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Riverview Chamber awards

Published on: February 1, 2017

Greater Riverview Chamber hosts

Mardi Gras-style awards dinner

By LOIS KINDLE

lois@observernews.net

Pearl Chiarenza, of Bodyworks Health & Wellness Center, kept everyone guessing the entire evening in this colorful Mardi Gras clown attire, for which she won Most Original Costume at the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce annual Dinner and Awards Celebration Jan. 20.
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The Regent took on the look of a New Orleans Carnival event Jan. 20 as the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Dinner and Awards Celebration. The evening’s theme was Mardi Gras, and the 344 members and guests who attended were ready to party.

“The room looked spectacular,” said Tanya Doran, the chamber’s executive director. “The atmosphere was fun, festive and filled with color, and everyone was in a celebratory mood.

As in previous years, the gala included the presentation of the chamber’s coveted awards, which included Ambassador of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Margy Watkins Volunteer of the Year, Shining Star and three Business of the Year recipients based on the number of employees. The 2017 honorary mayor, Tammy Holmberg, who raised more than $18,000 during her campaign on behalf of YMCA Camp Cristina, received the Key to the City.

Visiting dignitaries included Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, Dist. 1; Hillsborough County Public Schools Board member Melissa Snively, Dist. 4; Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez; and the Honorable Carl Hinson, of the 13th Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County.

“We were thrilled with the turnout,” Doran said. “This event sets the tone for the entire year. It allows us to honor just a few of the many people who help make this chamber successful.

“And as we look back and recognize those who helped this chamber be its best in 2016, we also look forward to a new year of new ideas and new initiatives with a new president and board.”

The chamber’s 2016 award winners received their trophies from the previous year’s winners in their respective categories.

• Bryan Reith, of AFLAC, was named Ambassador of the Year

• Jennifer Caskey, CenterState Bank, Citizen of the Year

• James Pulkowski CPA, Margy Watkins Volunteer of the Year

• Craig Beckinger, ABC Event Planning, Shining Star

• Huth & Booth Photography, Small Business of the Year

• Alley Cat Pest Control, Medium Business of the Year

• Little Harbor Resort, Large Business of the Year

Caskey echoed the sentiments of each winner.

“I was surprised and very honored and humbled to have been chosen for the (Citizen of the Year) award,” she said. “It’s already sitting on my shelf in my office.”

Thatcher recognized and thanked outgoing board members Robert Hintze, Theresa Turner, Joe Nichols and James Pulkowski for their dedication and service.

After an exchange of the leadership gavel, newly elected President Elijah Heath made his first remarks and installed the 2017 Board of Directors.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with such a great board,” he said afterward, noting what a “huge success” the Mardi Gras-themed event was. “And I look forward to serving the Greater Riverview Chamber and the community throughout the year.”

Erica Perrine went home even happier than when she came. As winner of the 50/50 raffle, she pocketed $1,200.

Jill Andrew, of Superior Residences of Brandon, won top honors for the event’s funniest costume, the chamber staff for best group costume and Pearl Chiarenza, of Bodyworks Health & Wellness Center, for most original costume. Each received a certificate and bragging rights for their efforts.

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Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman, Dist. 1, presents a commendation to Dr. Bryan Thatcher at the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce annual Dinner and Awards Celebration for his dedication and service to the chamber as its president.

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Members of the 2017 Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors gather for a group photo at The Regent. Seated, from left, are: Kendra Wilson, Suncoast Credit Union; Sharon Roush, South Bay Hospital; Michelle Mosher, Southshore Insurance Professionals; Amanda Edwards, Paychex Inc.; Dixie Brady, Pilka & Associates PA; and Janet Noah, The Bridges Retirement Community. Standing are Mike Jones, Florida DOE Vocational Rehabilitation; Jim Johnson, member emeritus; Maryjean Rieth, AFLAC; Jennifer Caskey, CenterState Bank; Leslie Forrester, Quality Life Massage Therapy; Jerry Rothstein, Keep I.T. Simple Computer Services; Bryan Thatcher, Thatcher Properties; Tanya Doran, the chamber’s executive director; Tammy Holmberg, Chick-fil-A at Lake Brandon Village; Neil Beckingham, The Mosaic Company; Jill Andrew, Superior Residences of Brandon; and Elijah Heath, Edward Jones.

 

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Bryan Thatcher, outgoing president, and Melissa Hartmann, the Greater Riverview Chamber’s 2016 honorary mayor, share the spotlight with new honorary mayor Tammy Holmberg, owner of Chick-fil-A Brandon, at The Regent Jan. 20.

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The Little Harbor Resort team gathers to accept the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce 2016 Large Business of the Year Award from Janet Noah, of the Bridges Retirement Community, last year’s recipient.

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Elijah Heath, incoming president, accepts the gavel of leadership from Bryan Thatcher, whose 2016 term ended at the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce annual Dinner and Awards Celebration Jan. 20.

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Jennifer Caskey, of CenterState Bank, is congratulated by Bryan Thatcher and Joe Eletto, right, for winning the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce 2016 Citizen of the Year. Eletto won the award in 2015.

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Marijean and Bryan Reith, of AFLAC, winners of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce 2015 Shining Star Award, present Craig Beckinger, owner of ABC Event Planning, with the 2016 award.

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Bryan Thatcher presents the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce 2016 Small Business of the Year Award to Betty Huth and Ed Booth, owners of Huth & Booth Photography. The annual award goes to a business with three employees or less.

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Cliff and Lisa Kennedy and staff members of Alley Cat Pest Control gather at The Regent Jan. 20 to accept the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce 2016 Medium Business of the Year Award from Eros and Julie Dahl, of Riverview Mortgage, the previous year’s award recipient. At left is Dr. Bryan Thatcher, the chamber’s outgoing president.

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Jennifer Hart, of Impact Taekwondo Center, poses with Bryan Reith, of AFLAC, winner of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce 2016 Ambassador of the Year Award. Hart won the honor in 2015.

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Dr. Brian Thatcher, Faith Hanaway, of the Alley at SouthShore, and James Pulkowski CPA gather for a photo after Pulkowski was named the chamber’s Margy Watkins Volunteer of the Year Award winner Jan. 20 at The Regent. Hanaway received the award in 2015.

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