NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – Honoring older generations, and welcoming in the new.
The 89th annual Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Banquet is celebrating leaders, and recognizing community standouts.
Hundreds packed the Fredonia Hotel to honor the past and present.
"This is our annual membership banquet and it's always nice to see the members there participating, being in attendance, being recognized," said Betty Shinn, Chair of the Chamber banquet.
"We could set an all time record, 530 or 540 people," said the current Chairman of the board, Paul Smith.
Part of the night is devoted to recognizing the citizen of the year, as well as three businesses based on their number of employees.
"Also, their involvement in the community, they're participation in making our community a better place to live," explained Shinn.
Board members reflected on the Chamber's accomplishments from the past year.
"It marks the end of one Chamber year and the beginning of another," said Smith.
"We're celebrating the last twelve months of a lot of activity and a lot of fun and I think a lot of accomplishment."
They are preparing for a new year, with new leaders joining them, including an incoming Chairman.
"The first thing we do is choose our motto for the year so my motto is Nacogdoches by choice," said incoming Chairman Francis Spruiell.
"Meaning that we're all here because we choose to live and work here and raise our children here by choice. We could have chosen somewhere else but we chose Nacogdoches," said Smith.
"I hope everyone will grab a hold of that motto and use it in their businesses," said Spruiell.
With that choice in mind, they hope to continue to pave the way for future generations.
Laine's Hallmark Shop, First Bank and Trust of East Texas and I.E. Kingham Construction Company were honored with the Gary Justice Business Excellence awards, named after a past board Chair killed in a car accident.
Dr. Archie McDonald, a professor and local historian, was honored as the citizen of the year.