Nandin, Farris take top honors at annual Chamber Banquet

By James Stewart The Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce feted a sell-out crowd of members at its annual banquet Thursday night and when it was all said and done, recognized a host of local citizens for their time, effort and dedication to the community. The top two awards for the evening, the Citizen of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement awards were the highlight of the evening. Lynn Farris, owner and operator of KNEL radio in Brady was named as the Citizen of the Year. Among the reasons were his efforts in promoting the area accented by his efforts to host the first Hunter’s Appreciation dinner. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Fernando Nandin, a local preacher and jack-of-all-trades. Introduced by Bert Striegler, Nandin was lauded for his life’s efforts throughout the community. From preaching and witnessing to a variety of areas of the community through the Central Baptist Church, to his volunteer time and efforts in numerous projects, Nandin’s service to the community was the main focus of being recognized with the award. Striegler noted that one of the biggest projects in which Nandin was most recently involved was the restoration and construction of the new Curtis Field control tower as part of the Heart of Texas Historical Museum’s military annex. Distinguished guests on hand for the evening’s events included Mandy Locker representing Cong. Mike Conaway, Mel Ferguson from Sen. Troy Fraser’s office, and David Griffith from Rep. Harvey Hilderbran’s office. Other awards presented Thursday evening included the Volunteer of the Year Award which was presented to Danny and Marsha Neal. Two other awards presented annually by the Chamber are the awards recognizing the small and large businesses of the year. Divided into two classifications, this year’s recipients were Young’s Jewelry, owned by Bill and Michele Derrick as the Small Business of the Year and Oglebay Norton Industrial Sands as the Large Business of the Year. In true form to the companies’ efforts, a live auction of a mystery dinner ended up with one dinner provided by the hostesses from Hope from the Heart being duplicated after Brady National Bank won the high bid. With the offer on the table to repeat the dinner, Oglebay Norton matched the $1,500 bid to help raise $3,000 for the Chamber. Brady Mayor James Stewart was this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award, for his efforts over the past year to clean up Brady. Chandra Eggemeyer with the Texas Department of Agriculture presented a special award to the City of Brady and the Chamber of Commerce for being recognized as the first recipient of the All-Star Community Award. The award, presented through the Texas Agriculture Commission was noted as a cumulative effort by the community. Brady was one of only 300 eligible communities who qualified for the award. In recognition of several members of the Chamber Board of Directors, retiring members were thanked for their time, effort and dedication over the past three years of their terms. Retiring directors included Tim Jones, Brian Matchek, Shane Pitcox and Judy Stark. Corde Morris was honored with the Director of the Year Award and Wendy Ellis was recognized as the recipient of the President’s Award for her efforts as the Community Development Director. Incoming directors for new three-year terms for the Chamber of Commerce board include Joe Dye, Brian King, Roy Nash, Shane Pitcox, Bob Smithson and Brendan Weatherman.

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