Mark Forbes speaks following his presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce on Saturday night.

A Houston businessman was recognized Saturday for his contributions to the community during the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet.

Mark Forbes, whose family has had a long relationship with the area from a corner drug store on Houston’s Grand Avenue, received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” before a packed community building at the chamber fairgrounds. (Comments about Forbes appear in this week’s Herald).

Neal’s Sporting Goods was recognized as the “Business of the Year.” Rhonda Neal was honored for the store’s support of the community and its commitment to service, which has even seen it open its doors after a crucial athletic victory to generate T-shirts for the hometown team.

Scott Dill, who will become superintendent of the Houston School District on July 1, was the keynote speaker. Dill, the Houston Middle School principal and acting district superintendent, told those gathered that his tenure would produce a partnership between the district and the community. Dill promised to bring exceptional learning opportunities to students – and an open-door policy at his office that seeks input from patrons.

Dill was hired by the district as principal in 2007. His wife is principal of Houston Elementary School.

Untangled won the award for the best decorated table. Linda Gibson of Houston was recognized as the chamber’s volunteer of the year for maintaining a scrapbook of chamber activities. Outgoing Houston school board member Kathy Hutcheson, who has served for 16 years, was also recognized for her service to the district and students.

Mayor Don Tottingham installed members of the board of directors: President Bill Bridges, Texas County Memorial Hospital; Rick Vermillion, first vice president, Big Country 99; Tammy Cantrell, second vice president, Texas County collector-treasurer; Eric Wells, treasurer, Landmark Bank; Gayla Kay Bratton, secretary, Infinite Entertainment; and members Kevin McGowen, friend of chamber; Dennis Wilson, Community Bank; DeeDee Dunn, Houston Veterinary Hospital; and Mike Ijames, Miller’s Grill. Conway Hawn, Anderson & Hawn, is an ex-officio member.

Miss Texas County Shelby Ringdahl provided musical entertainment. Brandon Beck, a KYTV meteorologist, was the master of ceremonies.

Slideshow from Houston Area Chamber of Commerce banquet.

1991 – Elmer Murfin

1992 – Ellen McVay and Glenn Romines Sr.

1993 – Nolan Hutcheson

1994 – Clay Forbes (father of Mark Forbes)

1995 – Lynn “Shorty” Evans

1996 – John “Junior” Wilson and Alice Crawford

1997 – Columbus Tuttle, Emmett Frost and Dr. Joe A. Wall

1998 – Carrie Frederick

1999 – George Boesl and Windsor “Pete” Elmore

2000 – Dale Stilley

2001 – Mel Flowers

2002 – John Gatlin

2003 – Don Watson

2004 – Joyce Campbell

2005 – Dr. Joe A. Wall

2006 – David and Rose Impey

2007 – Wilburn and Imogene Elmore

2008 – Dr. I.C. Keeney

2009 – The Rev. Ed Hamilton

2010 – Bonnie Carter

2011 – Carl Honeycutt

2012 – Mark Forbes


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