The 2017 Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce installed its 2017 board at a Jan. 21 gala.
PINELLAS PARK – The Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual awards gala and board installation Jan. 21 at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center.
Michael Whitaker of Wellcare, will serve his second term as chamber president. Other 2017 officers include: Dr. Daniel Strauss, president-elect, National University of Health Sciences; Nancy Hodges, treasurer, OPTEK Division – retired; Terry England, secretary, England Bros. Construction.
The chamber also installed current elected and appointed board members, and recognized continuing members: Tim Caddell, retired, city of Pinellas Park; Hope Peterson, past president, New Hope Auto; Jonathan Farris, Crosspointe Church; Housh Ghovaee, Northside Engineering ; Jim Fikkert, Great Bay Signs; Kelli Makepeace, Synovous Bank; Jim Bubenheim, JB Effects, Gene Lofgren, Century 21 Top Sales; Jason Sulisufay, Jessi’s Restaurant; Ugur Lucky Durmaz, BB& T Bank; Lana Beck, city of Pinellas Park Government Relations; Christy Howard, Hydro-Dyne Engineering; Dr. Eric Carver, provost of Caruth Health Education Center at St. Petersburg College; Tom Edwards, Pete and Shorty’s; Becky Moultrie, Assisting Hands; Valarie Lee, Florida Department of Health; Rev. Jimmy Hammond, emeritus; Barbara Sheen Todd, emeritus; and Paul Ziegler, emeritus.
“The Pinellas Park Gateway Chamber of Commerce theme this year is ‘No Business Left Behind.’ We are a 100-year-old iconic mainstay in Pinellas County and will continue to remain steadfast in providing information, direction, clarity and service to our businesses. We stand with our members and will continue to provide value-added assistance as they grow. I am honored to serve my second term as president and leader with this very progressive Chamber of Commerce,” Whittaker said.
Numerous businesses and individuals also were honored at the gala.
Nook and Cranny DIY Workshops, 10360 U.S. 19 N., won the Small Business Award. The Medium Business Award went to Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure, 9501 U.S. 19 N., while St. Petersburg College’s Caruth Education Health Center received the Large Business Award. The Non-Profit Award went to the Boys and Girls Club of Pinellas Park.
As for the individual awards, Neil Brickfield received the Presidential Award, while Bart Diebold, Public Works administrator for the city, won the Lloyd Tingler Good Governance Award. Meanwhile, Ricky Butler received the Citizen of the Year Award and Lt. Ryan Pavao won the Youth Citizen of the Year.
“It’s an honor to receive this award and join members of our community that I have looked up to for practically my entire life; it’s surreal,” Butler said. “Working in the community has always been a way of life for me, not something deserving of recognition, but I am so grateful. Thanks to the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber for the recognition, and to everyone for their support and friendship over the years.”