RIVERVIEW — With masquerade masks, beads and images of the Fleur-de-lis surrounding them, the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce recently assembled at the Regent to celebrate its outstanding members and businesses of 2016 in the celebratory spirit of Mardi Gras at their Annual Dinner.
The evening began with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem by Hillsborough County School Board District 4 member, Melissa Snively, after which everyone was welcomed by outgoing chamber president, Dr. Bryan Thatcher of Thatcher Properties.
After being presented with a Hillsborough County Commissioners Commendation, Thatcher emphasized the importance of doing good within the community.
"We do things not for the awards, but to make our little area of the world a better place," Thatcher said.
The evening's winners and recognitions include: Ambassador of the Year — Bryan Reith, AFLAC; Businesses of the Year — Huth and Booth Photography, Alley Cat Pest Control, Little Harbor Resort; Citizen of the Year — Jennifer Caskey; Margy Watkins Volunteer of the Year — James Pulkowski, CPA, PA; Shining Star — Craig Beckinger, ABC Event Planning; 2017 Honorary Mayor — Julie Dahl, Riverview Mortgage.
Before the evening ended, the outgoing and incoming chamber presidents participated in the ceremonial passing of the gavel and incoming president Elijah Heath of Edward Jones addressed the guests.
"If it wasn't for the Riverview chamber and the Rotary Club of Fishhawk and Riverview I probably wouldn't be standing here today," said Heath, who joined the chamber in 2013. "I am really humbled being in this position today."
Focusing on the future and ways to continue the success of the GRCC, Heath hopes his planning nature will help the chamber grow in the upcoming year.
"We want to make sure our members are happy. We want to grow our membership base," said Heath. "We want to make sure our community is happy and we're doing the right things in our community."
Heath outlined new committees to be formed, such as the membership committee, events committee and the human resources committee.
"We are going to start looking a little bit deeper at our people," Heath said. "We're going to start reaching some goals and I look forward to that."
Contact Kelsey Sunderland at [email protected]