of ServiceMaster 24 Hour Restore.

Then the Business of the Year Award went to Jennifer McCafferty of Jen’s Market.

“Jen is a powerhouse of activity,” Dittmar explained. “Every weekend, she offers a chance for local artisans, farmers, craftspeople and small businesses to showcase and sell their products and services to residents by holding an informal marketplace. The first one she held was in the chamber’s Banquet Room and brought in more than 400 shoppers!”

“She also donates her talents to many local charities and helps with chamber events,” Dittmar added.

Then the Volunteer of the Year Award went to Mimi VanDevender, with Send-Out Cards. “Mimi volunteers two shifts in the office every week, doing lots of things others forget or can’t get to.”

Last was the Community Leader of the Year. This was taken by Deb Adams, vice president of the Apollo Beach branch of the BMP Harris Bank.

Deb has been involved in many projects over the years, including this year’s big thrust to find a permanent solution to cleanup and upkeep at the Ruskin Memorial Park, which has long raised problems because the land was deeded to “the Ruskin community” many years ago by Ruskin’s founders in the Commongood Society.

“Deb is no stranger to awards. In 2010, she earned the SouthShore Chamber’s highly-prized E.G. Simmons Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award. She maintains all kinds of lists and alerts people by email of a vast network of information,” Dittmar continued.

Besides the awards, members of the chamber’s 13-member board were also announced.

“Four seats roll over every year,” Dittmar explained. That way, the whole board does not change at once and cause confusion.

This year, Rick Lanese and Natalia Diaz ran and were re-elected for two of the seats. Lanese is a local CPA and Diaz does marketing and publicity for South Bay Hospital.     

“Robin Payant and Charlotte Clark decided not to re-run,” she continued. “This is the first year in 13 years Charlotte won’t be on the board.”

New board members are Heather Campese of Sun City Senior Living and Rose Korfant from the JSA Medical Group.

New officers were also announced, with president-elect being Mike Langahr of Sun City Funeral Home; vice president will be Cedrick Wilson of ServiceMaster 24 hour Service; treasurer, Rick Lanese; and secretary, Fran Fabbro of Cadence Bank.

For more information about the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce, visit http://www.suncitycenterchamber.org or call (813) 634-5111.

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