Chamber recognizes new board chair, presents awards
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Members of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce turned out on Tuesday evening for the chamber’s annual banquet, during which the chamber welcomed its new board chair, J.C. Stubbs, along with saying farewell to outgoing board members Vickie O’Dell and Butch Ronne.
Interim chamber director Maurice Tobin said a few remarks concerning the past year for the chamber of commerce, calling it a “tough but awesome year.”
“We’ve done a lot of things; we’ve changed some directions. We’re going in the right direction. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of things going on in the news, and all of that; but don’t worry about that. That’s garbage. We’re going forward full steam ahead with really awesome plans, and as we roll out through the year, you guys will be privy to that,” Tobin told the members.
In 2017, the Copperas Cove Young Professionals had its start, holding breakfasts with guest speakers as well as mixers. Additionally, the chamber hosted a business luncheon, also with guest speakers, and continued to hold its monthly mixers.
Tobin said coming up for 2018 will be members’ forums, to be held quarterly.
“It’s our way of being transparent, for you guys as business owners and members of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, to let you know what’s going on. I’m a transparent guy. I want you to know why we do what we do, when we’re doing it, and how we’re serving and trying to make things better for you,” Tobin said. “We need your input and guidance.”
Board chair J.C. Stubbs, who served his first year on the board in 2017, was a Chamber Ambassador before his election to the board in late 2016. He shared his thoughts on the year ahead and started by giving kudos to outgoing board chair, Tammy Rodriguez, saying she led the chamber through a “very difficult” year.
Stubbs said he might be the leader of the board, but he is only one of 12 and plans to ask the others for their guidance and leadership.
“As I look at what I hope to accomplish of the chairman of the board of the chamber, I realize I can’t accomplish anything with the people in this room. I’m going to ask everybody in this room to go home, and over the next few days and weeks, and I want you to think about, ‘What I can do as an individual or as a business, or with the organizations that I’m a part of? I want to do one thing in 2018, because I know that as I benefit the chamber, I benefit myself and I benefit my community.’”
Stubbs said it could be giving of time, finding volunteers, or recruiting new chamber members, or even financial support of a chamber event.
Stubbs also presented the chamber’s annual awards to individuals and businesses, with the award for Chamber Ambassador of the year going to Larry Campbell with the Double C’s Square Dance Club. The Friend of the Chamber award went to Jim and Janie French.
Best Supporter of the Chamber went to Lil Tex Restaurant, which hosted several Young Professionals breakfasts last year, while the group led by Ashley Whitworth, was getting started.
Small Business of the Year award went to Candy Outfitters, owned by Jennifer and Michael White. The business served as the headquarters for last November’s Shop Small Saturday, with the event spearheaded by the Whites. Copperas Cove’s Walmart received the Large Business of the Year award.
Other guests in addition to chamber membership were local elected officials to include Copperas Cove city councilmen Dan Yancey, Marc Payne and Charlie Youngs, as well as Texas District 59 Representative J.D. Sheffield.
Youngs, still jubilant over his win of place 7 on the Copperas Cove city council, took the microphone upon being recognized and offered the chamber a show of support with the exclamation, “We’re gonna take this city back – we’re going to take the city back!” with the response of applause. During his campaign, part of Youngs’ platform included rebuilding the chamber after it had been “destroyed” due to actions of the city council.
The event took place at Unwind!, which held a buffet meal for the group, which filled the café and wine tasting room.