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Chamber holds Starlight Awards Banquet

NORTH HOUSTON– Starlight was the theme of the Houston Intercontinental Chamber’s Awards Banquet and Installation last Thursday evening at the Hilton Hotel Greenspoint.

A capacity crowd from businesses in the Greenspoint/Aldine areas enjoyed banter from the emcee, Reggie Gray, and joined in honoring those award winners that were noted for making a difference in the area.

The evening also included a live and silent auction, with many unusual items auctioned by Gray as a fundraiser for the Chamber.

The Chamber took the opportunity to thank those who have helped it have a very successful year, by awarding Pinnacle Awards. Recipients of these were Richard Cantu/East Aldine District; Ken Fisher/Noble Energy; Michelle Oshinski/Primeway Federal Credit Union; Phyllis Oustafine/Hawes Hill Calderon; and Linda Mercier/Houston Northwest Medical Center.

The top award, a Lifetime Achievement Award, was given to Jack Drake/Greenspoint District. Drake accepted graciously, and with his usual warm humor. He mentioned his list of achievements in his “lifetime” and included a picture of his two year old grandson.

A Small Business Award went to Andrew Watkins/CEO Watkins Group insurance. The Corporation Award was given to Scott Kliever/CFO SYSCO Corporation.

The Business Partner Award was given to Alejandro Del Valle/CEO Hispanic Business Center. Volunteer of the Year went to Marlene Stovall/American Bureau of Shipping.

The John Zizelmann Humanitarian Award went to Mariana Sanchez/Bonding Against Adversity. The Citizen of the Year Award was given to Heather Dunagin of CenterPoint Energy.

The live auction had some unusual donations, that made the bidding lively and interesting. These included a week’s trip to a fish camp, a large BBQ Grill, tickets in an Astros baseball suite, a Pearl necklace, a Golf package, and a Trip for 2 of your choice, to Hawaii, the Caribbean, or Europe. This included a one week stay in a time share apartment.

Installation of the 2012 Board of Directors also took place. Installed were the following:

Chair, Kirby Sanford/Comerica Bank; Chair-Elect, Linda Mercier/Houston Northwest Medical Center; Past Chair, Jocklynn Keville/Greenspoint District; Secretary, Phyllis Oustifine/Hawes Hill Calderon/ Treasurer, Scott Kliever/SYSCO; Vice Chairs Richard Cantu/East Aldine District; Heather Dunagin/CenterPoint Energy; John Farrell/Attorney; Jeff Kaiser/Kaiser International; Michelle Oshinski/PrimeWay Federal Credit Union; Bill Pilkington/Bentley, Bratcher & Associates, CPAs; Seth Sharr/retired Equiva Services; Andrew Watkins/The Watkins Group.

Also sworn in were the following Directors:

Emilio Aragon/Hispanic Business Center; James Alexander/Commercial State Bank; Bob Beasley/Beasley Tire Co.; Ray Bennett/ABS; Ray Bejarano/Greenspoint Mall; Johanna Boley/LSC-North Harris; Alejandro Del Valle/Hispanic Business Center; Sidney Evans/Reliant Energy; Ken Fisher/Noble Energy; Bill Ginder/Caldwell Companies; Teri Koerth/Airline Improvement District; Wendy Millhouse/Exterran; Carl Murray/Swift Energy; Jeff Procell/Northline Commons; Fred Rake/CEVA Logistics; Rebecca Reyna/Greater Northside District; Dylan Schopper/Northwinds Commercial Realty; Henry Vogel/EFT Insurance; Amber Welchel/Amegy Bank; and Whitney Whitmire, AT&T.

Gray announced that several staff members had been promoted or newly hired. These included Sarita Bubar, now Vice President of the Chamber; Darylynne Ryan, a new staff member in the office, and current staffers Erica Campbell and Rebecca Chumbley.

Major events planned for 2012 were announced, including the 6th Annual Economic Forum on February 2nd, to be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Other major events will be a Healthcare Summit, Transportation Summit, Candidate Election Panel, State of the School Districts Panel, State of the Management Districts presentations, and a Community Advisory Countil.