Ambassador Wins Business of the Year for Economic Advancement Award
Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce Announces Award Winners at the 90th Annual Meeting
Local Clearwater businesses and philanthropists were honored and recognized tonight at the Annual Meeting
(Clearwater, FL) January 23 2012-This evening the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce held their 90th Annual Meeting. The SOLD OUT event was located at the Sheraton Sand Key, 1160 Gulf Boulevard, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767, with keynote speaker Admiral William D. Baumgartner, District Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District and Jen Holloway as Master of Ceremonies addressing a crowd of over 500 Chamber members.
The Annual Meeting was special this year as we celebrated 90 years as the only Regional Chamber of Commerce in Tampa Bay. To complement the milestone celebration, we updated our website to make it more user-friendly and help strengthen the resources for our members. We have also re-branded our logo for a more updated look; while still obtaining the regional focus and serving the business community to maximize effectiveness in the region.
With great anticipation from anxious nominees and attendees, the winners were announced for the prestigious awards given at the event. The coveted award of this event is the Mr/Ms Clearwater Award. This awardis presented annually to an individual in the greater Clearwater area who has contributed to the community in a significant way for many years and who meets the criteria set forth by the Chamber including:
Active in civic affairs and organizations:
- Performs voluntary services not pertaining to his/her business or profession
- Could represent Clearwater with distinction at various functions
- The nominee shouldn't hold a public office
- Demonstrated history of meaningful community involvement
- Lives within the Greater Clearwater area
This year, the Ms Clearwater Award was given to Mrs. Shirley Long. Mrs. Long is the quintessential community volunteer, sharing her time, talent and treasure to improve the quality of life in our community. A native of Boston, she came to Florida over forty years ago. In her longtime career as a banking executive at Gulf to Bay Bank & Trust in Clearwater, she became acutely aware of the needs of her community. She and her late husband Harris E. "Zip" Long stepped forward with the lead gift for what is now the Long Center recreational complex on Belcher.
In addition to her expanded role over the years with the Long Center, she has been deeply engaged with the UPARC Foundation, encouraging the foundation to flourish in their new home at the Long Center. As a member of the Board of the Morton Plant Mease Foundation, she is chairing the Spirituality and Healing Committee and has underwritten the Care Channel which provides soothing images and music on the televisions in every patient room. On the board of The Florida Orchestra, she has been a catalyst in increasing support from the North Suncoast audience.
When Shirley is not working tirelessly to make life better for all of us, she can be found on the golf course at Belleair Country Club. The mother of two twin daughters, her children and grandchildren continue to be her inspiration for all she is and all she does. Shirley leads by example, generously and graciously. She shares her financial expertise, her passion to make a difference in the lives of others and her deeply caring spirit in all she does. She is respected, admired and loved by all who know her.
Past winners of this prestigious award include: Dean Sigler (1958), Kenneth Walters (1959), Henry McWhorter, Jr. (1960), Joseph Erwin (1962), Eddie C. Moore (1963), Ormond Loomis (1964), Traver Bayly (1965) Arthur Kruse (1966), Maurice Condon (1967), Frank Tack (1968), Joe Turner (1969), William Goza (1970), Dr. Robert Colman Jr. (1971) Jack Eckerd (1972), Emil Marquardt (1973), Wallace Blackburn (1974), Hollen Carlisle (1975), Ralph Richards (1976), Herbert Blanton, Jr. (1977), David G. Perkins, Jr. (1978), Lewis Homer (1979), W. Paul Harris (1980), Timothy Johnson Sr. (1981), William Gilkey (1982), Constance Marquardt (1983), Leon Hammock (1984), Charles Rutenberg (1985), Fred Casale (1986), Gus Stavros (1987), Charles Galloway (1988), Merry June Burwell (1989), William Garrett Justice (1990), Alan Bomstein (1992), Dr. William Hale (1993), Fredrick Fisher (1994), Daniel Carlisle (1995), Mayme Hodges (1996), Bob Henderson (1997), Rev Otis and Mrs. Barbara Green (1998), Jim Stewart (1999), Herb Brown (2000), Dave Stone (2001), Bill Johnson (2002), Marion Rich (2003) Ed Droste (2004), and Mr. & Mrs. Ray Murray (2005), Carol Cheek (2006), Judy Mitchell (2007), Holly Duncan (2008), Bruce H. Bokor (2009), Russ Kimball (2010), Mr. and Mrs. George Cantonis (2011).
