Joe Eletto was one of more than 350 guests who turned out Jan. 15 at The Regent in Riverview for the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership and Awards Dinner. The event kicked off the Chamber’s 50th anniversary year.
Like everyone else, he was expecting a fun night with good food and entertainment. He was not expecting an award but by the time the night was over, Eletto had the 2015 Citizen of the Year award under his belt.
“I was totally surprised. It was very unexpected,” Eletto said.
Eletto, a former chamber president who has also served on the business group’s board, said he heard some good advice when he first joined the group 12 years ago. “There was a fella who told me ‘I don’t promote myself as much as I promote others. If you take that philosophy that it’s all about helping others, you will be successful.’ I took that to heart.”
The Chamber’s 2015 President Jennifer Caskey, CenterState Bank Riverview, turned the gavel over to 2016 President Dr. Bryan Thatcher of Thatcher Properties.
The evening’s awards went to:
• 2016 Honorary Mayor of Riverview Melissa Hartmann, Le-Vel Thrive
• 2015 Ambassador of the Year, Jennifer Hart, Impact Taekwondo Center, LLC and Send Out Cards
• 2015 Margy Watkins Volunteer of the Year, Faith Hanaway, Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc.
• 2015 Shining Star of the Year, Bryan and Marijean Reith, AFLAC
• 2015 Citizen of the Year, Joe Eletto, Century 21 Beggins
Business of the Year with 10 or fewer employees:
• Riverview Mortgage
Businesses with up to 50 employees:
• Summerfield Crossings Golf Club
Businesses with over 50 employees:
• The Bridges Retirement Community
Best Table Decoration Certificates went to:
• First Place – An ABC Event, Inc.
• Second Place – Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care
• Third Place – Century 21 Beggins Enterprises
The dinner was sponsored by the Chamber and Suncoast Credit Union.
“Completely shocked and humbled,” was the reaction from Margy Watkins Volunteer of the Year Faith Hanaway, who volunteers at numerous chamber events and serves on a fistful of committees. “The Chamber has so many ways to get involved,” Hanaway said. “I really believe in what the Chamber stands for and I really try to live and breathe it.”
Jim Smeaton emceed the event and was joined by Charles Rutenberg of Home Sales Tampa Bay and Bill Andrew of Superior Residences of Brandon Memory Care in singing the national anthem.
Music was provided by Jacob Smeaton of Music On The Move DJ Entertainment & Event Lighting, with Pastor David Jasper, Calvary Church, giving the invocation.