By LOIS KINDLE
It was a night of country music, barbecue and lots of guests turned out in their best western attire as the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce celebrated its annual awards night Jan. 26.
The event, which took place in the banquet room at Del Webb Southshore Falls, attracted 180 people eager to learn who among them were the chamber’s 2018 award winners.
After welcoming remarks by former chamber President Joey Henderson and outgoing President Shawn Geitner and a Buttman BBQ buffet meal, the mystery was over. The following are the recipients of the chamber’s 2018 awards:
• Special Recognition Award: Don Pearson, Pearson Capital
• Do-Si-Do Award (for chamber involvement): Kathy and Roger Eckhart
• Take Me Home Award (Business of the Year): David Weekley Homes
• Boot Scoot Boogie Award (Nonprofit of the Year): Hillsborough Community College – SouthShore Campus
• Queen of Hearts Award (Person of the Year): Rachel Mushow, Rachel’s Family Salon.
“We are honored and thankful to receive the Nonprofit of the Year Award for the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, as we celebrate our 10th year in southern Hillsborough County,” said Jennifer China, Ph.D., HCC SouthShore Campus president. “On behalf of (HCC’s) president, Dr. Ken Atwater, we look forward to many more years of partnering with the business community as we provide workforce options, training and education to the residents of this community.”
Mushow was surprised and as equally grateful.
“I had no idea, and I am completely overwhelmed (to be named Person of the Year),” said the salon owner, who was visibly moved when her name was called. “I just do what I do every day without looking for kudos. It’s truly an honor to be recognized by your peers.”
Closing out the ceremony was the presentation of the 2019 chamber board and the passing of the leadership gavel from Geitner to incoming President Lenny Tran, of LT Design & Concept Group LLC. Executive Director Melanie Davis thanked the event’s planning committee, chamber volunteers Phyllis Gannon, Frances Hereford and Yvonne Cordova and especially her right arm, Suzanne Ramella, the chamber’s office manager.
John Johnson, of Johnson Country Crossroads, provided the evening’s entertainment. Event sponsors included South Bay Hospital, David Weekley Homes, Mosaic, Tampa Electric Co., CenterState Bank, C.A.R.E., Pearson Capital, Rachel’s Family Salon and Zipperer’s Funeral Home. Oops A Daisy and Harriet’s Flowers supplied flowers for the floral centerpieces.
“It was another wonderful evening showcasing the amazing members we have in our chamber,” said Executive Director Melanie Davis. “We look forward to another great year.”