Other winners of the evening include:
- 2012 Community Award (4) Sponsored by Progress Energy - US Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, US Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, US Coast Guard Station Sand Key, and US Coast Guard Lewis Hall.
- Small Business of the Year Award (1) sponsored by Coventry Health Care - Handy Man Matters
- Small Business of the Year Award (2) sponsored by Coventry Health Care - Klar & Klar Architects
- Medium Business of the Year Award sponsored by Regions Bank - PDR Certified Accountants
- Large Business of the Year Award sponsored by Clearwater Gas - Awarded to Nature's Food Patch Market & Cafe
- Small Not-for-Profit of the Year Award sponsored by Moss Feaster Funeral Home and Cremation Services - Clearwater Free Clinic
- Medium Not-for-Profit of the Year Award sponsored by Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols - Bayview Gardens
- Large Not-for-Profit of the Year Award sponsored by Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach -Directions for Mental Health
- Business of the Year for Economic Advancement Award sponsored by D-Mar General Contracting and Development, Inc. - Ambassador Limousine & Sedan, Inc.
- Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Suncoast Hospice - Brian Lewert owner of Tri-Glo, Inc.
- Tourism Person of the Year sponsored by Pier 60 Concessions - Kevin Dunbar from the City of Clearwater
- Phillies All-Star Community Award sponsored by Bright House Networks - Frank Chivas, partner in Baystar Restaurants.
Additional Presenting Sponsors of the night were- CCM Graphic Solutions; Bright House Networks; Solar Sanitation; Radiance Med Spa; Sheraton Sand Key; Clearwater Gas; Progress Energy; Pier 60 Concessions; Coventry Health Care; Regions Bank; D-MAR General Contracting and Development; Connelly, Carlisle, Fields, & Nichols; Moss Feaster Funeral Homes; Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach; Suncoast Hospice; LED Pro Services; Johnson, Pope, Boker, Ruppel & Burns; JK Flowers; VSI; and Thee Photo Ninja. JoTo PR handled the event's media relations. Thank you to all of those who attended and made this night memorable.
The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce was founded in January of 1922 in Clearwater, Florida. Bob Clifford, the President/CEO stated that, "The local business community came together to create an organization to provide support and influence in Clearwater. Its main purpose was to expand business activities in the community but also to support other community needs. Over the past 90 years there have been many changes in the way business has been conducted at our chamber. The CRCC has met those changes head on to deliver a consistent effort to support expansion, diversification and technology. From the days of dirt roads, wooden buildings and limited communications, to the present day business world of the internet, social networking, e-commerce and rapid response the CRCC has met those challenges and continues to provide great value to its members as it did 90 years ago."
About Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce
Established in 1922, the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce set out with the vision to be the premier Voice of Business in the Clearwater region. Representing more than 1,000 member businesses, the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce (CRCC) is one of the largest chambers in the Bay area and has become a large and powerful voice for its members through its ability to partner with other agencies and advocate on behalf of business and its members. CRCC's mission is to enhance the business environment and promote economic health and growth in the Clearwater region. Visit http://www.clearwaterflorida.org. CRCC Division Partners include: CCM Graphic Solutions, Clearwater Gas System, Regions Bank, Bright House Networks, Progress Energy, Solar Sanitation, Inc., Connelly, Carlisle Fields & Nichols Insurance Group, Coventry Health Care of Florida and Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns Attorneys at Law.