Chamber chair Gabriella Mullins, right, presents the 2013 Beatrice Donoghue Delightful Dunedin Award to Gladys Douglas Hackworth.
DUNEDIN – Community philanthropist Gladys Douglas Hackworth is the winner of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Beatrice Donoghue Delightful Dunedin Award.
Gabriella Mullins, chair of the board, presented the award to Hackworth at the chamber’s annual dinner Oct. 12 at the Dunedin Golf Club
“Many organizations, in Dunedin and beyond, have been touched by the generosity of this year’s winner,” Mullins said. “Our chamber certainly has, but so have many in health care, education and the arts. The circle of philanthropy is wide and varied, and many lives have been made better, healthier or happier because of this person’s generosity. She has touched people who never knew of her kindness, yet in other areas buildings bear her name in appreciation for her gifts.”
The chamber would not be celebrating its building’s 100th anniversary if not for Hackworth’s generosity, she said.
Hackworth “gave us our current home, came back years with the gift of an elevator, then again with the support to re-create our beautiful courtyard,” Mullins said.
Chairman-elect takes the gavel
The new chair of the chamber is Pete Krudler, who is a park manager for Honeymoon Island administration, overseeing Egmont Key, the Skyway fishing pier, Caladesi Island, Anclote Key and Honeymoon Island State Park.
Krudler had a 20-year career in the U.S. Army as a helicopter crew chief, aircraft inspector, instructor-writer and first sergeant of an air cavalry troop. His assignments took him to several states, Korea, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines.
Following his retirement from the military, he became park ranger, eventually at Honeymoon and Caladesi state parks.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Dunedin and is on the board of directors of the Dunedin Council of Organizations.
Krudler said if he did half the job that all his predecessors in the room at the dinner that night, “I will have been a success.”
In the Army, he said, he had an opportunity to work for a lot of leaders.
“Some of them good, some of them not so good,” he said. “But I tried to learn something from each and every one of them. One of the most important things I learned was from Gen. Colin Powell. And in a speech he was giving, he said, ‘You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. Which you need to do is surround yourself with the smartest people in the room,’” Krudler said.
He added he’s not the smartest person in the room but smart enough to surround himself with smart people.
Krudler praised chamber president Lynn Wargo, her staff and the chamber volunteers.
“I had a volunteer say tonight, ‘I’m just a volunteer.’ You’re not just a volunteer. You are an integral member of this organization,” he said.
He said with the board of directors and past chairmen and chairwomen “I will be surrounded by some of the smartest people in this room,” Krudler said.
Among the upcoming projects he mentioned is the installation of commemorative bricks in the courtyard of the Chamber of Commerce building in a couple of months and website improvements.
Wargo praised Mullins, a hotel executive, for her work for the chamber in the past year.
“She cares about everyone, offers support, presents and love. She can be a tough business woman when she has to be, yet turns into mush at the sight of a cute baby,” Wargo said.
One of the first bricks sold for the courtyard project was in honor of Zack Shannon, a Dunedin Army soldier who died in a helicopter crash March 25, “because she (Mullins) thought it was the right thing to do.”
Mullins said that in the past year multi-chamber members’ opportunities blossomed. The chamber established a free WiFI zone throughout the downtown area and kept the city visible by installing a new webcam, with better visibility, on the chamber building.
“One of the most important things we did is pay off the chamber’s mortgage. Plus we recently repainted it so it looks better than ever,” Mullins said.
The chamber presented several other awards at the dinner.
Rookie of the year: Kristy Croom Tucker, BayCare and Morton Plant/Mease Hospitals.
Outstanding director: Polly Bateman, Palms of Largo.
Spirit of the chamber: Dan Robison Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.
Chairman’s award: Jim Graham, Graham Design Associates.
Business Hall of Fame awards: Small business of the year, small category, The Energy Conservatory Bike Shop; medium category, Dunedin Fine Art Center; large category, Clearwater Gas System.
Special recognition award: John Wintermeier, Achieva Credit Union.