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  1. Hillsborough

Brandon Chamber honors contributors at annual dinner

RIVERVIEW — After a trying couple of years filled with changes and rebuilding, the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards banquet last week at the Regent.

Joe DeLuca, Tampa publisher for the Tampa Bay Times, presented awards that fellow chamber members chose.

James Hough of Hough Financial Services received the Legacy Award, which is given to Diamond members — those who have played an important role in perpetuating the chamber for 25 years or more.

Other winners and recognitions include: Ambassador of the Year — Craig Beckinger, ABC Event Planning; Businesses of the Year — Brandon Legal Group, Hillsboro Memorial Gardens; Impact Award — St. Joseph's Hospital South; Greater Brandon Leadership Award — Melissa Snively, State Farm Insurance and Hillsborough County School Board, District 4; Key Citizen Award — Paul Senory, Sencommunications Inc.; Chairman's Award — Michael Matthews; Tampa Bay Times; and Justin Kropff Marketing Award — Rosecastle at Delaney Creek.

The marketing award honors Kropf, the former chamber director of communications who passed away from cancer in 2015. Kropf was the husband of WTSP-Ch. 10 anchor Allison Kropf.

The celebration also included the induction of the 12-person 2016 board of directors.

Incoming chairman Cami Gibertini of USAmeribank touched on some of the past financial woes of the chamber and promised a much more member-centric year in her remarks.

"Let me tell you what's going to happen in 2016," Gibertini said. "It is all about you. We are only here to serve our members and it's going to be a common thread in what we do."

Gibertini thanked Matthews for getting the chamber "back on the path" with a new plan and said that her plan now is to "execute."

Contact Kelsey Sunderland at