Chamber presents Awards at GALA banquet

Name Davenport, Graves Citizens of the Year

By David Taylor
Managing Editor

For 100 years, the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce has celebrated the citizens and businesses of the town and last week’s banquet recognizing them spoke volumes on the direction of the organization and their promise to still be around at the next centennial celebration.

The black and gold gala held at the Stonebridge Country Club in Newport last Thursday, Feb. boasted more than 150 attendees present to view the awarding of the plaques and certificates.

Nominees and voting were done through a ballot survey that also included the community and was not limited necessarily to chamber members only.

It was a great sign of resurrection for the charity, like many others, that had weathered a downturn following the pandemic.

“I’m so fortunate and honored to be able to say that I was born and raised in Crosby and now chair the Chamber of Commerce,” said Crystal Ergorushkin. “I now have a business with two of my partners who are here tonight.”

Ergorushkin, who has only been in the Chamber the last two years, is excited about the possibilities this year.

“We know the Chamber was started in 1924 according to the first minutes that were recorded. We have a long history with a ton of people who stepped up to the plate to make things happen,” she said.

She said the message of the Chamber is a continuance of buying local.

“We can continue to see the businesses prosper and profit and grow our economy,” she explained. “We want to continue to highlight all of the amazing things that our businesses are doing in the community, all the fun activities that are going on, and by keeping our dollars local, we will fuel our own economy,” the chairman said.

The next major event for the chamber will be on April 18 at the Tees ‘N Tails 32nd Annual Golf Tournament.

The first award was given to the Employee of The Year. Voters were looking for a valued employee who had exceeded their job expectations and demonstrated a great deal of professionalism and integrity. They were also expected to show true knowledge of and concern for the community.

Nominees from Crosby were Shawn Smith, Cassie Rogers, Melissa Murray, Tim Patterson, Tiffany Muller, Kathy Order, Mike Stamper, Isabelle Dion, Kay Sosa, Chandra Calvin, and Michelle Thompson. The winner was Melissa Murray.

Nominees from Huffman included Mike Stamper, Rhonda Lockwood, and Kim Harris. The winner was Rhonda Lockwood.

The Citizen of The Year was awarded to a local citizen who was nominated for their service to the community and has exemplified those qualities necessary to create a positive impact or change in the community. It was presented to an individual or businessperson who actively works towards making the community a friendlier, safer, and more enjoyable place to live. This award identifies an individual which has demonstrated a concern for the needs of others and provides that extra effort to the community.

The nominees for Citizen of the Year in Crosby are Donna Davenport, John Webb, James Blaha, Dan Meaux, Michael Stamper, Melanie Webb, Carrie Richards, Christy Graves, Michelle Thompson, Leticia Balderrama, and Keenan Smith. The winner was Donna Davenport.

Nominees for Huffman included Christy Graves, Michael Stamper, Rhonda Lockwood, Keenan Smith, and Robin May Lutz. The winner was Christy Graves.

The Volunteer of the Year was recognized for outstanding service for their volunteer work that has enriched the community and who acts as an inspiration to the community and credit to their profession.

The nominees for Volunteer of the Year in Crosby are Dan Meaux, Jennifer Meaux, John Webb, Jody Fuchs, Shirley Ellisor, Isabella Dion, Eddie Foster, Carrie Richards, Susanne Dullack, Carol Becht, Leticia Balderrama, Donna Davenport, Jessica Green, and Sue Fitzgerald. The winner was Susanne Dullack.

The Volunteer of the Year for Huffman was Laura Bearden.

The Non-Profit of The Year was presented to a 501(c)(3) organization for developing an outstanding business that is meeting the needs of the community. They must be considered a growing business with innovative services and an approach that is increasing opportunity, overcoming adversity, and providing community contributions.

Nominees were the Crosby Fair & Rodeo, Crosby Community Center, Crosby Advisory Council, Crosby Education Foundation, Churches United In Caring, Future Leaders Scholarship Fund, American Legion, Crosby Cares, and Crosby Church. The winner was the Crosby Advisory Council.

Nominees for Huffman were the Huffman Education Foundation, Huffman Fire Department, Crosby Fair & Rodeo, Crosby Church, Huffman Food Pantry, and the May Community Center. The winner was the Huffman Education Foundation.

The Business of the Year was awarded to the business for its positive impact on their community. They show a history of business excellence, promotion through extensive marketing programs, quality products and services, actively standing behind excellent employee – employer relationships and significant contributions to the community.

Nominees from Crosby are Smoothie King, Crawfish Shack, Southern Routes, Chick- Fil-A, 2100 Properties, Trusted Insurance Group, Ace Hardware, Classic Creole Kitchen, Sterling- White Funeral Home & Cemetery, Hungry Jack’s, Deuce Plumbing & Drain Services, Teapot Depot, and Community Resource Credit Union. The winner was Sterling-White Funeral Home & Cemetery.

Huffman nominees included Los Compadres, Popp’s Parlor & Popcorns, Vista Eye Center, Huffman Café, Texas Turf Tenders, Sterling White Funeral Home & Cemetery, and Lake Houston Brewery. The winner was Huffman Café.

The final award was given to the Ambassador of the Year who is considered a very special individual that volunteers their time and efforts to make the chamber a success, believes in the chamber’s mission, supports the community, and aids with many of the chamber’s activities and events. This is done all while being a business owner or having a full-time job in additional to the many Ambassador duties and obligations.

The 2023 Ambassador of the Year was awarded to a person who has tirelessly provided and volunteered their time and efforts to make the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce a true success story. This person has not only donated their time and energy, they have also provided their personal services to the chamber. They have assisted in planning and attending every ribbon cutting, festival, parade, monthly luncheons, golf tournament, and community events for the entire year of 2023. The chamber could not have had such a successful 2023, without the help and dedication of the 2023 Ambassador of the Year, Sue Fitzgerald.

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