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Chamber hosts sold out awards banquet
The Southlake Chamber of Commerce tried a new format for its annual awards banquet -- and it paid off with a sold out event.
The awards banquet was held Friday at the Hilton Southlake Town Square. Southlake native Chase Daniel, currently with the New Orleans Saints, was the featured speaker at the banquet. The banquet's theme this year was "Fun in the Sun."
"The Southlake Chamber realizes that summer is a time for fun in the sun with family and friends. It is also a time to celebrate excellence in our community with our masters of ceremony Todd Dodge, and our guest speaker Chase Daniel," said Traci Bernard, chairwoman of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. "Overall, the event was a huge success. We sold out all of the tables, which was a big plus. Also, the luau theme went over very well, and it was a huge hit. We had a DJ who was fantastic. This was the first year for a more casual atmosphere."
Chamber president and CEO Dana Davis said Daniel was very well received. He said people embraced him and were excited to see him back in Southlake.
"We were honored and excited to have Chase as our featured speaker. This is an individual that has proven that hard work and dedication will lead to great success, a valuable and important lesson for businesses and leaders in our own region," Davis said.
Daniel is one of the most highly accomplished athletes to play at Southlake Carroll where he was named the 2004 EA Sports National High School Player of the Year. He led his Southlake Carroll team to a perfect 16-0 record in 2004 and a Class 5A state championship, in addition to a No. 1 national ranking and mythical national championship by numerous publications, including USA Today and Student Sports Magazine. He was a two-time state Class 5A player of the year, winning the award in each of his last two years. At the University of Missouri, Daniel continued his career where he received numerous awards and was also a finalist for the Heisman award, the first ever finalist for the Mizzou Tigers.
"One of his points to take away during his speech was about the need to set goals, work hard and have a positive attitude. He said there's no place like home and seemed excited to be back here," Bernard said. "We reached out to Chase about five months ago. The hardest part about getting him for the event was coordinating schedules. The awards banquet is usually earlier in the year, but it was important to have him. The fact that we sold out the event speaks volumes to how much people enjoyed him. It was also a nice compliment to have Coach Dodge as the emcee for the event."
Dodge is a former head coach at Southlake Carroll. He won four state championships in his last five years at Southlake Carroll and has recently stepped back into the high school coaching ranks at Marble Falls. Dodge reenters the high school ranks with a 48-game winning streak.
Also during the awards banquet, the chamber announced the winners for citizen of the year, volunteer of the year and corporate business of the year, in addition to other awards.
"All the award winners were surprised and thrilled," Bernard said. "Just being a nominee is quite an honor in Southlake."
The citizen of the year celebrates "outstanding effort, service and contribution to the community and recognizes excellence in leadership and efforts and service making the city a better place for everyone." Terrell was named the 2012 citizen of the year.
The volunteer of the year celebrates "volunteer service and contribution to the community and chamber and recognizes excellence in leadership, dedication to improving the lives of others and an ability to motivate others to follow their lead in service." The chamber selected Mike and Nicole Tesoriero from Southlake Style as the volunteer of the year.
The corporate business of the year recognizes and celebrates "the dedication and service of a business to the region and making it a better place for all to live or do business while exemplifying a commitment to excellence." Charter Business was selected as the corporate business of the year.
There are five community awards given out. The chamber invites its members and general public to nominate candidates. Nominations are received about 75 days before the event. A chamber committee reviews the nominations and identifies three finalists. Then another committee votes for the winners. The youth of the year is chosen by the Southlake Youth Action Commission.
Bernard said the chamber will begin preparing for next year's event about five months before the event date. She said the chamber plans to move the event back to its original date, earlier in the year.
"In order to put this event on, we receive a lot of support from chamber members and staff and volunteers. We always try to utilize chamber members for our events," Bernard said. "Ian MacLean from Highland Landscaping donated all the plants and palm trees for the event and did the landscaping. He did that all for free for the event. As a chamber our goal was to promote local business. We feel that get what you put into your chamber experience."